Sunday, December 16, 2007

Privacy and Security Law Blog: Is Canada Trying to Opt Out of the Patriot Act?

In response to concerns that the FBI can access sensitive Canadian data that the Canadian government provides to U.S. firms, a Canadian government proposal would allow Canadian government departments to cancel contracts with U.S. firms that give information about Canadians to the FBI. Draft guidelines say that the FBI can get access through U.S. firms or their affiliates to data located in Canada. Even if the Canadian government canceled a contract, though, that may not stop the U.S. government from obtaining the Canadian data. Such a cancellation could leave a firm with the choice of breaking U.S. or Canadian law, so unless Canadian law imposes severe penalties, a firm may decide it is less costly to comply with U.S. law.

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