'Strangely Easy to Obtain': Canadian Passport Security, 1933-73

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Since December 1999 when an Algerian member of Al Qaeda was arrested at the US border carrying a fraudulently obtained Canadian passport, the issue of Canadian passport security has been widely discussed. However, the controversy is nothing new. This article explores the long history of the misuses of Canadian passports, which began in the early 1930s, and the efforts by the Canadian government to combat these abuses. These efforts involved considerable debate within the Canadian government, specifically between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Department of External Affairs, over what measures were acceptable. Ultimately, the discussions around passport security have relevance to debates in the present over biometric passports and identity cards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-405
Number of pages25
JournalIntelligence and National Security
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2008


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