Canadian police spying on anti-Olympics groups sparks debate

Jamie Graham

Jamie Graham

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Intense debate has been sparked in Canada by the revelation that local police departments are actively spying on peaceful citizen groups opposing the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, due to be held in Vancouver in February. The surprise disclosure was made by Victoria Police chief Jamie Graham, during his keynote speech at the Vancouver International Security Conference, a closed-door event held earlier this month to discuss emergency management and public safety arrangements for the Games. Speaking at the Conference, Graham, who formerly was Chief of Vancouver Police, revealed that law enforcement operatives planted among an anti-Olympics protest group an undercover officer, who posed as the driver of a leased bus and drove the group to an anti-Olympics demonstration. The revelation suggests that police operatives were aware of the group’s intention to attend the rally and that they negotiated with a private bus company, eventually gaining permission to have a police officer act as one of the company’s drivers, with all the insurance ramifications that the move entailed. Several known surveillance incidents in recent times suggest an increase in domestic intelligence operations in Canada after 9/11, involving both human and electronic spying. Late last month, Border Services Agency officials detained US investigative journalist Amy Goodman for 90 minutes, because they were concerned she was visiting Canada to cover anti-Olympics activities. After questioning her extensively and searching her belongings, the officials allowed Goodman to enter Canada on condition she left the country within 48 hours.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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