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Canada Quietly Offering Sanctuary To Data From the US

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the privacy-and-poutine-eh dept.

Canada 184

davecb writes "The Toronto Star's lead article today is Canada courting U.S. web giants in wake of NSA spy scandal, an effort to convince them their customer data is safer here. This follows related moves like Cisco moving R&D to Toronto. Industry Canada will neither confirm nor deny that European and U.S. companies are negotiating to move confidential data away from the U.S. This critically depends on recent blocking legislation to get around cases like U.S. v. Bank of Nova Scotia, where U.S. courts 'extradited' Canadian bank records to the U.S. Contrary to Canadian law, you understand ..."

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You Know They'll Roll Over! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45906859)

You know the Canadians will roll over on you, eh?

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (3, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 7 months ago | (#45906903)

Blame Canada!

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (5, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 7 months ago | (#45907037)

Yeah, I'm Canadian. Canada has a pretty good "sharing" relationship with the US. It's a safe bet that if data is stored here we're pretty much just going to hand it to any US government org. that asks for it. I'd be willing to bet this is a scheme cooked up by the NSA because they know Canada will just roll over and hand the info back to them so they can just continue on business as usual. We're not really the confrontational types up here.

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (5, Insightful)

MouseR (3264) | about 7 months ago | (#45907073)

I think it would be worse for US to store their data in Canada because at that point, NSA is just spying on another country rather than in their own turf. Something that is in high scrutiny at the moment.

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (3, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 7 months ago | (#45907451)

I think it would be worse for US to store their data in Canada because at that point, NSA is just spying on another country rather than in their own turf. Something that is in high scrutiny at the moment.

Excellant point. Data stored abroad would not necessarily be afforded the same legal protections as data stored in the US. Even given the recent revelations companies should take that into consideration as well.

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (4, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | about 7 months ago | (#45907085)

It's actually worse than just them rolling over.

See, Canadian operations are firmly within the jurisdiction of the NSA. So moving out of country makes you more hackable, not less.

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#45907251)

Canadian operations are firmly within the jurisdiction of the NSA.

So? They don't seem to let that keep them from spying in the US.

moving out of country makes you more hackable

Not necessarily. Hacking is easier when you can operate inside US operations, with the cooperation of management.

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (2)

BobMcD (601576) | about 7 months ago | (#45907381)

To spy in the US, though, they need a FISA rubber stamp. So there's a record of it, somewhere, supposedly.

To spy in Canada, they just need to push the button.

If it were my company, I would have all the realms under my own authority as much as possible. Nobody could be served a warrant without my knowing about it. So no data centers, vendors, or other third parties with access to my systems, and they'd need to be in the US.

This way were any of my data seized there's just cause to go looking for a copy of the warrant.

Moving it to Canada just means you've removed the necessity to get a warrant at all.

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907853)

How dare you compare FISA to a rubber stamp court? At least, rubber stamp courts are allowed to keep a record of their own rulings. FISA isn't. Please don't insult rubber stamp courts by comparing them to FISA.

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907805)

Canadian operations are firmly within the jurisdiction of the NSA.

So? They don't seem to let that keep them from spying in the US.

moving out of country makes you more hackable

Not necessarily. Hacking is easier when you can operate inside US operations, with the cooperation of management.

Pfft. Acquiring data by coercion is not hacking. Acquiring data by force is. And to that, the NSA clearly feels a lot less encumbered when they are working internationally, because they dont have the threat of legal recourse hanging over their heads. The precedent has been set, if you hack across a border it is understood that it's "no questions asked" because not only do you not want to know the answer, you don't even want to know the question. This has been going on for years between superpowers. Read any book about e-brinksmanship with China, Russia, Iran, etc for more about how tight-lipped but permissive all countries involved are.

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907553)

My sentiments exactly! I'm pretty sure that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has a close working relationship with the CIA/NSA.

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (4, Funny)

mrclisdue (1321513) | about 7 months ago | (#45907097)

You know the Canadians will roll over on you, eh?

