RCMP – Really Carefully Monitoring People

Originally appeared on BackoftheBook.ca

How can I write this without sounding, well, paranoid? I believe the RCMP is watching too many people, and abusing its resources. There are plenty of signs this is taking place, and it worries me. The police should not be monitoring Canadians without having a reasonable suspicion that criminal acts are imminent or are taking place. It is not a valid reason to pay police to watch all activists, especially ones who peacefully oppose prevailing political governance. Are we not a society free to disagree with our government?

Here’s an incomplete, but startling, list of reports that suggest the Mounties are getting their man by putting everyone, innocent people too, under a microscope.

Since there are no laws clearly governing the use of your personal information collected by the ruling political party into their CIMS database, they could be sharing this intelligence with the Mounties. Would it change your answer to any survey or political phone call if you knew your response could end up on an RCMP surveillance watchlist?

As a political blogger, I’m pretty much screwed if the government takes an active interest in me. Even though I’ve previously worked in a job for the government where people, with less oversight and more authority than the RCMP, confirmed I’m loyal to Canada (and the Queen even) and am the opposite of a threat to national security, I have little doubt that now I’m an unhappy smiley face in CIMS, and who knows what other police-state Stasi-style databases. With social networking, it’s easy to track most of my contacts. When Toews’ Bill C-30 passes, the police will be able to do legally what they’ve probably been doing since September 11th, 2001. I also carry a cell phone, so my movements could be mapped, or conversations bugged using the phone mic. Ubiquitous technology is stacked against a free, democratic Canada.

Will the RCMP maintain the peace in Canada, or bring an end to it? Will they resist the pull of pervasive electronic monitoring of every person? I know what I hope for, but the signs are pointing in the wrong direction.

6 responses to “RCMP – Really Carefully Monitoring People

  1. And we have to find out from US sources that the Prime Minister attended a meeting with Rupert Murdoch. The RCMP is watching the wrong people.

  2. http://www2.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=d9fe8f3b-08d1-4cc4-9803-f80e60f36b86&p=2 “Stephanie Durand, the director general of communications for Public Safety Canada, whose signature is at the bottom of the new protocol, was, of course, too busy on Monday to explain the new policy, so I called Tom Stamatakis, president of the Canadian Police Association.

    Stamatakis, a Vancouver constable, says we should be watchful, but there’s no reason to be paranoid about the government turning the Mounties into their mouthpieces.

    “It’s not possible,” he said. “With social media now, the sort of real-time reporting of what will happen, I don’t know if it’s possible for any government now to control messaging, because there are still people, like me for example, who will speak out if the government is getting involved in what should be operational policing decisions. And there are people like you that will continue to receive brown envelopes or tips.”


    © Windsor Star 2011″

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