I go bananas.
Yes, we are right (even SMART!) to do something about the kind and amount of personal information being assembled by corporations (Google and Facebook, for example).
And oh God! it is good to be aware of the massive files and surveillance done by the Communist Government in East Germany. The Stasi is said to have built one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies the world has known.
The Stasi – that’s recent history – – the Berlin Wall only came down in November 1989, 28 years ago. Not long enough to forget.
All good – – but we Canadians are in that picture you painted of Google, and of the Stasi . . . or forgot; maybe we are invisible.
Consider: The Stasi was formed within 4 years of the end of WW2. And the Nazis had used the same tool as the Stasi: detailed files on citizens. The Nazis, and carefully disguised subsidiaries of IBM, had developed mechanized census data bases well before the war started in 1939. They operated in a number of European countries besides Germany.
(The story of the Nazi-IBM collaboration is meticulously documented in “IBM and the Holocaust”, by Edwin Black.)
Anyhow, the Stasi did not build their surveillance machinery from scratch. The practices were a continuation. In 1953 the East Germans made a mighty attempt to overthrow the regime, but Soviet troops entered the fray to maintain the Communist government. The police state was the norm in the east of Germany from the 1930’s (Nazi) until January 1990 when the Stasi was dismantled – – that’s for well over 60 years. Repeat: that is recent history, too recent to be forgotten.
Where are Canadians in this picture of the privacy rights of the individual citizen, rights that are missing in a police state?
Canadians learned all the good history. We were gifted with a Charter of Rights and Freedom, with a Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information. In the picture I think we defecate upon it.
Not only do we acquiesce while our own Government builds, and keeps building, the files of data on us individual citizens (through censuses, and through on-going Government surveys). We are aware of, and participate in, the information-gathering by Google and Facebook.
Further, we know that the U.S. has constructed multi-billion dollar surveillance capability in Nevada. Seldom discussed is the number one surveillance specialist in the world, Lockheed Martin Corporation, that does contract work for the NSA, and did contract work for StatsCan. We know of the American’s international surveillance through the leaks by people like Edward Snowden. We know the Five Eye collaboration on census data bases, which includes Canada, under the project management of Lockheed Martin.
Drive me bananas – – talk about the surveillance state of the Stasi, of Google’s capture of private information, and say not a word about what OUR OWN GOVERNMENT is doing. Our Governments have the ability to bring charges against us. Corporations do not have the same authority over us.
In summary, Canadians have a Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information because detailed information on individual citizens is a tool of a police state. People in the eastern part of Germany were terrorized under the Nazis. It did not change under the Communists.
Canadians received wisdom, a Charter Right, from the more than 60-year experience of people in East Germany. It seems we cannot learn from that history. There should be no cooperation with Government programmes that build detailed information files on citizens. We lose the Charter Right if we do not exercise it.
“No one likes to see a government folder with his name on it.”
― Stephen King, Firestarter
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FROM CBC RADIO, SPARK, http://www.cbc.ca/radio/spark:
No sim card? No problem. Google can follow you everywhere.
The Stasi relied on hundreds of thousands of spies, now we reveal our secrets for free online.
A new form of security authentication uses the unique vibration signals in your bones as verification.