Researchers Call For Olympics Surveillance Assessment

A group of Canadian and international surveillance researchers, including several from the University of Victoria, has called for transparency for Olympic Games security and surveillance practices and rationales, and an independent public assessment of security and surveillance measures once the games are over.
         The request to the City of Vancouver, Province of BC and Government of Canada are part of a statement on surveillance, security and privacy drafted by researchers who have examined the impact of mega-events in their own countries and communities.
         “There has been lots of research on the economic costs and benefits of the Olympic Games; we went to focus on the Games’ impact on privacy and civil liberties,” says Colin Bennett, a UVic political scientist and signatory to the statement. “We want Vancouver/Whistler to avoid the worst legacies from previous games.”
         The statement also asks that the escalation of security measures be moderated and that organizers not assume that the Games legacy will be increased video surveillance and hardened security measures in the Vancouver/Whistler area. The statement expresses hope that the 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.
         To view the full statement and list of signatories visit

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Media contacts

Colin Bennett (Political Science) at 250-721-7495 or

Patty Pitts (UVic Communications) at 250-721-7656 or

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Keywords: researchers, olympics, surveillance, assessment

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