For those of you who may know David Akin, he’s one of the assholes who work at Sun News, a Right-Wing mouthpiece for the Harper regime for the most part. However, there was a reason that OxBlood Ruffin</a> from the Cult of the Dead Cow likes him, and it’s not just because OxBlood has become old. David Akin actually uses ATIP and posts documents about certain things, like Lawful Access on Scribd</a>.
The document is actually rather unsurprising. There’s the usual suspects on both sides of the Lawful Access debate. On one side, you have the Canadian Victims of Crime Association talking about the need to hunt down terrorists such as the Toronto 18, as well as the need to hunt down pedophiles. Frankly, I view this as a scare tactic, since the Toronto 18 were actually caught using current Canadian Laws, and four bored teenagers from Abbotsford are able to catch pedophiles by getting them to willingly show up in places, all “To Catch A Predator” style. The police don’t need any new powers to do their job.
What is surprising is that the Telephone Companies in Canada actually give a shit about your privacy. While the Telephone Companies are fine with what they call “Tombstone Data” such as your name and address, as long as they get paid, they are not super impressed with having to give out IMSI, IMEI, SIM and other data on the customers, most likely because they understand the extreme privacy issues that this would open. When I saw that, I have to say that it took the sting out of getting gouged a bit.
As usual, we see that CIPPIC was once again fighting for the user. We also see that the Liberal Critic at the time also appeared to support Lawful Access, which is no surprise. However, she also used COMIC SANS to do it. It seems that based on the retweets I got for slamming COMIC SANS that people care about typography far more than their own privacy
What’s amazing is the amount of data that they left out and the waiting time. Akin’s own article</a> stats that it took over four years for him to get all of this data. Given the fact that I sent requests into the Justice Department, Public Safety, RCMP, CSIS and CBSA about this very same issue, I think it’s clear that four years is excessive, since much of it is a repeat. I’m curious as to whether Akin and Sun Media actually took this to the Info Commissioner, or whether they were too busy going after the CBC for it’s rather abysmal ATIP performance.
Hopefully later this week, I can actually write about my own requests again. I do have a large number of them outstanding, but they’re all most likely in review hell.
UPDATE:</strong> I can’t believe I forgot to mention it, since it’s the MOST IMPORTANT PART of the Access to Information Request. Industry Canada actually met with vendors. The vendors were the following companies:
- Top Layer</li>
- Verint</li> </ul> Now, since Nortel is dead, and since Cisco and Juniper are boring, let's look at the others, namely SS8, TopLayer and Verint. SS8</a> is a company that specializes in Lawful Access equipment. WikiLeaks has some brochures of theirs</a> and this clearly goes far beyond the "We want the name that maps to the IP address" nature of Lawful Access and into more intrusive surveillance. Verint</a> seems to produce a wide array of software, including interception solutions. The Verint site is a lot uglier than the SS8 site, but it does seem like they sell surveillance tools to be used on mass targets</a>. It'd be good to get more information as to what Verint was talking to the Telcos and to the Government about. Considering that these companies were consulting with Industry Canada, and that information wasn't included in the document, we're probably not going to know without requesting Akin's request, and even then it's unlikely that he would have purposedly held it back. TopLayer is a mystery. When I google them, or check WikiLeaks there's a lot of things that are referred to as TopLayer. I'm certain that they're another Lawful Access vendor, asking for the Government to mandate their usage. However, I have a suspicion their documents are redacted as well. The most sinister issue with this is the fact that SS8 consulted the Government, and it's very likely that SS8 will be the group that the GoC recommends to Bell, Telus, Shaw, Rogers and all the other ISPs and Telcos. Of course, I expect the bidding and procurement to be totally secret since it's not the government buying it, it's the government forcing companies to buy it or buying it for companies.