Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More



Cablegate: Information On Host Government Practices -

DE RUEHOT #2029/01 3091443
P 051443Z NOV 07




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 133921

1. (SBU) Officials of the Canadian Border Services Agency
(CBSA) declined to meet with Emboffs to discuss elements of
their border practices in time to meet the deadline for
responding to reftel. The entire issue of "Watch-listing" is
extremely politically sensitive in Canada. Therefore,
responses below are based on observation and interaction of
various Embassy offices with their Canadian counterparts.

2. (SBU) Responses are linked to para six of reftel.

A. Watchlisting:

-- the current Canadian Watchlist contains approximately 2000
records. We have no breakdown of the watchlist by content.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) maintains
the watchlist.

B. Traveler Information Collection:

-- What are the country's policies (legislation, mandates,
etc.) on collecting information from travelers arriving in
the country?: Essentially the same as the United States.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

-- Are there different policies for air, sea, and land entry
and for domestic flights?: Policies are not officially
different. But data collection is more thorough at the air
and sea ports of entry than the land border.

-- Who collects traveler information?: CBSA

-- What are the policies of the collecting agency to share
that information with foreign governments?: Canadian privacy
laws severely limit information-sharing with regard to
Canadian citizens or persons with a legal status in Canada.
Information on others is more freely shared.

-- Does the host government collect Passenger Name Record
(PNR) data on incoming commercial flights or vessels? Is
this data used for intelligence or law enforcement purposes
to screen travelers? Does host government have any existing
treaties to share PNR data?: Canada collects PNR data, but
we have no information as to the extent this data is used for
screening travelers.

-- If applicable, have advance passenger information systems
(APIS), interactive advanced passenger information systems
(IAPIS), or electronic travel authority systems been
effective at detecting other national security threats, such
as wanted criminals?: Not available.

C. Border Control and Screening:

-- Does the host government employ software to screen
travelers of security interest?: Yes. National Record
Assessment Center (NRAC)

-- Are all travelers tracked electronically, or only
non-host- country nationals? What is the frequency of
travelers being "waived through" because they hold up what
appears to be an appropriate document, but whose information
is not actually recorded electronically? What is the
estimated percentage of non-recorded crossings, entries and
exits?: All travelers are tracked only at entry. All
travelers are entering by land or sea are entered
electronically. The majority of land entries are entered

-- Do host government border control officials have the
authority to use other criminal data when making decisions on
who can enter the country? If so, please describe this
authority (legislation, mandates, etc): Yes. CBSA has MOU's
with responsible agencies to use their information in making
entry decisions.

-- What are the host government's policies on questioning,
detaining and denying entry to individuals presenting
themselves at a point of entry into the country? Which
agency would question, detain, or deny entry?: CBSA has the
authority and its practices are similar to those in the
United States.

-- How well does information-sharing function within the
host government, e.g., if there is a determination that
Qhost government, e.g., if there is a determination that
someone with a valid host government visa is later identified
with terrorism, how is this communicated and resolved
internally?: Interagency cooperation is not particularly
good within the Canadian bureaucracy.

D. Biometric Collection:

OTTAWA 00002029 002 OF 003

-- Are biometric systems integrated for all active POEs?
What are the systems and models used?: No, they are still
being integrated.

-- Are all passengers screened for the biometric or does the
host government target a specific population for collection
(i.e. host country nationals)? Do the biometric collection
systems look for a one to one comparison (ensure the
biometric presented matches the one stored on the e-Passport)
or one to many comparison (checking the biometric presented
against a database of known biometrics)?: No

-- If biometric systems are in place, does the host
government know of any countermeasures that have been used or
attempted to defeat biometric checkpoints?: Not available.

-- What are the host government's policies on collecting the
fingerprints of travelers coming into the country?:
Fingerprints may only be collected for specific reasons such
as Refugee Applicant, Suspected Criminal.

-- Which agency is responsible for the host government's
fingerprint system?: Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

-- Are the fingerprint programs in place NIST, INT-I, EFTS,
UK1 or RTID compliant?: Not available.

-- Are the fingerprints collected as flats or rolled? Which
agency collects the fingerprints?: Either process may be
used depending on the circumstances. CBSA collects the
prints at the Port of Entry.

E. Passports:

-- If the host government issues a machine-readable passport
containing biometric information, does the host government
share the public key required to read the biometric
information with any other governments? If so, which
governments?: There is no sharing.

-- Does the host government issue replacement passports for
full or limited validity (e.g. the time remaining on the
original passports, fixed validity for a replacement, etc.)?:
Except for temporary, emergency passports, replacement
passports are issued for a full validity. They are
considered new passports.

-- Does the host government have special
regulations/procedures for dealing with "habitual" losers of
passports or bearers who have reported their passports stolen
multiple times?: There is no basis for denying issuance of a
passport except for a violation of law.

-- Are replacement passports of the same or different
appearance and page length as regular passports (do they have
something along the lines of our emergency partial duration
passports)?: Replacement passports are considered fully
valid new passports. There is a short validity emergency
passport issued by overseas offices that has a different

-- Do emergency replacement passports contain the same or
fewer biometric fields as regular-issue passports?:
Emergency passports have no biometric fields.

-- Where applicable, has Post noticed any increase in the
number of replacement or "clean" (i.e. no evidence of prior
travel) passports used to apply for U.S. visas?: Canadian
citizens do not need a visa to enter the United States.

-- Are replacement passports assigned a characteristic
number series or otherwise identified?: No

F. Fraud Detection

-- How robust is fraud detection and how actively are
instances of fraud involving documents followed up?: It is
reasonably robust. On an individual basis, there is limited
follow-up. Where a pattern is detected or where individual
fraud appears as a component for a larger issue, there is
significant investigation.

-- How are potentially fraudulently issued documents taken
out of circulation, or made harder to use?: The documents
Qout of circulation, or made harder to use?: The documents
are seized and entered into the CBSA Fraudulent Document

G. Privacy and Data Security

-- What are the country's policies on records related to the

OTTAWA 00002029 003 OF 003

questioning, detention, or removal of individuals encountered
at points of entry into the country? How are those records
stored, and for how long?: All records are covered by the
Access To Information and Privacy Act. All records are
stored in the Field Operation Support System (FOSS). We have
no information on retention policies.

-- What are the country's restrictions on the collection or
use of sensitive data?: Restrictions are based on the Access
To Information and Privacy Act, which severely restricts the
use or sharing of any collected data.

-- What are the requirements to provide notice to the public
on the implementation of new databases of records?: Not

-- Are there any laws relating to security features for
government computer systems that hold personally identifying
information?: Yes. Access To Information and Privacy Act.

-- What are the rules on an individual's ability to access
data that homeland security agencies hold about them?: A
Canadian citizen can request copies of data that government
agencies hold on him except in the case of security-related
data. But the standards of withholding data are very high.

-- Are there different rules for raw data (name, date of
birth, etc.) versus case files (for example, records about
enforcement actions)?: No

-- Does a non-citizen/resident have the right to sue the
government to obtain these types of data?: Yes

Visit our shared North American Partnership blog (Canada & Mexico) at


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.