Sunday, December 30, 2007

Privacy and freedom watch

Privacy International has released their 2007 International Privacy ranking. The US has been downgraded from an extensive surveillance society to an endemic surveillance society. This puts them in the same ranking as China, Russia and Malaysia.

Don't be too smug though, Canada dropped two rankings in one year. We are now in the 'Some Safeguards but weakened protection' category.

Looking south, we can see where this gradualist decay leads, the only question remains if we want to go there - or is it that we're being driven there?

Here comes the crass partisanship: The NDP are legitimately the most libertarian mainstream political party in Canada. Left wing libertarianism that believes its more important to make people free than capital.

The Greens? The Greens are now a political adjunct to the Liberal Party. Their political allegiance and ideology - such as there ever was - are now in service to the political destiny of Stephane Dion.

Who's Liberal Party was in power and was himself in cabinet when Maher Arar was kidnapped and tortured. When Security certificates, preventative detention and compelled testimony became law. Yes the Liberals opposed extending the most egregious elements past their sunset date - does anybody believe they would have done so if they had been in power rather than in opposition?

And as for the Conservatives, they fought to keep the provisions past their sunset period and have flirted with the religious war terminology of their ideological soul-mates south of the border. They've responded to important and substantive queries about human rights protection in Afghanistan with hysterical and borderline eliminationist rhetoric about 'Taliban sympathizers'.

Privacy and freedom along with the environment, pocketbook issues and Afghanistan will be the election issues - shall we say late spring? None of them will reflect well on either the Conservatives or the Liberals.

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