Corporate watching

Published: Tuesday 31 August 2004

British Columbia Government and Employees Union

If us corporates get access to confidential information about citizens of other countries, will they run to their country's fbi and tell all? That spectre is bothering government workers in British Columbia, a Canadian province, where ibm Canada has bagged a contract, which may give it access to virtually all files handled by the government.

The British Columbia Government and Employees Union (bcgeu) flashed an alert on its website in July 2004 and "demanded answers" from the provincial government regarding a contract to ibm Canada, which privatises desktop support for all government employees' computers.

bcgeu is concerned that us companies like ibm Canada who get contracts to handle Canadian citizens' confidential information may be forced by new security laws to share it with us authorities, including the fbi. According to the contract, ibm Canada may get to handle services like help desk support, administration and technical support in all government ministries.

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