Vancouver, B.C. – The BCCLA is endorsing the statement of Canadian and International researchers who study “mega-event” security. Surveillance and privacy experts have called on Canada to “moderate the escalation of security measures for Vancouver 2010” and to be as transparent as possible about security and surveillance practices. The statement also calls for an independent and public audit of Olympic security and surveillance measures post-Games and to have full and open public discussions about proposed “legacies” such as public video surveillance. .
Originally estimated at $175 million, the security budget for the 2010 Games is now approximately $1 billion. The BCCLA successfully garnered assurances from the Vancouver
Police Department that it would not use recently acquired sonic weapons on Olympic protesters and has established the first independent Olympics legal observer program to monitor the security and policing of Olympic protesters. But there remain many questions regarding security measures planned and some that may linger on after the Olympics. Robert Holmes, President of the BCCLA: “The Olympics presents security challenges. But security measures must always be proportionate. Citizens’ rights must be guaranteed. We must not allow “extraordinary” security and surveillance measures to become our new norm.
After the APEC fiasco in Vancouver 12 years ago, Commissioner Hughes reported that, “The fact that a visiting leader may be merely upset or angered by the expression of contrary political views and criticism by Canadians does not justify the suppression of such expression.” He found the police crackdown there inappropriate and said it did not show “respect for the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” We should not repeat mistakes – we should learn from them.”
For the Vancouver Statement of Surveillance, Security and Privacy Researchers about the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games see: