By Greg Quinn for Bloomberg (thanks to Twostellas):
Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) — Canada asked the U.S. to exempt passengers on overseas flights that cross U.S. airspace from checks against watch lists, saying the nations already cooperate on air security and the checks may violate privacy.
Already, flights between Canadian cities that cut through U.S. airspace to save time are exempt from the Department of Homeland Security’s planned `Secure Flight Program,’ Canadian Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon said today in a statement. Canada filed a written request for the broader exemption.
“In light of our complementary security systems and the security cooperation of Canada and the United States, and the relative risk, we believe that there are excellent security grounds for the proposed Secure Flight Program to exempt all flights to, from and within Canada that overfly the United States,” Cannon said from Ottawa.
Canada also is worried the U.S. may gather information on Canadians without their consent, a principle “central” to the country’s privacy laws, according to a background paper that accompanied the statement. The U.S. list might be used to track people “beyond those who pose a threat to aviation security,” the paper said.
That’s a legitimate concern. So also, of course, is the possibility of jihadists entering the U.S. from Canada.