Friday, March 01, 2019

Surveillance in Canada, yes they're doing it to everybody.

Something to consider for y'all Canadians today, the cops are hooked up with Ontario Ministry of Health records. Big time.

Documents obtained by Motherboard from Ontario's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) through an access to information request show that at least two provinces—Ontario and Saskatchewan—maintain a "Risk-driven Tracking Database" that is used to amass highly sensitive information about people's lives. Information in the database includes whether a person uses drugs, has been the victim of an assault, or lives in a "negative neighborhood."
The Risk-driven Tracking Database (RTD) is part of a collaborative approach to policing called the Hub model that partners cops, school staff, social workers, health care workers, and the provincial government.
Information about people believed to be "at risk" of becoming criminals or victims of harm is shared between civilian agencies and police and is added to the database when a person is being evaluated for a rapid intervention intended to lower their risk levels. Interventions can range from a door knock and a chat to forced hospitalization or arrest.
Sounds faintly Orwellian, the cops using healthcare records to decide who gets a knock on their door, based on an algorithm. What could go wrong, eh?

But there's more, as I've been saying for a long time. RCMP pretty much tracks whoever they want, whenever they want, by their cell phone.

IMSI catchers essentially act like fake cell phone towers. They force every phone within range—which may be up to two kilometres away—to connect and communicate information such as the handset's unique ID, the ID of the phone's SIM card, and its carrier and country of origin. Some IMSI catchers are capable of intercepting texts and phone calls.
IMSI catchers are indiscriminate. They act more like a dragnet than a targeted surveillance tool, and one can imagine how many innocents may be surveilled when an IMSI catcher is deployed in a bustling city centre.
Although the use of IMSI catchers by police in the US is well-known, the RCMP has been remarkably guarded about revealing its capabilities to the public.
"This technology is so privacy-invasive that it is essential we be given enough information to ensure that it is only being used lawfully and with respect for our Charter rights," said Brenda McPhail, director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association's surveillance project. "Only then can we have a real debate about whether the benefits to public safety are at all proportionate to the profound privacy risks presented by this technology."
The key thing to remember here is that not only does the RCMP track cell phones, they maintain a database of that tracking. According to the article, for ten years. Oh, and they're covering it up. That's also a thing. This is a secret capability.

Lets put these capabilities together, shall we? We have a randomized database of health records, a non-randomized database of police records, and a ten year long secret database of cell-phone movements and calls. Plus the usual telephone records the phone company keeps. Plus commercial databases from companies like Facebook, who track literally everything you say or do online.

That is one hell of a collection of data, my friends. Add in some license plate readers and the odd video camera mounted in a streetlight, you've got the All Seeing Eye of Sauron. If you walked past a hooker on Main Street in Hamilton in 2011 on October 2nd, that's potentially in the database. If we let these guys do what they want, in ten years it will for-sure be in a database.

But then there is obsolescence to consider. As we say yesterday, police departments and governments keep old stuff around way past its expiry date. Some of the Canadian government still runs on VAX mainframes from the 1980s, with data stored on TK50 tape cassettes. I expect the court system both provincial and federal runs on some really scary antique shit.

The astute reader will notice a pattern forming. Anything in government where they provide a service, such as real estate registration, drivers licenses, court documents, computerized health care records, health insurance (OHIP) etc., all these government organs don't get technology upgrades in a reasonable, businesslike fashion. They stumble along with backlogs of several years. Anything where the government is controlling the citizens, that gets all the brand new fancy technology. Those guys are cutting edge.

Because the final piece of this puzzle is CORRUPTION. Our government is corrupt from the bottom to the top. At the bottom its looking the other way for a small fee. At the top it is AdScam, it is the Gun Registry Scam, it is this week's brand new SNC-Lavalin Scam. Provincially there's the windmill scam, the gas-plant in Oakville scam, ORNGE, and on and on it goes.

But the crowning glory is that you're not reading this today on the CBC website. The Globe and Mail didn't put this on their front page. The media is covering for them, actively and passively both. We see it literally every day, there's no denying it.

You have to come to some weird obscure blog, who got it from another weird obscure blog, who got it from some bunch of agitators who used the Freedom if Information Act and read 40,000 pages of redacted court documents. But at least you got it.

Up to y'all what is going to be done about it.

The Phantom

Update: Welcome Instapundit! Thanks to Sarah Hoyt for the linkage!


Anonymous said...

This is one reason, amongst many, that I don't have a cell phone. One reason, amongst many, that I use a lot of cash -- all documented as legit at the bank, with a solid audit trail as to how I obtained it -- and refuse to participate in store card programs, "points" thingies, and so on. It's one reason I never scrape the country-road mud and dust of my licence-plate are use automatic toll pays.

And that's here in the States, where I now live. Fluently bilingual, I returned to my native USA on account of such things, despite having spent six years in elected political office in Canada, and having been one VP (amongst many) in Mulroney's '84 and '88 campaigns. It's bad here, south of the line, but not nearly as bad as what it has become in a nation I still love and care for.

Right now at least, America has a leader attempting to undo a deep and controlling state apparatus. In the Trudeau years -- both père et fils -- the impetus has been firmly in the opposite direction.

As a result, for one of the very few times in my life, perhaps two dozen since 1992, I'm not going to use my name at all in a post like this, as I have child(ren) living in Canada, and I don't care for my offspring to encounter the New Stasi Nouveau on my account.

Which says everything you need to know about modern Canada.

The Phantom said...

If its an on-line comment, it is recorded. But, at least you can make them work for it a little.

Cautious Technologist said...

You needn't resort to the extremity of not carrying a cellphone to protect yourself from cellphone tracking. Many cellphones, such as my own, offer a special method of turning off the power altogether. Yes, it's a pain in the butt to then have to wait about two minutes for the cellphone to finish booting back up when needed, but that's the cost of privacy. This "deep standby" mode also has the advantage of extending battery life to weeks or months — the only power drain is from the sort of self-draining trickle that's inevitable with all batteries.

Anonymous said...

Along the same lines, you will now have to use your credit card or DL or purchase a pass to view 'free' pr0n in Britain. Nanny state is alive and well in the lands of the Magna Carta.