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It is becoming increasingly difficult to remain a private person. Revelations, by way of US whistle-blower Edward Snowden, of government spying, continue to shock. Our love-affair with modern technology makes it easy for authorities to snoop on us, at least for now.
Friday's latest revelation is that "Canada's electronic spy agency collected data from travellers passing through a major airport" the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reports. The BBC continue "The CSEC collected information captured from unsuspecting passengers' wireless devices by the airport's free wi-fi system over two-weeks, the report says."
Apparently the 2012 spy operation was a trial run of a new spy software program, with the US NSA working with the Canadian authorities. According to the BBC the "CSEC is prohibited by law from targeting Canadians or anyone in Canada without an appropriate warrant." Little comfort for tourists who, if they have any sense, will bypass this country and, or, its airport technology.
It allowed the FEDs in the USA to follow people for weeks online, check their backgrounds and use phone company records.
The report continues "Its primary mission is to collect foreign intelligence by intercepting overseas phone and internet traffic."
This behaviour in Canada, and similar in the UK, explains why both country's governments were looking at changing Data Communication laws in recent years.
As ITBusinessCA reports "CSEC’s airport tracking in support of ‘lawful access’ erodes trust of Canadians"
Does the fact that if you are Canadian you will not targeted ease any concerns you may have about spying? Do you actually believe that assertion anyway? It should not ease concerns and why should you believe it? There have already been too many lies.
If each country promises that they are not spying on their own citizens but plays the same game it is a cert someone, somewhere in this world is spying on you!
It is hard to asses the impact of these endless revelations of abuse of power by western governments but it is safe to say the outcome will not be positive.
People are turning away from some online services and free wi-fi systems fearing their confidentiality is breached.
In the UK, where there have also been revelations about spying, such government snooping makes the Data Protection Act a huge joke. If I rang our doctor for my husband the surgery may not liaise with me in case they breached my husband's confidentiality yet the government can do that as often as they want, when they want.
The government will no doubt amend this act to suit in time, as they are considering with trespass laws to allow frackers to work under your property without consent.
The problem for those with money invested in social media and computer systems is that the revelations must hit their business profits.
Perhaps the NSA, US President, GCHQ or the UK PM might write a new book How To KIll the Internet and Freedom in one fell swoop.
Yet they still hypocritically attack some foreign governments for allegedly restricting their citizens' freedom.
Most right-minded people in the west will no longer run eagerly out to buy the latest Internet or technological piece of kit fearing it may just be another government tool for controlling the masses.
Yes, currently there is still the ability to post such reports online, plus images poking fun at leaders, but remember we are still at the start of a long journey which could result in totalitarianism in the west.