Please, sir (I say "sir", and I apologise if you are a "ma'am", ma'am), but on behalf of all Canadians, I urge you to consider that it is "politeness, pleasantries, civility, and common courtesy" that you misinterpret as "rolling over".

We simply rush to the front and open the door for you, sir/ma'am.

I hope I haven't offended you in any way, and I apologise for taking your time.

Thank you, and all the best, Godspeed.

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (3, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#45907161)

Thank you

Thank you kindly.

Re:You Know They'll Roll Over! (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 7 months ago | (#45907275)

And that is what we call a Canadian burn, Eh!? ;)

TRUST NOBODY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45906865)

Trust nobody and you won't have to worry.

Re:TRUST NOBODY (1)

sharknado (3217097) | about 7 months ago | (#45907201)

Trust nobody and you won't have to worry.

, said the man in the tin foil hat.

Re:TRUST NOBODY (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#45907293)

What were previously known as tin foil hat types have been vindicated by recent revealed information. They've gone from being laughed at to being able to say "I told you so".

Re:TRUST NOBODY (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#45907735)

Not really.
Being crazy and then happening to be right doesn't make you less crazy.

Re: TRUST NOBODY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907841)

Yes but it enables and encourages the crazy which is never a good thing. Also, it lowers the overall sanity level which was already pretty low to begin with.

Re:TRUST NOBODY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907545)

Ha, ha. You are talking to the wrong crowd now.

Re:TRUST NOBODY (2)

bob_super (3391281) | about 7 months ago | (#45907705)

I don't trust the tin foil makers. What can I do?

Implying Canada isn't an accomplice (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45906869)

They've been doing intelligence cooperation with the US for ages, why would they be any more trustworthy?

Re:Implying Canada isn't an accomplice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907117)

Cause it Canada!! Old trusty Canada, always going against the US, oh wait there pretty much doing what there told as well.

The Houseguests Part 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45906871)

Worked in Argo.

Meaningless (5, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 7 months ago | (#45906879)

This is completely meaningless as long as any data has to traverse any network in the US. For that matter, I highly doubt that Canada or any other US ally won't actually cooperate with the NSA. This is nothing but a marketing move on Canada's part.

Not Meaningless (2)

gsslay (807818) | about 7 months ago | (#45906971)

This is completely meaningless as long as any data has to traverse any network in the US.

If I am exchanging data between Canada and any other place but the US, why would it traverse the US? If these companies want to do business with the rest of the world without being spied on by US agencies, being outside the US is a good place to start.

Whether that alone is enough is questionable, but it's a start and certainly not meaningless.

Re:Not Meaningless (2)

davecb (6526) | about 7 months ago | (#45907039)

Canada has a number of links that carefully don't pass through the US. A somewhat obvious case is the link to Cuba (;-)) That particular one started out as a 9600 baud satphone kludge between Memorial U in Newfoundland and a Cuban university.

Re:Not Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907051)

If I am exchanging data between Canada and any other place but the US, why would it traverse the US?

Take a wild guess which country the Internet's root DNS servers are located?

Re:Not Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907585)

Or you could not guess and look at the map on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] that shows that they are in many countries.

Re:Not Meaningless (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 7 months ago | (#45907635)

Take a wild guess which country the Internet's root DNS servers are located?

Sweden? [root-servers.org] Netherlands? [root-servers.org] Japan? [root-servers.org]

While the USA has a bunch of the root name servers, there's many of them elsewhere. Here's a lovely map of where they are, or at least where they were in 2007. [google.com] Assuming it's still accurate, there's 4 root nameserver instances in Canada, two each of the F and J nameservers, located in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City.

Re:Not Meaningless (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907069)

If I am exchanging data between Canada and any other place but the US, why would it traverse the US?

Because of the way the internet works.

The shortest, fastest network connection between two points isn't always geographically the shortest.

A connection between a computer in Montreal and a computer in Toronto might transit a network in New York or Chicago, because those pipes are bigger, faster & cheaper.

Although, given the Snowden leaks, there may be increased interest in routing internet traffic within the country.

