letter: shielding our democracy from intrusive technology

july 1, 1972 (50 years ago) become a momentous day in ottawa. after running lots of hours and visiting lots of miles to assess other computer systems, the layout team of the rcmp’s canadian police statistics centre (cpic) had the world’s 2d biggest computer machine prepared to go on line.

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meanwhile, loads of miles to the west, close to golden, b.c., a police officer, driven by means of that ‘2d sight’ that so many possess, believed something was no longer proper approximately the auto ahead of him. he despatched the licence plate range to rcmp headquarters in ottawa. the variety become entered into the brand new cpic laptop machine and turned into found to belong to a stolen vehicle.

my husband became part of that cpic design and implementation crew. at the farewell dinner, whilst the group was disbanded, he remarked that the crew contributors have been given a privilege – that their work had made the sector a better vicinity. as a professor of criminology advised me many years later, the cpic gadget turned into 2d handiest to finger printing in supporting police paintings in canada.

of course, the big warehouse-like cpic facility full of fridge-sized computer systems has been substantially reduced as technology has advanced through the years and the police are able to music far extra than simply licence plates now.

yet we must withstand the use of generation designed to recognize criminals in opposition to everyday residents voicing their competition in a democracy. my husband and i have lived and labored in a police state inside the center east for near 10 years and we recognize what government, the usage of generation to govern its citizens, is like.

we need to shield canada from slipping blindly and insidiously into totalitarianism.

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