A Scary Trend: Diminishing Rights

by JRajotte on April 21, 2015 - 12:16am

Since the divulgation of information by whistleblower Edward Snowden, information unknown to the Canadian public about its secret services have been exposed.  In the article “CISI protest-risk forecast highlighting ‘citizen journalism’ heightens fears of government oversight” Published on the by Jim Bronskill, Marcc 18, 2015 on the NationalPost website. It is stated that the government requested that the Spy agency gather information about protest. Especially about the Northern Gateway Pipeline was identified as one specific movement that the federal agency was tasked to monitor closely. The main criticism that the CSIS is its role in the facilitation of the spread of information about individuals, putting at risk privacy but also the right to freedom of expression and assembly. The analysis states that most protest are peaceful and cause little harm to society, making it questionable that such service should exist at all. This tracking of protest movement is described as unconstitutional as it limits freedom of association, one of the rights granted under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 As a citizen of this country I believe that this trend of increased surveillance is disturbing. According to what I have learnt in the few months, the government is able to extract virtually any information it wishes on my personal life, and those of other Canadian citizen. The main reason used seems to be security. With the passing of various bills content in newspaper could be restricted and sharing of private information could become more common. In general our rights to assembly, of expression and privacy are to be diminished for the sake of political electoral points from the government and this close to imaginary perceptions of threat to national security caused by isolated individuals. The government should not be spending in it spying agencies but rather it should invest in social services in order to make it more accessible to have access to mental health care and actually implementing efficient policies that focuses on the prevention of violent acts rather than penalising society as a whole.