BC Privacy Commissioner Would Resign Over Longterm Surveillance

200902042255.jpgSeveral sessions about the Vancouver 2010 Olympics were held over the course of the 10th Annual Security and Privacy conference. The BC Privacy Commissioner, David Loukidelis, has stated in each session that he is opposed to the continued presence of surveillance infrastructure installed for the games after the games conclude. When asked by a member of the audience if he would consider resigning were this infrastructure not dismantled (and thus mirror the actions taken by Greek privacy officers when police refused to limit their use of surveillance infrastructure developed for the Athens games) he responded that he would consider it.

Micheal Vonn, the policy directory for BCCLA, noted in her presentations that the Vancouver police have established a policy for ‘routine’ consent searches throughout the lower eastside area of Vancouver during the games – by her rough calculations, around 300 people would be searched each patrol. Over two weeks, this would amount to a minimum of 4200 searches, and this assumes that only one patrol would be moving through the area each day. What is most significant is that the proposed target area is where the safe injection site is, as well as other essential social services facilities for the most disadvantaged in society. Vonn’s information is in the Vancouver police’s business plan, which suggests that a premeditated, unwarranted, search regime may be coming to the games along with other ‘exceptional’ security measures.