Survey Reveals Canadians are Less Concerned about Online Surveillance When Compared to Americans

By: Ali Raza  |   August 31st, 2013   |   Living, News, O Canada, Social Media

When former NSA contractor Michael Snowden revealed that all major technology companies in the US have given the National Security Agency access to user data, the allegedly involved companies immediately came under fire from both analysts and the general public. The anger in the US came from the fact that Americans have a culture of privacy protection and violation of online privacy is a major concern. However, in contrast to Americans, Canadians are different when it comes to online privacy. This could be judged from the latest survey from The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) which revealed that Canadians are less concerned about their online privacy as compared to Americans.


According to the CIRA’s survey, half of the Canadians surveyed did not have any problem with the government monitoring their online activities such as emails, chats and more under some circumstance. But the most interesting thing which CIRA’s survey divulged was that when Canadians were asked that if the government monitor their activities under “future terrorist attacks,” circumstance the percentage of the people in favour jumped up to 77 percent, which was remarkable.


The CIRA decided to conduct this survey from Canadians after Snowden fiasco in order to now the views of the people. The results of the survey were pretty shocking for the organization:


“The results are startling enough that CIRA is calling for a national dialogue on the subject. CIRA’s survey results are especially disturbing given that that unlike with phone taps or the opening of mail, both of which require a warrant, online surveillance often happens without transparent judicial oversight – and yet appear to be raising relatively little concern.”


The CEO of CIRA, Byron Holland said that, “Trust is the foundation that supports all transactions—social, financial and at the Domain Name System—on the Internet. When an uninvited third party is introduced into those transactions it erodes that trust. It erodes all that has enabled the Internet to be the greatest driver of positive social and economic change in centuries.”


Therefore, CIRA believes that Canadians apathy for the online surveillance is nothing more than ignorance, as only 18 percent of the people said during the survey that online activities are confidential, while 40 percent of them think that government is monitoring them.


Shedding light on the survey the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, Michael Geist said, “These are discouraging but important results. As much of the world is engaged in a fierce debate over surveillance, Canadian complacency is a major issue. It speaks to the need for greater public education and awareness of current surveillance activities, oversight programs, and the implications for privacy and freedom of expression for all Canadians.”


Source: TechVibes

Photo: PinOpinion

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