Going Dutch: Canada, Netherlands Negotiating Trusted Traveller Agreement

Canada: Cover-Up on CSEC’s Spying and Police-State Apparatus

During this period, CSEC is also known to have monitored the Mexican government regarding the negotiation and ratification of the 1992 North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Other documents leaked by Snowden point to the key role CSEC played in the NSAs years-long efforts to crack encrypted data on the internet. According to a recentNew York Timesstory, CSEC had been tasked with working on the standards process for the International Organization for Standardization. During this time, the NSA finessed CSEC into handing over control of the standards process, allowing the US agency to construct a backdoor to secretly decrypt data that millions regarded as safe. A classified NSA memo reads: After some behind-the-scenes finessing with the head of the Canadian national delegation and with [CSEC], the stage was set for NSA to submit a rewrite of the draft Eventually, NSA became the sole editor. WhenMacleansjournalist Jesse Brown posed a direct question to CSEC on the content of the NSA memos, the agencys Director of Public Affairs and Communications Andy McLaughlin only offered an obtuse response that avoided denying that CSEC assisted the NSA in its secret anti-encryption campaign. If CSECs own propaganda is to be believed, a large part of its operations are directed towards tactical and other assistance to the Canadian Armed Forces. During the Canadian militarys most intense involvement in the occupation of Afghanistan, CSEC reportedly contributed intelligence in nearly every major battle or operation involving Canadian troops. The 2002 Anti-Terrorism Act stipulates that the third of CSESs three core mandates is to provide technical and operational assistance to federal law enforcement agencies and security agenciesmost importantly CSIS, the RCMP, and the Canadian Border Agency (CBA). The collaboration between CSIS and CSEC, which has effectively no parliamentary, let alone public, oversight (see , allows the Canadian state to ruthlessly pursue domestic groups and even private citizens who are perceived as threats to the predatory interests of the ruling elite. The rules that reputedly protect Canadians from CSEC surveillance fall-off when the CSEC is working with CSIS and the RCMP. Moreover, CSEC has insisted and the government has endorsed in its ministerial directives to CSEC the anti-democratic claim that the meta-data of Canadians electronic communications is not constitutionally protected communication and therefore can be mined, i.e. collected and scrutinized, at will. Documents released under freedom of information laws and published byThe Guardianshow that the RCMP and CSIS are deliberately blurring the distinctions between terrorism and civil disobedience and other forms of peaceful protest, so as to justify widespread surveillance of anti-government groups. According to theGuardian, Canadas national-security apparatus defines activities such as blocking roads and buildings as forms of assault, while everything from sit-ins to marches can be considered threats or attacks. CSIS and the RCMP have employed this spurious catch-all definition of terrorism to justify surveillance of environmentalist groups, opponents of the Vancouver Olympic Games, the Idle No More movement, and the opposition to the 2010 Toronto G-20 summit.

Canada’s first-ever public umbilical cord blood bank launches in Ottawa

The initiative would be modelled on the current Nexus travellers program between Canada and the United States, the Canada Border Services Agency records say. Officials have been developing the regulatory, technological and fee-collection systems needed to implement an accord. “Canada has had discussions with the Netherlands since 2010,” Maja Graham, a border services agency spokeswoman, said in an emailed response to questions. Graham declined to make anyone available for an interview. However, the internal agency records make it clear an agreement with the Netherlands would be the first strand of an effort to create a large web of mutual traveller programs with other countries. Trusted traveller programs are intended to speed the flow of low-risk, known citizens across borders by ushering them into express queues, giving security officers more time to focus limited resources on those who may pose a higher risk. In signing a much-touted perimeter security deal with the United States two years ago, Canada committed to expanding the Nexus program a which has about 700,000 members a to third countries. Enrolment in Nexus is expected to “reach saturation” at about a million members within a few years, meaning that reaching out to other countries “is necessary to increase the level of travellers entering Canada through expedited clearance,” say the notes. A conservative estimate of potential intake into Canada’s trusted traveller programs, if arrangements were to be signed with “a handful of like-minded countries,” is in the range of 100,000 additional members, says a briefing note prepared for border agency president Luc Portelance. In fact, the Canada-Netherlands agreement was expected to be in place last year, with a three-page draft agreement drawn up for consideration. The border agency had no immediate comment on reasons for the delay. Pursuing the agreement allows the agency to commence expansion of trusted travellers programs to third countries “on a small scale” while meeting previous commitments, the notes say. In February 2011, European Commission officials expressed an interest in a trusted travellers initiative with Canada and offered their support for the Canada-Netherlands proposal. Under the draft plan, citizens of Canada and the Netherlands who are members of their own country’s trusted traveller program would be eligible to apply to the other’s domestic program.

(Vasiliy Koval) Scientists derive stem cells from adult, fetal and embryonic tissue. (Vasiliy Koval) Canada’s first-ever public umbilical cord blood bank launches in Ottawa Add to … OttawaThe Canadian Press Monday, Sep. 30 2013, 7:23 AM EDT Last updated AA Canadas first-ever public blood bank for umbilical cord blood is set to begin taking donations today at an Ottawa hospital. Canadian Blood Services says its bank will let the public donate instead of discard umbilical cords, which are a rich source of desperately needed stem cells. It says some 1,000 Canadians are currently waiting for life-saving stem cell transplants to treat diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma or aplastic anemia. More Related to this Story Video: Scottish scientists make 3D stem cell printer In this April, 2008 photo, Kyoto University Professor Shinya Yamanaka, left, and British researcher John Gurdon exchange words as they attend a symposium on induced pluripotent stem cell in Tokyo. Gurdon and Yamanaka of Japan won this year’s Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine on Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 for discovering that mature, specialized cells of the body can be reprogrammed into stem cells – a discovery that scientists hope to turn into new treatments. AP video Video: Japanese scientists grow human liver from stem cells The group says Canada is the only G8 nation that doesnt have a national public cord blood bank. It says once the bank is fully up and running healthy pregnant women 18 years or older will be able to donate at collection hospitals in Ottawa, Brampton, Ont., Edmonton and Vancouver.