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Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 11:26 MDT

No fly list, Canadian style

Jason ramblingTransport Canada announced yesterday that their new no-fly list will go into effect on the 18th of June, a mere 10 days after the announcement. Of course people will be able to board aircraft as long as their children between 12 and 18 have government issued ID with them. Ten days should be no problem picking that up. To ease the transition, until September minors can use one piece of non-photo government ID. Now I was up at the Calgary International Airport on Monday and there were no posters or anything about this announcement up at that time. I suspect that there will be some issues the rest of this month when people show up with their children and aren't allowed on the plane because the government couldn't be bothered to announce the change in a timely fashion.

So what's the point of all this ID requirement. So that you can be checked against a no-fly list of course or what the Harper government calls a Specified Person List. How do you get on this list? Well if you follow the privacy and human rights page and try to follow the links, you'll get nowhere as they don't link to anywhere. You have to go back to the main page and follow a link at the bottom of the page which takes you to a Transport Canada summary of the program. From here you can find the Responses to Questions from the Privacy Commissioner link which will give you a list of questions. You can then look through the list of questions for what will get you on the list. If what the government told the privacy commissioner is right, the following will get you on the list:
A person will be added to the specified persons list if the person’s actions lead to a determination that the individual may pose an immediate threat to aviation security, including:

  • An individual who is or has been involved in a terrorist group, and who, it can reasonably be suspected, will endanger the security of any aircraft or aerodrome or the safety of the public, passengers or crew members;
  • An individual who has been convicted of one or more serious and life-threatening crimes against aviation security;
  • An individual who has been convicted or one or more serious and life-threatening offences and who may attack or harm an air carrier, passengers or crew members.

So you get on the list if someone thinks you'll be a threat to aviation safety. Who makes this determination? Why the Minister of Transport of course, upon the recommendation of an unspecified "Advisory Group".

I'm not unconvinced that the current Harper government won't begin to use the list to prevent the movement of individuals they don't like across the country, as their good friends the Bush Republicans in the US routinely do. There is a process to get your name off the list, but it takes at least 30 working days. That's more than enough time to prevent political opponents from making it to events to provide a countering point of view, or to prevent protesters from congregating. These people would likely succeed in getting off the list, but 30 working days is enough time to disrupt any activity they would have be participating in, despite the fact that the activity wasn't terrorist activity. Further, if the Minister of Transport wants you on the list, you're on the list regardless of what the "Advisory Group" or "Office of Reconsideration" recommend. Given the Harper government's proclivity towards bullying it's opponents, I can see this happening with alarming regularity.

The bigger question is how useful would such a list be? Any smart terrorist will simply avoid detection with false ID and a name change. Most stupid terrorists would likely be caught by other means. In a way it's like the inane questions about your luggage they ask when you check it. Now there are non-terror related reasons to have a no-fly list. Some people, due to their belligerent or aggressive behaviour towards the flight crew or their fellow passengers shouldn't be flying and such a list would be useful to enforce a ban on air travel for these people. Though this is a useful reason, there should be more oversight on how they get onto the list, such as requiring due process in a court of law first.

It all goes to my theory that the terrorists are winning. The terrorists' alleged goal is the destruction of our way of life. Well our way of life includes our civil liberties, which in the name of "security" our government is more than willing to eliminate. With each restriction on our civil rights and liberties imposed due to the "War on Terrorism (TM)" is one more step to victory for the terrorists. Which makes me wonder the real reason that the neo-cons want these restrictions, since it's obvious that the restrictions won't even slow the terrorists down and, in fact, help the terrorists further their aims. It could all just be a ruse to beat back 50 years of advances in civil rights.

No fly list, Canadian style | 4 comments | Create New Account
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No fly list, Canadian style
Authored by: Anonymous onFriday, June 08 2007 @ 03:59 MDT
As I speculated here, this "no fly list" is likely downright illegal under Canada's laws without some kind of due process wrapped around it.

Arguably, that due process has to occur prior to being put on the list, not after.

This is an unjustified infringement upon basic principles of our legal and civil rights.

- Grog
http://crystalgaze2.blogspot.com