Re:Meaningless (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#45907025)

Its all about the perception of their customers. US territory is tainted in the eyes of the world now.

Re:Meaningless (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | about 7 months ago | (#45907247)

US territory is tainted in the eyes of the world now.

That's the main point. The article is about Canada trying to convince companies to move, but it's pretty unlikely that Canada is the only country doing that.

Re:Meaningless (1)

a1cypher (619776) | about 7 months ago | (#45907171)

Also, as mentioned in the original post, companies like Cisco are considering moving their R&D to Canada where they will not be forced to include backdoors for the NSA. As someone whose main business is networking gear, I can see this as being a big selling feature to Cisco.

Whether the actual data that is routed through the US is safe or not doesnt matter as much as being able to assure your customers that your devices dont contain NSA backdoors.

Re:Meaningless (1)

ahodgson (74077) | about 7 months ago | (#45907437)

As long as the execs live in the US, the company will do whatever .gov wants them to do.

Re:Meaningless (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#45907759)

"where they will not be forced to include backdoors for the NSA."
paid, actually not forced.
If they move out of country, do you think they will actually stop taking money to put a back door in?

Re:Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907793)

Cisco already moved R&D to India, this is just BS$WW

Canada is already America's bitch. (5, Informative)

robot_love (1089921) | about 7 months ago | (#45906887)

Our banks will release all personal information to US law enforcement, even though this directly contravenes our Constitution.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-banks-to-be-compelled-to-share-clients-info-with-u-s-1.2437975 [www.cbc.ca]

Re:Canada is already America's bitch. (4, Informative)

MrKevvy (85565) | about 7 months ago | (#45907013)

Canada also assisted the NSA in spying [www.cbc.ca] including spying on attendees at the G20 summit in Toronto in 2010.

As this is common knowledge, I'm skeptical that any entity would trust Canada more than the U.S. with its confidential data. I certainly wouldn't.

Re:Canada is already America's bitch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907167)

didn't read the link, but unless there using this terrorism BS they have to get a warrant to search accounts or for any inquires about information

Brings up a good point tho... What other institutions are giving personal information to the NSA and US law enforcement, I am sure the Banks will use the good ole excuse "we were unaware of this, and didn't co-operate in anyway"!!

Quick Sue get the Jet ready!!!

Not my bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907197)

What you meant to say was that Canadian banks (not "your" banks - they don't work for you) will release personal information to the US government (not "America" -- the government obviously doesn't work for me if they are doing it against my will). The citizens on either side are the victims, not the aggressors. The aggressors are the governments on either side.

Re:Not my bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907257)

The banks are also aggressors given the complacency in this. They can (and rightly should) tell the US Governments to fuck themselves.

Re:Not my bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907445)

Sure, but the root of their motivation comes from government -- either they are being threatened or paid off. A business doesn't just randomly engage in behavior that doesn't help the bottom line. And giving private information to government can't possibly help their bottom line -- unless government makes it so. Their motivation to do this must come from external sources (government), one way or another.

Re:Canada is already America's bitch. (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 7 months ago | (#45907561)

I guess the question is, will Canada's citizens be more likely than US citizens to demand that their rights be upheld? Honest question: I know the likelihood of the US getting rid of the NSA is low. And 9/11 didn't happen directly to you guys. Not that one freak incident justifies 15 years of cowardice, but plenty of US citizens and politicians seem to think it does.

Fucking assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45906893)

Destroy that data or forever be my enemy.

Crazy (2)

More Trouble (211162) | about 7 months ago | (#45906909)

The NSA et al are (legally) *more* restricted in the US than abroad. While there might be congressional hearings & other hand wringing about what the NSA does in the US, foreign countries are a cyber free fire zone. Information superiority is the goal, and the NSA has huge fire power ATM.

Re:Crazy (3, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 7 months ago | (#45907083)

In other countries they must actually do 'spying' though, as opposed to just forcing companies to hand over data under threat.

