Vancouver Statement

The Vancouver Statement of Surveillance, Security and Privacy Researchers about the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

As researchers from Canada and the wider world, who are conducting research on the global security dynamics of mega-events, we agree:

  • that the Olympic Games should be a celebration of human achievement, friendship and trust between people and nations.

However, having analyzed past and planned Olympics and other mega events, from a variety of historical and international perspectives, we recognize:

  • that recent Games have increasingly taken place in and contributed to a climate of fear, heightened security and surveillance; and

  • that this has often been to the detriment of democracy, transparency and human rights, with serious implications for international, national and local norms and laws.
  • Therefore, we ask the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada:

    • to moderate the escalation of security measures for Vancouver 2010 and to strive to respect the true spirit of the event;

  • to be as open as possible about the necessary security and surveillance practices and rationales to withdraw temporary bylaws that restrict Charter rights of freedom of speech and assembly;
  • to work constructively with the Provincial and Federal Privacy Commissioners;
  • to respect the rights of all individuals and groups, whether they be local people or visitors, and pay particular attention to the impacts on vulnerable people;
  • to conduct a full, independent public assessment of the security and surveillance measures, once the Games are over, addressing their costs (financial and otherwise), their effectiveness, and lessons to be learned for future mega-events;
  • not to assume a permanent legacy of increased video surveillance and hardened security measures in the Vancouver/Whistler area, and to have full and open public discussion on any such proposed legacy.
  • We hope that these recommendations will contribute to a unique and positive Olympic legacy by which Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada will be remembered for setting the highest ethical standards.

    November 23, 2009

    For further information, contact:

    Richard Smith, e-mail: smith@sfu.ca tel: 778-782-5116; or

    Colin Bennett, e-mail: cjb@uvic.ca tel: 250 721-7495

    The “signatories” for this statement include, as of 11am November 27 (see below):

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    La déclaration de Vancouver des chercheurs sur la surveillance, la sécurité et la vie privée propos des Jeux olympiques de 2010 à Vancouver

    En tant que chercheurs canadiens et internationaux effectuant des recherches sur la dynamique globale de la sécurité lors de grands événements, nous estimons que:

    • Les Jeux olympiques doivent marquer la célébration des prouesses humaines, de l’amitié et de la confiance entre les individus et les nations.

    Cependant, ayant analysé les Jeux olympiques et autres grands événements passés à partir de perspectives historiques et internationales, nous reconnaissons que:

    • Les Jeux récents ont on contribué à instaurer un climat de peur, de sécurité accrue et de surveillance et que

  • Cette tendance s’est réalisée au détriment de la démocratie, de la transparence et des droits humains, induisant ainsi de sérieuses implications sur les plans des normes et lois internationales, nationaux et locaux.
  • En conséquence, nous demandons à la ville de Vancouver, à la province de la Colombie-Britannique et au gouvernement du Canada:

    • de modérer l’escalade des mesures de sécurité pour les jeux d’hiver de 2010 et de veiller à faire respecter le véritable esprit olympique;

  • d’être aussi francs et ouverts que possible à propos du déploiement et de la justification des nécessaires pratiques de sécurité et de surveillance;
  • de retirer les règlements temporaires restreignant les droits enchâssés des libertés d’expression et de rassemblement;
  • de travailler de façon constructive avec les commissaires provincial et fédéral de protection de la vie privée;
  • de respecter les droits des individus et des groupes, que ce soit des gens locaux ou des visiteurs, et de porter une attention particulière aux impacts potentiels sur les gens vulnérables;
  • d’effectuer, une fois les Jeux terminés, une enquête publique indépendante et complète sur les mesures de sécurité et de surveillance afin d’en déterminer les coûts (financiers et autres), l’efficacité et les leçons à en tirer pour l’organisation de futurs grands événements;
  • de ne pas supposer un legs permanent de surveillance vidéo accrue et de mesures de sécurité plus sévères dans la région de Vancouver/Whistler, et de tenir des débats publics sur toute tentative de créer un tel héritage.
  • Nous espérons que ces recommandations contribueront à créer un climat olympique unique et positif par lequel Vancouver, la Colombie-Britannique et le Canada seront reconnus pour avoir conçu et appliqué les plus hautes normes éthiques en matière de sécurité et de surveillance.

