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Patriot Act contravenes B.C. privacy laws: Privacy Commissioner report

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  • Ishaq
    http://victoria.indymedia.org/news/2004/10/33221.php Patriot Act contravenes B.C. privacy laws: Privacy Commissioner report by CBC .
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2004
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      http://victoria.indymedia.org/news/2004/10/33221.php

      Patriot Act contravenes B.C. privacy laws: Privacy Commissioner report
      by CBC Sunday October 31, 2004 at 01:06 PM

      B.C Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis says the USA Patriot Act violates provincial privacy laws, because it can order American companies to hand over information on British Columbians in secret.

      Patriot Act contravenes B...
      b.c_privacy_commissioner_david_loukidelis.jpg, JPG image, 200x168

      Oct 29 2004 07:00 PM PDT

      VICTORIA -

      Last week, the provincial government brought in amendments to the Privacy Act, in an effort to deal with the issue.

      Loukidelis welcomes the changes, but says the law should be strengthened to include tougher, clearer language – and stiffer penalties.

      Loukidelis says that once information is sent across borders, it's difficult, if not impossible, to control.

      He notes that under the USA Patriot Act , the U.S. government can demand access to a wide range of personal, confidential information

      "It is never possible to guarantee perfect protection of information. Regardless, our report concludes that measures can and should be put in place that meaningfully guard against access by the USA Patriot Act," says Loukidelis.

      He recommends that Ottawa and the provinces pass legislation that will "prohibit personal information from being stored or sent outside Canada."

      Loukidelis would also like to make it illegal for Canadian subsidiaries of U.S. firms to turn over information to a U.S. agency without a Canadian court order.

      FROM MAY 28, 2004 : Patriot Act probe begins

      The Privacy Commissioner began his investigation earlier this year after concerns were raised about the effect of the Patriot Act on the privacy rights of British Columbians.

      The provincial government has already contracted out some business to one U.S. firm – and wants to use an American company to operate the Medical Services Plan.

      INDEPTH: Privacy

      LINK: Full text of USA Patriot Act (pdf)

      LINK: Summary of report (pdf)

      LINK: Full text of report (pdf)

      INTERVIEW: B.C. Almanac's Mark Forsythe speaks with David Loukidelis.


      _________________

      More News from British Columbia:

      Government going ahead with information outsourcing


      Government going ahead with information outsourcing
      by CBC Sunday October 31, 2004 at 01:08 PM

      Oct 29 2004 02:31 PM PDT


      VANCOUVER - The provincial government says it will continue to contract out the management and storage of British Columbians' personal information, despite a warning from the Privacy Commissioner.

      David Loukidelis says he's concerned that if the private information is given to U.S.-based firms, it could be accessed by the American government under the USA Patriot Act.

      The Privacy Commissioner does not recommend a ban on contracting out – but he says tight controls are needed. And he wants the province to prohibit any information being sent outside of Canada for management or storage.

      FROM OCT. 29, 2004: Patriot Act contravenes B.C. privacy laws: report

      LINK: Summary of report (pdf)

      B.C. Management Services Minister Joyce Murray says the government has already passed legislation to protect private records, and the outsourcing plan will continue.

      "There is absolutely no plan to stop outsourcing. The projects that are being considered, that are in negotiation now, are ones that will improve in very important ways, government's ability to to serve the public."

      LINK: Government reaction to Loukidelis's report

      But the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union says all outsourcing of information services should be halted.

      "I would say that Joyce Murray and her government, if she speaks for them, are demonstrating a complete irresponsibility and a complete breach of trust that they owe to British Columbians," says president George Heyman.

      LINK: BCGEU backgrounder

      Heyman also questions any savings that may come from contracting out – noting more controls will now have to be out in place to protect private information.



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