Re:Crazy (1)

davecb (6526) | about 7 months ago | (#45907317)

They're trying to remove that restriction: in part because Canada objected to decisions like U.S. vs Bank of Nova Scotia, the US Internal Revenue service got a law passed requiring any bank doing business in the 'States to report on their US customers to the IRS. Canada Revenue seems to have rolled over, while the banks are doing things like warning US citizens that if they create an account they will be reported to the US taxman by the Canadian one.

Re:Crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907655)

This is because of rampant tax cheats. US citizens are *required* to report overseas income to IRS.

Re:Crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907503)

Ding ding ding. That's the key, after all, In the US, the NSA can simply serve you with a national security letter and you have little choice but to hand over your data, or else. From Canada however (or any other foreign country), while the NSA is now allowed to do all the spying they want, you're also allowed to do all the encrypting/securing you want.

Nice business opportunity. (2)

couchslug (175151) | about 7 months ago | (#45906919)

Security is an illusion people will pay for, so why not make a profit?

Why trust Canada? (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 7 months ago | (#45906925)

It seems we Canadians were playing lapdog to all this nonsense; so why would anyone send their data here. It also seems that the Canadian government is perfectly happy to send Canadian data and its citizens to face US justice. I was proud of Canada's history of protecting draft dodgers; but then we sent an Iraq dodger back and my pride died that day. Then Mark Emery thrown to the wolves by the Canadian government, and recently the Canadian government has begun sending all sorts of bank records south.

So if you put your data into a Canadian server then I suspect that the US will have full access to it a dozen different ways.

Personally if I were the head of IT for a large non North American company there are few countries that I would truly trust. For instance I might look into a Swiss IT company, but only if it were wholly Swiss owned, and only staffed by natural born Swiss citizens. But Canada, heck no.

Re:Why trust Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907019)

"Iraq dodger" - There was no draft for Iraq, no forced conscription. At least as far as we told you.

Re:Why trust Canada? (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 7 months ago | (#45907131)

There was the whole "stop loss" program, where enlistees were prevented from leaving the military after their enlistment term ended. That sounds pretty close to conscription to me. Only a lawyer would argue otherwise.

Re:Why trust Canada? (2)

davecb (6526) | about 7 months ago | (#45907341)

That didn't apply to Jean Cretien (;-)) which is probably what that comment was alluding to ...

Re:Why trust Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907439)

As a Canadian i somewhat disagree with you here.

Many of those "Iraq dodgers" were in fact ENLISTED soldiers (people who signed up). I could be off base here, but it seems odd to ENLIST, then escape to Canada when you are called to do what you were paid/trained for.

Re:Why trust Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907651)

As a Canadian i somewhat disagree with you here.

Many of those "Iraq dodgers" were in fact ENLISTED soldiers (people who signed up). I could be off base here, but it seems odd to ENLIST, then escape to Canada when you are called to do what you were paid/trained for.

My guess is that their argument was that they signed up to defend their country, and instead they were being shipped off to defend Haliburton and meddle in international politics. Of course, they probably would have done better to join the National Guard if they held these kinds of convictions.

Hey... waitaminute! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45906949)

Didn't Canadian inteligence agencies (along with the English and others) work WITH the NSA to get around the constitutional impediments to spying on Americans?

YES, when your personal data was stored here in America, the NSA reserved the right to look through it... but once the America public found about it (Thankyou Mr. Snowden), many people identified that right to be illegal and the debate started. While it might be illegal in Canada for the Canadian authorities to spy on Canadian citizens, does that necessarily make it illegal in Canada for Canadian authorities under direction from the NSA to spy on the data of non-Canadian citizens (i.e.: Americans) stored within their borders?

The more I read, the more I am convinced that in the end... Strong Cryptography for which the NSA (or anyone else) does _not_ have a backdoor may be the only way to protect privacy. I trust the math more than I trust governments.

