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Slowly chipping away

It looks like my friends at The Canadian Press finally got around to doing some ATIPs of their own and found out that the Canadian Military had some serious shortcomings</a> when they were working to secure the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. It’s really interesting to hear that, since all we heard about was the Challenger Map in the V2010ISU Headquarters, the lookout balloon deployed by the Canadian Military in Whistler, as well as the soliders with machine guns ripping around the area in snowmobiles. All of it was very bizzare.

What I find more interesting is the involvement of Industry Canada. Due to my background in Campus/Community Radio, I am familiar with what is legal and what is not in the Broadcast Act and the Radio Regulations. One thing that I knew is that Industry Canada would be the spectrum police during the games and that they would be listening to see if there were any disturbances, such as a Pirate Radio station. Now, the Pirate Radio Station at VIVO studios was rather well documented, and it’s interesting to note both among Community Radio folk, and Pirate folk alike, that this was in fact the only time in Canadian Pirate Radio history that the Broadcast Act was actually enforced. Islands of Resistance</a> has this to say about it:

An interesting case in point that reveals the sometimes highly politicized nature of Industry Canada’s enforcement practices, occurred in February 2010 involving “Safe Assembly Radio,” an unlicensed Vancouver low-watt station daring to broadcast views and opinions critical of the corporate and patriotic spectacle known as the Winter Olympics. While claiming to have immunity from the CRTC’s rules and regulations on pirate radio because it was a temporary art-related project, combining its on-air broadcasts (which had a 3km radius) with internet streaming online from the artist-run VIVO Media Arts Centre (one of the few Vancouver-based cultural groups which refused to apply for Cultural Olympiad funding), after less than 24 hours of broadcast time the station was shut down by Industry Canada officers, who threatened VIVO as an organization with a fine of $25,000 a day and with fines of $5,000 per day for each individual involved in the broadcasts. Curiously dressed for the occasion in Vancouver 2010 jackets, the Industry Canada officials handed out business cards which sported a 2010 logo and e-mail address, and arrived to silence the radio dissenters in a Vancouver Olympics Organizing Committee (VANOC) vehicle. </em>

Now, I am in the unique position to be completely detached from this part of the Olympic Resistance (probably one of the few parts I had nothing to do with), but be qualified enough to request data about this incident. I requested the data from Industry Canada, and I got a few responses back about e-mails and the large amount of data. I most recently got information back discussing how they would have to talk to third parties. I’m not sure if I heard them properly, but one of the parties was the police, namely the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit itself. When I finally get some of the documents, I do plan on getting in touch with the authors of Islands of Resistance and getting in contact with the original broadcasters, since I am not certain whether they thought of, or had the direct desire to write to the Canadian Government and to send them a cheque for their records.

Now, this wouldn’t be a full blog post without bringing up WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks currently has 46 cables from the Vancouver Consulate of the Security Briefings that were happening during the games. So far, only one of these cables has been released. Not only that, it wasn’t even released by WikiLeaks, and instead was released by the Guardian. (It still hasn’t been released by WikiLeaks) It would be great if, one year after the 2010 Olympics, that WikiLeaks could release all 46 of these cables on their website so that we can see what the Canadian Government was up to during the Olympics. Unlike the ATIP, we are depending on Julian Assange to decide whether or not these cables are important. Now, if anyone had access to the WikiLeaks source material, and could make these cables public, I think that this would have a huge impact on Canada, since it would show what the actual security state is doing currently.

Anyway, I’m glad that the security structure is being chipped away. I’ll be talking about an analysis of AnonLeaks soon. There’s definitely some interesting info.