Ed Driscoll

Fly the Friendly Skies of Oceania

Free speech has been increasingly difficult in Canada in recent years (just ask Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant); today, the Ottawa Citizen reports, “Sections of the Ottawa airport are now wired with microphones that can eavesdrop on travellers’ conversations:”

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is nearing completion of a $500,000 upgrade of old video cameras used to monitor its new “customs controlled areas,” including the primary inspection area for arriving international passengers.

As part of the work, the agency is introducing audio-monitoring equipment as well.

“It is important to note that even though audio technology is installed, no audio is recorded at this time. It will become functional at a later date,” CBSA spokesman Chris Kealey said in a written statement.

But whenever that occurs, the technology, “will record conversations,” the agency said in a separate statement in response to Citizen questions.

Meanwhile, as many as 88 of the new high-definition video cameras are to be ready this summer.

Once the Ottawa equipment is activated, signs will be posted referring passersby to a “privacy notice” that will be posted on the CBSA website, and to a separate help line explaining how the recordings will be used, stored, disclosed and retained.

Copies of your recordings can be retrieved in the lobby of the Ministry of Truth, but a small fee, payable on your Marx Card, may be necessary.