Re:Hey... waitaminute! (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 7 months ago | (#45907177)

Cryptography can't protect all information. It can protect the content of your communications, but it can't protect the fact that you communicated. If you send an encrypted message to someone, if it's strongly-encrypted, then yes, it's very difficult to decipher the message, but the NSA will still be able to (assuming they're monitoring you, or the communications links between you and the receiver) see that you've communicated with that person. From the patterns of your communications, they can infer a lot of things.

For instance, if you exchange communications with someone who's later found to be a drug dealer, they can infer that you're probably either a customer or a supplier to him, without ever decrypted your communications with him.

Re:Hey... waitaminute! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#45907783)

Assuming the encryption doesn't have a back door see: RSA

Re:Hey... waitaminute! (1)

davecb (6526) | about 7 months ago | (#45907367)

Yes, it is indeed illegal for the Canadian Communications Security Directorate to engage with the NSA to spy on Canadians. According to the minister responsible, it's also illegal for the CSE to spy on anyone for the NSA, which they did during the G8/G20.

haha...yeah right.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45906965)

Canada has internet cables and backbone switches right? They also have undersea cables and satellites. All of that can be tapped. There is no such thing as data being safe if you are connected to the internet. We have already learned of back doors in switches, routers, firewalls, tapping of cables, backdoors in chips themselves and also intercepting hardware shipments and installing custom code as well as direct cooperation with vendors to build in backdoors.

Huh? (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 7 months ago | (#45906975)

I thought most Canadian traffic is routed through Chicago or New York...

So what (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 7 months ago | (#45906979)

US companies shouldn't be able to shirk tax laws just by going to an overseas bank. This posits a false dichotomoy, where either you're in favor of the NSA, or you think multi-national companies should be able to avoid laws and regulations they don't like by doing all their extra-legal business in Canada or the Cayman islands or where tax laws/regulations are most convenient.

Re:So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907149)

That just shows your tax laws are antiquated. They worked 30 years ago but not in this age of the internet, instant communications, and fast and easy travel anywhere in the world. If your government needs a giant spy agency just to make money, they're doing it wrong.

Re:So what (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 7 months ago | (#45907241)

US companies shouldn't be able to shirk tax laws just by going to an overseas bank.

Yes, they should. It's up to the US government's law enforcement arms to enforce tax laws within its own borders; foreigners have no obligation to help them enforce their laws. If a company is located within a country, it's pretty hard for them to move money outside the country in a way that's impossible to monitor for authorities inside that country. If the company is getting some kind of tax break by moving the money outside the country, then it's that country's responsibility to fix its own laws so that there's no tax advantage in doing so. A bank is just a place to store money, and really shouldn't affect taxation. The fact that people avoid taxes by moving money offshore just shows the system is broken and needs to be fixed, instead of bullying foreign institutions to give private banking information to the authorities.

not so simple (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 7 months ago | (#45907425)

The companies don't just transfer money from one bank account to another...it's way more complicated. One way is to pay an offshore subsidiary huge amounts of money for relatively little actual work. They can then call that a "cost" in the USA and reduce taxes owing, then show the profits in another country with lower taxes.

U.S. courts 'extradited' Canadian bank records? BS (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45906981)

That court case did nothing of the sort - it was a court case against a local US bank subsidiary asking for records of other subsidiaries in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands.

The real problem is the coming US FATCA law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Account_Tax_Compliance_Act [wikipedia.org]

This US law requires foreign banks to provide information about accounts held by Americans, or ELSE.

Canada is not generally regarded as a tax haven - there is no bank secrecy here, no secret corporate ownership and Canada isn't a low-tax jurisdiction. Our taxes are higher than most of the USA.

There is a Canada-US tax treaty, and generally speaking US citizens living in Canada don't have to pay tax to the USA since they get an IRS deduction for the taxes they pay to Canada (they don't get taxed twice on the same income).

Under US law, all US citizens have to file with the IRS every year, even if they live in a foreign country and owe nothing in taxes.

