The Arthur Andersen Experience - Part 2

October 6th, 2013

RestoreCSA reported on the counterfeiting activities of CSA in late August.  In the same article, and another in September, we also noted the peculiar double standard of CSA’s affiliate, the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (“CACN”).  It turns out that while the CSA and CACN were both enforcing “zero-tolerance” policies on counterfeiting by other companies, and actually demanding “imprisonment” for those selling counterfeit safety certifications, in practice they were perfectly comfortable with counterfeiting when it was in the family, so to speak.

The CSA ran one of Canada’s most prolific counterfeiting operations, an eight-year long program of selling counterfeit safety certifications for products that failed to meet even basic Canadian safety standards.

The CACN included the CSA on its board of directors throughout CSA’s counterfeiting operations.  Even when the CSA was outed for counterfeiting in 2010, the CACN took no action against CSA, made no statement, they issued no news release, and they declined to remove the newfound counterfeiter from their board of directors.

When contacted by RestoreCSA in August, the CACN advised that it would be “inappropriate” for them to take any action against CSA.  Thats awkward because there’s a really big gap between demanding “imprisonment” for people caught doing CSA-style counterfeiting and calling any action against such people “inappropriate.”  But this isn’t a contradiction as far as CSA and CACN are concerned.  They make rules for others to follow, they exempt themselves from their own regulations.  To them, this is normal.

Within a week of RestoreCSA’s Sept. 11th article about CACN, the entire CACN website was deleted from public access.  You see, what the CACN did was embarrassing and the evidence of their conduct was on the website.  So the site had to go.  The former CACN websites were then directed to a blank holding page owned by their service provider.

On Sept. 17th, RestoreCSA tweeted that the CACN website had been deleted.  That’s also awkward, because deleting evidence of CACN’s activities, statements, positions, etc. was exactly the accusation of the RestoreCSA articles.  The CACN was inadvertently vindicating RestoreCSA’s accusations.

Within 48hrs of RestoreCSA’s tweet about CACN’s website being deleted, the CACN reversed itself by replacing their former website’s blank holding page with a new blank page featuring a “coming soon” message.

Four days later, the CACN put a “new” website online.  Wayne Edwards, Chair of CACN advised RestoreCSA that the new website was “quite an improvement.”  Indeed.

What’s new in their website?  Well, the heading bar is now red instead of blue and they’ve got two new pictures on the front page.  The actual content is nearly identical to the original website.  Not wholly identical, mind you, there are some key changes.  For instance, their “new” website has been purged of the references made by the RestoreCSA articles, including the deletion of their entire news release archive covering six years from 2006-2013 and their entire board of directors list. 

In other words, the “new” website is really just a panicky repackaging of their old website, washed of the evidence of their conduct.

And, with the “new” website now concealing the identities of the people who run CACN, there’s no way of knowing if they’re still harbouring a counterfeiter on the board of an anti-counterfeiting entity.  Now that’s transparency!

In the coming days, RestoreCSA will be working to ensure that the CACN is barred from contributing to anti-counterfeiting legislation in Canada.  We do need strong protections against counterfeiting and Government needs credible input on legislation, but until the CACN becomes interested in fighting counterfeiters they will lack the requisite credibility to contribute on any such matters.