Airports and border crossings across Canada are being wired with high-definition cameras and microphones that can eavesdrop on travellers' conversations, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.Finding the bad guys before they even get to the airport has to be a more efficient plan for success because monitoring all of this data can't be a simple process. On top of that, there are the privacy issues, which nobody in government cares about these days. What are they doing with this information and how long are they storing the data? More importantly, who is overseeing the agency that holds this data?
Since the Canadian program is being expanded, is it expanding because it's delivered results or is it being expanded to listen in on airport workers? It's strange that the program was only recently uncovered by airport workers. Most workers already have their emails monitored but adding conversations is a big step. Who hasn't said something at the office about their employer? Now those comments can potentially be used against an employee.
Yet another concern is whether the TSA is doing the same at US airports. If they are, do they need to announce this to anyone? Is this going too far or is it fair game?
Already, though, the union representing about 45 CBSA employees at the airport is concerned personal workplace conversations and remarks could be captured and become part of employees' official record, Jean-Pierre Fortin, national president of the Custom and Immigration Union, said Friday. He added that the union only learned of the audio-recording development this week, after reporters began making inquiries.
The recording equipment may also be linked to a federal initiative to help CBSA combat organized crime and internal smuggling conspiracies at big Canadian airports.
A 2008 RCMP report said at least 58 crime groups were believed active at major airports, typically by corrupting airport employees or placing criminal associates in airport jobs to move narcotics and other contraband to and from planes.