However, for a Canadian bank to provide information about US customers to the IRS (absent a crime or court order) violates Canadian privacy law. So Canadian banks are in a very difficult position:

- comply with FATCA and break Canadian law
- get permission from their US customers to hand over info to the IRS
- don't do business with US citizens living in Canada (of which there are about a million)

Re:U.S. courts 'extradited' Canadian bank records? (2)

pla (258480) | about 7 months ago | (#45907179)

- comply with FATCA and break Canadian law
- get permission from their US customers to hand over info to the IRS
- don't do business with US citizens living in Canada (of which there are about a million)


I fail to see how that puts the banks in a difficult situation. Canadian banks have no obligation to comply with US law; they do, however, have an obligation to comply with Canadian law.

The burden of compliance here rests entirely on those US citizens storing money in Canada. The Canadian banks simply need to join the EEA in telling the US to go fuck itself as regards the wholesale presumption of US hegemony over global AML regulations.

You missed the real reason... (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 7 months ago | (#45907441)

The banks do business in the USA. If the Canadian side didn't cooperate, then the American side would presumably be targeted by the government.

Re:U.S. courts 'extradited' Canadian bank records? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907489)

I fail to see how that puts the banks in a difficult situation. Canadian banks have no obligation to comply with US law; they do, however, have an obligation to comply with Canadian law.

You are correct.

However, there is the OR ELSE clause of FATCA: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-banks-to-be-compelled-to-share-clients-info-with-u-s-1.2437975 [www.cbc.ca]

If a Canadian bank (or any other foreign bank, investment dealer, etc) doesn't comply with FATCA, then the US government will apply a withholding tax of 30 per cent levied on every transaction a non-compliant bank has coming from, or even passing through, the U.S.

That is a death penalty, since most foreign banks have some operations in New York or Chicago - they trade there, they sell securities there, they have customers who buy US stocks, etc.

Most major financial institutions (at present) aren't able to not do business in the US, so they could lose 30% of every transaction passing through the US.

Will this lead to increased financial transactions in London, Hong Kong, et al and the decline of Wall Street? Maybe.

The burden of compliance here rests entirely on those US citizens storing money in Canada.

False. There is an obligation on US citizens, but there is ALSO a new requirement on the foreign banks under FATCA.

The Canadian banks simply need to join the EEA in telling the US to go fuck itself as regards the wholesale presumption of US hegemony over global AML regulations.

Actually, the EEA hasn't said that at all. Many foreign banks are choosing to not do business with US citizens since that is an easier solution.

Re:U.S. courts 'extradited' Canadian bank records? (1)

pla (258480) | about 7 months ago | (#45907661)

False. There is an obligation on US citizens, but there is ALSO a new requirement on the foreign banks under FATCA.

That only applies to banks choosing to do business in the US, whether or not the US says otherwise. Though as you point out, most banks do choose to do some of their business in the US.


Actually, the EEA hasn't said that at all. Many foreign banks are choosing to not do business with US citizens since that is an easier solution.

Nonbinding at this point, but yes, they have said exactly that [europa.eu] .

Re:U.S. courts 'extradited' Canadian bank records? (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 7 months ago | (#45907819)

Canadian banks have no obligation to comply with US law

They do if they operate in the USA. I know RBC does.

Re:U.S. courts 'extradited' Canadian bank records? (1)

davecb (6526) | about 7 months ago | (#45907195)

To be precise, the case was one in which the US required the Bank of Nova Scotia's subsidiary in the US to duplicate records from the Cayman Islands, contrary to the laws of the Caymans and also of Canada, where the Bank is chartered. That's why I put quotes around the "extradited" (;-))

If the records were already in the 'States, there wouldn't have been reason for the Bank to object to a subpoena from a US grand jury.

Returning to your post, FATCA is indeed a problem, and IMHO is a US response to tightened blocking legislation in Canada. US business would be well pleased if it caused ScotiaBank to go away.

--dave

Re:U.S. courts 'extradited' Canadian bank records? (1)

Maow (620678) | about 7 months ago | (#45907711)

That court case did nothing of the sort - it was a court case against a local US bank subsidiary asking for records of other subsidiaries in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands.

I came in here to address this issue.