    Le 23 novembre 2009

    Pour de plus amples renseignements:

    Richard Smith
    Courriel: smith@sfu.ca
    Téléphone: 778-782-5116;

    Colin Bennett
    Courriel: cjb@uvic.ca
    Téléphone: 250 721-7495

    Les signataires de cette déclaration, en date du 27 novembre:

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    David Lyon
    Professor
    Sociology
    Queen’s University

    Minas Samatas
    Professor
    Sociology
    University of Crete, Greece

    Kevin Haggerty
    Associate Professor
    Sociology
    University of Alberta

    Colin Bennett
    Professor
    Political Science
    University of Victoria

    Richard Smith
    Professor
    School of Communication
    Simon Fraser University

    David Murakami Wood
    Associate Professor
    Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Surveillance Studies
    Surveillance Studies Centre
    Department of Sociology
    Queen’s University, Ontario

    Andrew Clement
    Professor
    Faculty of Information
    University of Toronto

    Laureen Snider
    Professor
    Sociology
    Queen’s University

    Gary T. Marx
    Professor Emeritus of Sociology
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

    Dr. Stefanie Baasch
    Social researcher
    Hamburg, Germany

    Adam Molnar
    Doctoral Student
    Political Science
    University of Victoria

    Kate Milberry
    Post-doctoral Fellow
    Faculty of Information
    University of Toronto

    Chris Parsons
    Doctoral Student
    Political Science
    University of Victoria

    Martin French
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    University of Toronto

    Pablo Ouziel
    Doctoral Student
    Political Science
    University of Victoria

    Christopher Shaw
    University of British Columbia

    Clayton A. Wilson
    Graduate Student
    School of Communication
    Simon Fraser University

    Rosamunde van Brakel
    Doctoral Student
    University of Sheffield, UK

    Jason Burke
    PhD Student
    University of Toronto

    John A. Noakes
    Associate Professor of Sociology
    Director, Criminal Justice Program
    Arcadia University

    Chiara Fonio
    Researcher
    Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
    Milano, Italy

    ----------

    Jason Burke
    PhD Student
    University of Toronto

    Ian Kerr
    Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law & Technology
    Faculty of Law : Faculte de droit
    Common Law Section : Section Common Law
    University of Ottawa : Universite d' Ottawa

    Sandra Robinson
    PhD student
    Sociology
    Queen's University

    Dr David Barnard-Wills
    Research Fellow
    Department of Informatics and Sensors
    Cranfield University
    Shrivenham, Swindon, SN6 8LA

    Rodrigo José Firmino
    Associate Professor
    Postgraduate Programme in Urban Management
    Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil

    Richard S. Rosenberg
    Professor Emeritus, Department of Computer Science
    University of British Columbia
    President, BC Freedom of Information and Association
    Vancouver, BC

    Martin R. Dowding, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Communication Studies
    Wilfrid Laurier University
    Waterloo Ontario

    Erik Bordeleau
    Post-doctoral Fellow
    Art History and Communication Studies
    McGill University in

    Leslie Regan Shade
    Associate Professor
    Dept. of Communication Studies, Concordia University
    Montreal

    Douglas Schuler
    The Public Sphere Project

    Michael Andrew Lithgow
    PhD student
    Communications
    Carleton University

    Joseph Savirimuthu
    Director of Laureate On-Line Degrees
    Liverpool Law School
    University of Liverpool

    Victoria Paraschak
    Associate professor
    Dept of Kinesiology
    University of Windsor

    Duncan Sanderson
    Planning and Research Officer
    SQETGC
    Montreal

    Stuart R. Poyntz, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    School of Communication
    Simon Fraser University

    Robert Bragg
    Associate Professor
    Faculty of Communication
    Mount Royal University
    Calgary, AB

    Matthew Farish
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Geography
    University of Toronto

    Massimo Ragnedda
    Resercher
    Università degli Studi di Sassari
    Sassari, Italy

    Alanur Cavlin Bozbeyoglu
    Visiting Post Doctoral Researcher
    The Surveillance Studies Centre
    Dept of Sociology
    Queen’s University

    Jacqueline Kennelly, PhD
    SSHRC Post-doctoral Fellow
    University of Cambridge
    Adjunct Research Professor
    Carleton University

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