CBSA Redactions: Less Data, but still quite a lot

As usual, due to the fact that I want to take this complaint to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, I requested information on my request to the CBSA for all the data that they had on me. I got back a series of documents that indicate that the majority of the data I was requesting was suppresed and that I only got 20 fully redacted pages back. I got more information about my request than I got from the request itself. This is quite alarming, and while it’s nothing compared to the RCMP’s 600 pages of information, they were clearly looking to get as much intelligence on me as possible due to my involvement with the Olympic Resistance Network, and other activist groups.

One thing that I found interesting was the existence of the Intelligence and Targeting Operations Directive, which is an investigative body that just got their information protected under the Privacy Act in July 2010</a>. With their newfound powers, they are extremely redaction-happy. I expect that this case would be of interest to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and since I’m already on their good side, I plan on filing a complaint against the CBSA because it’s this behaviour that caused them to go after the RCMP when they pulled these sorts of stunts on their records.

I was travelling across the border to the United States recently, and I was afraid that the CBSA would continue their tricks of using any excuse to interrogate me/conduct secondary inspection. However, it seems that they did not and I just had to pay the HST on the stuff I got.

I requested more information about their policies surrounding activists, as well as independent journalists and I got a response from them. They appear to stay within their 30 day deadline, unlike other government agencies, which is good, but the fact that they can get away with sending me almost completely blank sheets of paper is not. I feel that I have a fairly strong case with this Privacy Act compliant, given the fact that the RCMP has given me far more information with the same laws.

As usual, here are the documents. I’m going to be sending in my Privacy Act complaint soon, and we will see where this goes from here. I hope that I didn’t miss my window by waiting for my response to get my original request.