An interesting quote (emphasis mine) from the linked-to case:

The nationality of the Bank is Canadian, but its presence is pervasive in the United States.[18] The Bank has voluntarily elected to do business in numerous foreign host countries and has accepted the incidental risk of occasional inconsistent governmental actions. It cannot expect to avail itself of the benefits of doing business here without accepting the concomitant obligations. As the Second Circuit noted years ago, "If the Bank cannot, as it were, serve two masters and comply with the lawful requirements both of the United States and Panama, perhaps it should surrender to one sovereign or the other the privileges received therefrom."

Over all I do hope that more data is moved to Canada (hence more jobs here), and the Canadian governments, federal and provincial, strengthen their determination (and regulations) to keep sensitive citizens' data out of the USA.

How about a nice, fat trans-Canada fibre optic cable, all within our borders? I imagine the spending on the advertisements for the "Canada Action Plan" would've paid for a good deal of it...

great way to recover from a stumble (1)

Cardoor (3488091) | about 7 months ago | (#45906989)

ever walk down the street, and stumble, but mid-way turn it into a move that some part of you thinks will convince on-lookers that you did it on purpose? like you were just testing out a new dance move for the clubs? what - you mean those thousands of broken spent fuel rod assemblies? yeah - it's cool.. oh - and if you ask questions in japan on this, off to jail you go!

Re:great way to recover from a stumble (1)

Cardoor (3488091) | about 7 months ago | (#45907005)

oops - wrong story tab open.. delete...

Re:great way to recover from a stumble (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907077)

Sorry dude, it didn't work. Lemme try: delete.

Anything yet?

Hang on, lemme try again: DELETE!!

dang...

Re:great way to recover from a stumble (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907409)

What was that, a mid-way turn to convince us you were not posting GP on purpose? Some meta thing?

Corporations control congress right? (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 7 months ago | (#45907031)

Don't large corporations control congress? Don't congress members want to stay in the good graces of corporations so they continue to get campaign donations and board positions upon retirement from public service?

Why aren't large corporations pressuring congress to reign in the NSA?

Who's holding the puppet strings?

Re:Corporations control congress right? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 7 months ago | (#45907065)

What does the corruption of the US Congress have to do with the marketing decisions of Canada's Prime Minister? One thing Canada is quite clear on: They aren't the US, and never will be.

Re:Corporations control congress right? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 7 months ago | (#45907087)

Why aren't large corporations pressuring congress to reign in the NSA?

Amongst those "large corporations" are companies that are suppliers to the NSA (people, equipment, etc.) and they have better contacts within Congress than the Silicon Valley companies that suffer due to the NSA's activities.

Re:Corporations control congress right? (1)

davecb (6526) | about 7 months ago | (#45907497)

They're voting with their feet. That tends to make their complaints look fairly serious to the US congress.

Welcome to your data (5, Insightful)

alexhs (877055) | about 7 months ago | (#45907045)

American citizens, come and host your data on canadian soil !
Therefore, it will technically be foreign data.
Therefore, the NSA will be able to spy on it without trespassing any law regulating spying on its own citizens.
Thanks for your cooperation.

The more the merrier (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#45907095)

Link is broken (1)

torsmo (1301691) | about 7 months ago | (#45907099)

companies dont care about customer data. (3, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 7 months ago | (#45907115)

The argument is premised on the idea that Americas largest multinational corporations are somehow so divorced from the legislative and governance process of the United States as to need to seek asylum in a foreign country.

companies only care about customer data if consumer market research data indicates negative shifts in earnings as a result of their inability to assauage customers of the validity, sanctity and security of their data. A prime example is the Target scandal recently. the cost to shore up security was probably much greater than the cost to issue apologies in the media. Target further mitigated the impact by using weasel words like "may have" or "possibly" when describing the outcome of their data breech. This in turn led the financial companies beholden to the cardholders to issue, of course, similar statements with a key advisory to "watch" your credit card, not to replace it which while effective would have been vastly more expensive for the financial company.

when companies face any real backlash from their customers, they legislate their way around it through the appropriate channels. AT&T demanded immunity from Bush wiretapping and received it. had they cared about your data, they would have fought the government to eliminate warrantless surveillance of this kind. But the law is ever on their side as they are the ones who craft it. Verizon lobbied extensively for stricter laws protecting arbitration clauses. They did it in response to a string of class action lawsuits related to overbilling customers. had they cared about the letter of the law, they would have made major changes and improvements to their billing system that prevented the plaintiffs from suffering the ridiculous mischarges in the first place.

