In the summer of 2004, the Attorney General of
British Columbia responded to the BC Information and Privacy
Commissioner who had expressed his official concern that the
extraterritorial application of the USA Patriot Act posed a
threat to the privacy of British Columbians and other Canadians.
Given the extensive and effective mechanisms in place for
cross-border sharing of information on suspected and convicted
criminals, the use of the USA Patriot Act by American officials
is both unnecessary and unlikely.
Security and privacy are not, in fact, part of a zero-sum game.
Rather they are complementary social realities. An analysis of
the notion of security in terms of the distinction between
identity and behaviour indicates clearly that surveillance of
behaviour enhances security without threatening privacy.
There are some legitimate concerns that the widespread
application of biometric technologies threatens privacy; several
additional concerns have been raised over Bill C-36, the Canadian
antiterrorism bill, which seem to be exaggerated and alarmist.
Such criticism as exists regarding Canadian antiterrorism efforts
ought more properly be directed against the lax and inadequate
application of existing laws rather than against the laws