UPDATES: (note – list of “RELATED” postings at bottom)
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- 2018-11-06 News Release from Senate of Canada: Senate committee to probe Statistics Canada’s request for Canadians’ banking data
- 2018-11-08 Senator ‘repelled’ by StatsCan plan to scoop customer spending data from banks, IT World Canada
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I am grateful to the Senate for probing the plans of StatsCan.
I wish to submit the following, pertinent to your deliberations.
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- THE MOST IMPORTANT ARGUMENT, see The role of mechanized census data in Nazi Europe. (a characteristic of totalitarian police states: detailed files of personal information on everyone.)
Mankind barely noticed when the concept of massively organized information quietly emerged to become a means of social control, a weapon of war, and a roadmap for group destruction. … IBM and the Holocaust, by Edwin Black
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2. The effort by StatsCan to get personal data from banks (no matter how they rationalize it), contravenes our Charter Right to Privacy.
THE CHARTER RIGHT:
“In fostering the underlying values of dignity, integrity and autonomy, it is fitting that s. 8 of the Charter should seek to protect a biographical core of personal information which individuals in a free and democratic society would wish to maintain and control from dissemination to the state.”
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3. The RULE OF LAW is important to me; it is not important to StatsCan.
Please see Democracy: Significance of the Rule of Law
StatsCan claims that the Statistics Act gives them authority to take away citizens’ Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information. Most people know that Rights provided under Constitutional Law cannot be taken away by a regular act of Parliament. Under Constitutional Law, in order for the Government to take away a Charter Right it has to meet the criteria set out in the Oakes Test. As far as I know, StatsCan / the Justice Dept have not applied to the Courts to see if they can meet the criteria, so the Charter Right stands. StatsCan’s assertions to citizens that the Statistics Act gives them authority to take away Charter Rights is bogus.
Further, StatsCan continues to tell citizens “it is the Law”, under threat of prosecution, you have to fill in (for example) surveys, when the Statistics Act says that participation in surveys is NOT mandatory (the sanctions for census non-compliance do not apply). StatsCan uses a serious lie to intimidate and coerce citizens into providing information protected by the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information.
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4. The debacle at StatsCan since 2003 has spawned summaries, e.g.: ARE STATSCAN “SURVEYS” MANDATORY?
Because of the continuous data collection on individuals being done through StatsCan Surveys, this is the most-used page on my blog. From blog statistics, number of “hits” on this posting, as at Nov 11, 2018 shows 75,448.
NOTE: I have no illusions, mine is a small blog – – these statistics, dependent on software programming, are inflated. I do not know by how much and in what ways.
What the numbers do tell you: the actions of Statistics Canada have sent large numbers of people scurrying to find information.
People do a web search – – “Are StatsCan surveys mandatory”, “Do I have to fill in a StatsCan survey?”, “I am being harassed by StatsCan”, and so on. They end up on the above posting, which by now contains comprehensive information.
Lockheed Martin, War Economy, StatsCan, Charter Right Privacy, Trial shows 68,460 hits, as of Nov 11, 2018.
Maybe the story will be:
Canadians noticed when massively organized information was emerging. They . . .
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5. Integrity at StatsCan. Anil Arora is currently the Chief Statistician for Canada, he testified at the recent Senate Hearing into StatsCan’s plan to get spending data directly from the banks.
Who is the driver behind the wheel?
From 2016-03-18 Does Lockheed Martin Corp have a role in the 2016 Census? (Starting at least as early as 2003, Lockheed Martin Corp was at StatsCan.)
The above posting addresses collaboration by specified countries (including Canada) on: data bases on citizens that are housed in their statistics departments (or census bureaux), under the Steerage of Lockheed Martin Corp.
EXCERPT FROM THE POSTING
StatsCan CREDIBILITY GAP
Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald did a good job of explaining that under the auspices of the NSA, backdoor entry to data bases is established if American “security” forces cannot obtain legal front door access. Lockheed Martin is a contractor to the NSA. Both entities are surveillance specialists; both see themselves as being outside the rule of law. The data base at StatsCan will contain the on-going collection of data through censuses AND surveys. Your name is on your file (established during the cross-examination of the StatsCan witness, Anil Arora, at my trial). All in all, EVEN IF Lockheed Martin is “out” (it isn’t), a backdoor entry to the data base will be in place.
The interest of the Americans in obtaining access to information on ALL Canadians is known through mainstream media report:
It’s pretty well spelt out by Lockheed Martin:
The interview with the Lockheed Martin CEO spells out how the corporations will, and do, circumvent democracy. It is important for Canadians to understand, if we are to successfully reclaim our democracy.
Lockheed’s position at StatsCan was in place by the time of this interview, had been for about three years. Covais:
We’ve decided not to recommend any things that would require legislative changes because we won’t get anywhere .. The guidance from the ministers was “Tell us what we need to do and we’ll make it happen”, recalls Covais who chairs the U.S. section of the Council.. the future of North America decided.. not in a sweeping trade agreement on which elections will turn, but by the accretion of hundreds of incremental changes implemented by executive agencies, bureaucrats, and regulators ..
StatsCan is an “agency” of the Government.
AMONG THE LIES TOLD BY STATSCAN: (I would not use the word “lies” if I did not have a documented history to support the statement.)
According to the actual numbers provided by Yves Beland, StatsCan Director of Census Operations, at the Audrey Tobias trial, the non-compliance rate for the 2011 Census is 11%, not the 2% figure StatsCan claims, and quotes to the media. (Under oath, StatsCan, the numbers are: 13 million out of 14.6 million. StatsCan says that is 98% compliance. It is 89% compliance. Do the math.)