You can rule out any ECHELON affliated countries (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | about 7 months ago | (#45907139)

No secret that the NSA works with Canada, New Zealand, UK and Australia on ECHELON so anything in those jurisdictions is easily subject to acquisition. Equally easy would be any jurisdiction in Commonwealth countries or countries that are desiring entry into the Commonwealth who would allow this on their soil just to curry favor with the UK.

NSA has no borders (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 7 months ago | (#45907151)

What makes you think a hacked Cisco border router plugged into the Internet is any more secure in Canada? It's just a couple more hops, that is all.

Re:NSA has no borders (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 7 months ago | (#45907811)

the "thought" is that Cisco was being forced to write compromised code...

Trust no-one. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#45907159)

If you really care about keeping that data confidential, keep it in your own computers! If a government agency wants it, at least then you'll probably find out.

A good way to get the NSA to read your data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907187)

Anything crossing the border can be seized and inspected without a warrant. It wouldn't surprise me if this system was set up by the NSA or RCMP to get stupid bad guys to fall for it.

What Good is Data Not Shared? (1)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about 7 months ago | (#45907189)

No matter where you move it, if you're sharing it on the internet there's a good chance it will touch some fiber or cable that is US jurisdiction. If that happens it can be seen, stored, and spied on at the NSA's leisure. Nothing is fixed, it's all PR smoke and mirrors.

Five Eyes (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907205)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UKUSA [wikipedia.org]

Spoiler alert: Canada is one of them.

Catch22 (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 months ago | (#45907267)

Its an interesting catch22; moving the data out of the US theorectically elevates the legitimacy of any NSA attack on it, since its now a legitimate attack on 'foreign signals'.

On the other hand thanks to the rampant domestic abuse, and undermining of local legal protection, at least moving it outside the country requires the NSA actually attack it rather than just help themselves.

All that is assuming the Canadian's won't be complict sharing the data; but to my knowledge at least, that would still require somebody attack it as Canada doesn't seem to have quite the same degree of "give us your all data, don't tell anyone you are doing it, because: national security".

Is it a marketing move? Absolutely.

But it does still have some real impact; and really if you want the US to change its habits, an economic angle is really the best way to get their attention.

FTC (1)

AndyKron (937105) | about 7 months ago | (#45907413)

If a company has rights, it also has the obligation to fight for it's rights, not run to Canada. Those companies shouldn't be allowed to operate in the USA.

Retaliation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45907607)

Canada is most likely in violation of US law by providing "sanctuary" to US data. It will be interesting to see where this goes, especially if other countries start doing the same thing. I can see the OFAC list getting a lot longer.

Bank of Nova Scotia case (1)

Quila (201335) | about 7 months ago | (#45907641)

Somebody didn't bother reading his own link. There, information was requested from the American branch of a Canadian bank, seeking information about American customers where the files resided in the Caymans.

Totally irrelevant if you're a "US company"... (3, Informative)

BUL2294 (1081735) | about 7 months ago | (#45907757)

So unless Google, Facebook, and the like are no longer going to be US-based companies (which I doubt will happen, especially given that they are publicly traded), and decide to shut down all operations in the US, things like the Patriot Act & wiretapping laws would still compel these companies to hand over data, despite the data center sitting on Canadian soil--or anywhere else in the world... Remember that Microsoft refused to answer questions about whether law enforcement had backdoors into Skype calls, after M$ picked up Skype. Pre-takeover, when Skype was an Estonian company, US-required backdoors didn't exist & couldn't be compelled, so the NSA had to hack to get the data...
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