Privacy and the USA Patriot Act – Recommendations of the OIPC and Status of Implementation by Government – Jan 2005

BC FIPA has compiled a table of the recommendations of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia (OIPC) regarding amendments to the BCFreedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and their level of implementation by the government. Very few of the recommendations have been implemented.

Download the table (pdf).

BC FIPA Submission on Outsourcing Information Services to U.S. Providers and the USA PATRIOT ACT

BC FIPA presented its submission to the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC on the implications
for personal information of British Columbia residents involved in outsourcing of government services to U.S.-linked service providers in relation to the USA PATRIOT ACT.

In view of section 215 [of the USA PATRIOT ACT], it appears that outsourcing to U.S. linked service providers presents the risk of compelled disclosure of personal information, even when that information is stored in British Columbia, through an order of the secret FISA court.

Information relating to British Columbians could be the subject of an order even when no individual whose information is the subject of an order is suspected of a crime, provided that the information is certified by the FBI as sought for an authorised investigation seeking foreign intelligence information. This is an amorphous standard that has the potential to catch a wide range of information pertaining to any number of individuals.

[T]he Provincial Government should not be permitted to contract out a public service where to do so has any potential, even if unlikely, to place the service provider in a situation where it is confronted with a foreign legal obligation to disclose personal information contrary to the [Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act].

Read the submission and recommendations (pdf).


Darrell Evans of BC FIPA gave a speech on Lawful Access to the Frontiers of Privacy and Security conference in Victoria today. Darrell highlighted some of the concerns that BC FIPA has with the direction that the Federal government is taking in the context of Lawful Access.

FIPA’s view in a nutshell is that we have no objection if the State has the same ability to intercept and monitor email and wireless communication that it currently has to intercept and monitor letter mail and conventional telephone communication. But the Consultation Document goes far beyond this to propose much greater license to intercept and monitor, and with a lower standard of judicial supervision.

We are opposed to the proposals because, in our opinion, they unjustifiably intrude upon the privacy rights of Canadian citizens.

Read the whole speech.