On the 14th of February, it looks as if someone from the IP address 188.8.131.52 visited the Vancouver Media Coop and looked at the various PDFs that I published. In case you’re wondering what the deal is with that IP address, it’s the CCRA, or Canada Customs and Revenue Agency</a>.
OK, so here’s something interesting. The CCRA doesn’t exist anymore, and hasn’t existed since 2003.</a> I filed my taxes and got my tax return, and other than that I don’t have any interaction with the Canada Revenue Agency. However, on the other hand, if you read this blog at all, it becomes crystal clear that they are very interested in this file:
184.108.40.206 - - [21/Feb/2011:18:57:33 +0000] “GET /visu/cbsa.pdf HTTP/1.1” 206 3806833 “-“ “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.648; .NET CLR 3.5.21022)” </em>
As well as this file:
220.127.116.11 - - [21/Feb/2011:19:04:45 +0000] “GET /metaatip/cbsa-privacy.pdf HTTP/1.1” 206 4096 “-“ “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.648; .NET CLR 3.5.21022)” </em>
Also, they appear to be fans of this blog and are one of the nine people who follow it. Either that, or someone that they follow in Google also follows this blog:
18.104.22.168 - - [11/Feb/2011:15:51:22 +0000] “GET /2011/02/yo-dawg-i-heard-you-like-requests/ HTTP/1.1” 200 6993 “http://www.google.ca/reader/view/?hl=en&tab=wy” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:22.214.171.124) Gecko/20101130 Firefox/3.5.16” </em>
Anyway, due to the CBSA’s role in being a pain in the ass for the past couple of years for every time I go back to Canada from the United States or other countries, I decided to file two privacy act requests. Of course, I have to use my Full Legal Name. And low and behold, what do I see in my logs today:
126.96.36.199 - - [09/Mar/2011:21:12:21 +0000] “GET /visu/visit.pdf HTTP/1.1” 200 8125925 “http://www.google.ca/search?q=joey+robert+bowser&hl=en&source=hp&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=” “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)” </em>
BOOM! The first result that appears with my name is a record of RCMP harassment due to the Olympics, where you get to read how Cst. El-Azzi acted the role of a fascist and compiled a secret list of Anarchists! Now, given the fact that my middle name is probably one of the most common middle names on the planet, most people wouldn’t have bothered to google it. Instead they would have just googled Joe Bowser, or something like that. Why did they google my full legal name? Because that’s what I ended up sending them when I sent in the ATIP request. In fact, it’s probably someone at the CBSA’s ATIP office googling.
Now, what I do know from the last two requests that I got back is that the CBSA gave the RCMP six pages of documents on me. Furthermore, the CBSA data that they had on file corrected errors in the RCMP’s own data, like my legal name. Also, of the six pages, all I actually got back from the RCMP were three of them regarding my HAR trip. There was nothing in the files about my trip back from Toorcamp, where I had way too much in my wallet, and they scanned my old Wobbly card</a>, and they took my Last Hope TOOOL Lockpick set</a>, claiming that it was illegal to have it and threatening me with arrest. (It should be noted that I haven’t received a receipt from the CBSA stating that they destroyed my lockpicks, it’s more likely that the corrupt bastards have them as a trophy.) Also, it should be noted that when they searched the vehicle, both my laptop and my nalgene container had “NO OLYMPICS ON STOLEN NATIVE LAND” stickers on it.
Now, the CBSA isn’t the first thing that you think of when you think about Law Enforcement or Intelligence, however the CBSA has very active intelligence gathering, and during the Vancouver Anarchist Bookfair, as well as the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, we saw the CBSA use the border to target political activists on both sides of the border. This includes the situation with Amy Goodman getting denied at the Canadian Border</a> and numerous other activists and journalists being denied at the border, and the situation where the CBSA waits outside of Women’s Shelters in Ontario waiting to evict the most vulnerable</a>. We also know that the CBSA entered W2, and decided to pay a visit to the BCCLA Legal Observers during the Olympics</a> as well.
I don’t know of any active watchdog group targeting the CBSA like there is with the RCMP or with CSIS, although No One Is Illegal often fills that role, since the CBSA are the people who tend to deport people, break up families and help create a market for the for-profit Human Smugglers in the name of National Security. Once I get my actual response to my Privacy Act request, I’ll scan it and post it here too so the CBSA can read it.