(Ottawa) A lawyer says a digital document containing confidential national security information was left at his doorstep without a signature being asked for or a password given.
Benjamin Perrymann represents a Hungarian Roma couple – Attila and Andrea Kiss – who have been criticized by Canadian authorities for discriminating on the basis of race, by revoking their “electronic travel authorization” at Budapest Airport in 2019.
The federal government denies the allegation.
In April, the Federal Court of Appeals ordered the Minister of Immigration to send confidential documents containing selection criteria using a secure delivery system to the parties involved in the case.
Me Perryman, who teaches constitutional law at the University of New Brunswick, says the FedEx distribution service has simply left a small disc on its doorstep in Halifax. The document is not encrypted and does not require a password. No one asked for his signature to indicate that he had received it.
Canadian Publishing House saw photos of an envelope embedded in the door.
According to the lawyer, this distribution system contradicts the claims of the federal government – the release of indicators – used to screen irregular immigrants before coming to the country – is detrimental to national security.
“Canada says there is significant harm if the material falls into the wrong hands,” he said.e Perryman. I come home and find it on my doorstep, outside. Package theft is common in Canada, especially in my neighborhood. This is not a remote possibility. ”
The Immigration Department said the government “takes privacy and security issues very seriously.”
“Procedures are in place for sending court documents and protecting privacy and confidential information. All employees will be re-urged to ensure that this does not happen again,” spokesman Jeffrey McDonald said.
This document contained a cover letter stating that the court had granted permission to send the document in CD-ROM format.e Perryman. However, it is not encrypted.
This is not the first incident involving the lawyer and his clients.
According to the manager of the Border Services Organization of Canada, the governmente Perryman files with “confidential information”. Agents tried to cover them up using Microsoft pain software, but they were found using the mouse.
Then a judge saide Perryman to delete files. The lawyer shared them with Capor Lucas, chairman of the Passenger Rights Committee.
These are the files recovered by the lawyer. Mr. Lukax also received an envelope issued by FedEx on the same terms as the Nova Scotia attorney.
Lucas believes federal officials are trying to use “national security as a smokescreen to cover up racism,” an accusation the government denies.
He also provided documents from access to the information request that he received in the unpredictable form of the same blackout text from the Canada Border Services Agency.
Other Western countries often publish their selection criteria, which are mostly in the public domain, he said.
Me Perryman argues that opaque governments justify withholding information under the guise of national security. This may have implications for fundamental rights.
“This approach denies all Canadians the ability to truly see the work of the court and evaluate Canada’s policies, whether they discriminate against travelers or not.” On behalf of Canada. “”
When asked about the reasons for keeping the security indicators secret, the Border Services Agency authorizes the Minister to appeal against any decision that requires disclosure, citing a section of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. “Information that is detrimental to national security or the security of others”.
Agency spokeswoman Rebecca Boordi wrote: “No comment will be made on this matter.”