Vive Le Canada

Leaking N.S. citizens information a concern
Date: Thursday, January 12 2006

January 11, 2006

Leaking N.S. citizens information a concern


HALIFAX (CP) - Personal information about Nova Scotians could be secretly eyeballed by the American government under far-reaching provisions of the U.S. Patriot Act, the province's auditor general suggested Wednesday.

In the final report of his 14-year tenure, Roy Salmon noted a company that stores backup computer tapes of several Nova Scotia government departments is a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary of a U.S. corporation.

Salmon's report says the Patriot Act, set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, means a data storage firm could be forced to secretly reveal its information to the FBI or other U.S. security agencies.

"If such an order was issued, it would place the head of a Canadian subsidiary of a U.S. corporation in the position of having to decide whether to violate U.S. or Canadian law," says the report.

The Patriot Act includes a section that allows a special court to secretly issue an order requiring "the production of any tangible things" to the FBI.

Justice Minister Michael Baker said later in the day he doesn't share Salmon's fears, but noted the province will bring in a law that explicitly prohibits a data storage company from providing private information to the U.S. government.

This article comes from Vive Le Canada

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