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CEP Union Calls on Ottawa to Address Verizon’s National Security Concerns

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After publicly stating their opposition to wireless rules favouring Verizon, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) union, which has 110,000 members, has now demanded Ottawa investigate how Verizon could affect national security, based on one small part of the Canada Investment Act, which calls on the Industry Minister to evaluate and review any potential national security concerns when a foreign company enter Canada:

“Canadians need to know that their government is reviewing Verizon’s potential threat to national security, and what steps the U.S. company will have to take to mitigate any concerns,” says CEP President Dave Coles. “In their bid to woo Verizon, we hope the Harper government isn’t ignoring its responsibility to do a security review.”

The CEP details how Verizon was implicated in the National Security Agency (NSA) PRISM program and also cites the company’s “close” involvement with the U.S. military. Further scenarios include Verizon handing over personal information of Canadians if asked under the U.S. Patriot Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The CEP says boycotting Verizon won’t allow you to “sleep easy either”, because you’re never going to ever be safe if the company enters Canada since it will be able to use shared incumbent networks:

“Canadians who boycott Verizon out of fear that their personal information could be delivered to U.S. authorities will not necessarily be able to sleep easy either,” says Coles. “The government’s mandatory access rule gives Verizon the right to use the major Canadian telecom companies’ wireless networks, which currently carry some of the country’s most secure and private communications.”

Coles calls on the Industry Minister to take action now before it’s too late and our national security is compromised. Similar arguments have been posed by incumbents over Verizon and how it will affect privacy of Canadians.

Are you going to be able to sleep at night now, after knowing what Verizon could do with your information?

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