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In Canada, some people may not feel too alarmed by the revelations that Edward Snowden has brought to the public eye. For one, this is the work of the US Government, not the Canadian government. But it is crucial to remember that the respective sovereignty of citizens on the internet is blurry at best. For example, here is a map of where your communications go when you visit Facebook from, say, Toronto.
None of the data a Canadian stores on Facebook—their photos, check-ins, private messages, friends list, or event attendance records—is saved within Canada. This is all data that is living inside of American servers. For all intents and purposes, the internet as we know it is American owned. There is no Canadian alternative to Facebook that’s stored on encrypted servers, running from an ice floe somewhere in the arctic. We have willingly begun to trust all of our online conversations to American corporations, in an environment where the government has decided to break down the back doors of these websites and examine whatever they want, whenever they want. The same goes for Google.
What’s more is that the NSA is defending this leak by stating PRISM is only used to target non-US Citizens; a fact that should make PRISM even more concerning for Canadians.