05 August 2008

US Paranoia Continues

On August 1st, I wrote about US border agents, effective July 16th, having the authority to seize travellers' laptops, cellphones and other electronic devices, documents, books and pamphlets, and to make copies of their contents. They need no justification for doing this and may seize these items from anyone, including USians.

Now we learn that military exports from the US to Canada are being restricted, because the USians fear that people here will spy on them. This means that the $17 billion the federal government allotted to military purchases from the US are facing not just cost overruns - reported in the news awhile ago - but additional roadblocks. The latter, if they continue, would effectively limit how much Canada could be involved in USian military ventures.

That Canada should be so hampered is not a bad thing. In fact, I'm cheering that result. However, the illogic of this US policy cries out for notice, especially by the people the policy is purported to protect.

Also, the policy goes beyond paranoia to outright racial profiling.
Under the U.S International Traffic in Arms Regulations, employees from about two dozen countries, including China and Cuba, cannot work on American defence contracts in Canadian facilities. The federal government has argued the U.S. regulations go against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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