There are the blatant lies told to Canadians about what the Law is (item #3).
Try this one on:
StatsCan said under oath at the trial of Audrey Tobias (over the 2011 Census, trial in 2013): Lockheed Martin’s role in the Census would be ended within two years (the next Census in 2016). The decision had been made by the time of the Tobias trial in October 2013.
And yet, they went ahead and prosecuted:
- Audrey Tobias, 89 years old
- Janet Churnin, 79 years old and
- (Karen) Eve Stegenga, a self-employed yoga instructor, 37 years old.
all of whom had refused to fill in a Census form because of the role of Lockheed Martin Corp at StatsCan.
The three women are obviously a threat to other people in their communities, hence deserving of prosecution (under threat of fines and jail time).
What did the judges think?
- (Karen) Eve Stegenga received a conditional discharge (July 17, 2014). She was assigned 25 hours of community service.
- Janet Churnin received a conditional discharge (December 2013). 50 hours of community service.
- Audrey Tobias was found not guilty (October 2013).
Community service is routine in the lives of every one of these women. The sentences were not a hardship, did not have deterrence effect.
Prosecution Services wanted a $250.00 fine, community service, and probation for Eve Stegenga. The intent was deterrence for other Canadians. Why they continued to prosecute the Lockheed cases is beyond me. If it’s just to show who is Lord of the Manor, well, they may want to re-assess. The Judges are not upholding their lordly status (two discharges and one not guilty – – speaking only of the 2011 Census, and only of these 3 prosecutions, known without a “Freedom of Information” request).
The cost of any one of these trials is very high – preparation, consultations, judges, prosecutors, travel, hotel & meals in the Stegenga case, court workers, facility costs, opportunity costs (the money could have been put to better use).
As mentioned, by the 2011 Census, non-compliance was 11% (not the 2% reported by StatsCan). Hopefully, after the Stegenga case, the Justice Dept “gets it”: the collective conscience of Canadians is strong. They are not going to obtain compliance by using the threat of prosecution, fines and jail time. Not by operating outside the Law. And not when people know that the Government should not be building detailed files of personal information on people. Whether they know it intuitively, through remembrance of history, or through rational faculties, it is the same.
So now, it appears that StatsCan (or whoever is behind the steering wheel), plans to get what they want, another way. Be damned the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information, and be damned the fact that detailed files on citizens are a hallmark of police states.
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Arora is good at word-smithing (misleading).
I appreciate the opportunity to fill in gaps in the decision process regarding StatsCan and its ill-conceived plans. Thank-you.
APPENDED The following will be information overload for some, and “of interest” to others:
- the LEGAL ARGUMENT
- EXCERPT from http://sandrafinley.ca/?page_id=70
Do Canadians have a CHARTER RIGHT TO PRIVACY of personal information? . . . in theory, in political and legal rhetoric, the answer is “yes”. But see the LEGAL ARGUMENT. In practice, the answer is “only if citizens stand up and fight to keep it”.
Do not rely on Governments and the Courts to defend the Charter Right. The LEGAL ARGUMENT discusses what the law says and how it has been applied by the Courts in this instance.
- From: Howard Solomon
Sent: November 8, 2018 7:45 PM
StatsCan appears to be relying on Section 13 of the Statistics Act, which apparently gives it the right to any document held by a business. I don’t know if the Charter over-rides it. It may have to be tested in court. Privacy Commissioner Therrien has launched an investigation, which gives him the authority to look into whether what StatsCan wants complies with the law.
(INSERT: update, important
- (Sandra speaking) Another thing that causes me great concern: Lockheed Martin is in the business of international surveillance. Expense travel claims found on the StatsCan website, show that in 2009 and in 2010, Peter Morrison, Assistant Chief Statistician traveled to meetings of the International Census Forum, for which Lockheed Martin provides the “steerage”. The idea that Lockheed Martin no longer has a presence in the data collection at StatsCan is highly suspect. The question is addressed in 2016-03-18 Does Lockheed Martin Corp have a role in the 2016 Census?
BTW: Edwin Black’s book “IBM and the Holocaust” is to me an interesting and compelling story. There’s a bit about it in The role of mechanized census data in Nazi Europe. Between it, and what is known about the Stasi files on citizens in East Germany, and in other police states, Canadians would have to be ignorant and stupid not to stand up against what StatsCan is trying to accomplish. We have an eloquently stated Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information, FOR A REASON.
People need to understand that there’s a difference between a business having your personal information, and a Government. A Government, through the laws it enacts, through what laws it chooses to enforce, through the Police and the Courts, may have enormous power over the individual. That power is not always benignly and justly exercised. Reassurances from politicians and bureaucrats don’t cut the mustard. It’s like the sweet-talking guy taking the sweet young thing, newly-met, for a ride in his car. She trusts him, stupidly, and gets raped. I’d like to think I’m not that stupid, and collectively Canadians aren’t that gullible. The why’s and wherefore’s of the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information, the importance of it, are not well enough known by Canadians.
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In my book Data and Goliath, I write about the value of privacy. I talk about how it is essential for political liberty and justice, and for commercial fairness and equality. I talk about how it increases personal freedom and individual autonomy, and how the lack of it makes us all less secure. But this is probably the most important argument as to why society as a whole must protect privacy: it allows society to progress.
We know that surveillance has a chilling effect on freedom. People change their behavior when they live their lives under surveillance. They are less likely to speak freely and act individually. They self-censor. They become conformist. This is obviously true for government surveillance, but is true for corporate surveillance as well. We simply aren’t as willing to be our individual selves when others are watching.