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The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Internet Surveillance: What Canadians Can Do

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Tuesday February 11, 2014
Over the past eight months, the steady stream of Snowden leaks have revealed the existence of a massive surveillance infrastructure intent on capturing seemingly all communications, including metadata on phone calls, Internet searches, and other online activity. While much of the surveillance originates with the U.S. NSA, the leaks suggest that Canada plays a key role in many initiatives and that Canadians' data is undoubtedly captured in the process. Indeed, in recent months, we've learned about:
Moreover, we know that U.S. law provides fewer protections to personal information of non-U.S. citizens, suggesting that Canadian data residing in cloud-based servers in the U.S. are particularly vulnerable. Meanwhile, the Canadian legal rules remain largely shrouded in secrecy, with officials maintaining that programs fall within the law despite the obvious privacy interests in metadata and statutory restrictions on domestic surveillance.

I recently posted on a discussion I had last summer with a senior government official on the Snowden leaks. The official remarked that in the wake of the Snowden revelations the political risk did not lie with surveillance itself, since most Canadians basically trusted their government and intelligence agencies to avoid misuse. Rather, the real concern was with being caught lying about the surveillance activities. This person was of the view that Canadians would accept surveillance, but they would not accept lying about surveillance programs.

Today is the day that Canadians can send a message that this official is wrong. The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance is a global effort to galvanize people around the world to speak out against ubiquitous surveillance. Canadians can learn more here, but the key ask is to contact your Member of Parliament. If you are concerned with widespread surveillance in Canada, take a couple of moments to send an email or letter (no stamp required) to your MP and let them know how you feel (alternatively, you can fill out the form at this site). In addition, you can sign onto a global petition supported by hundreds of groups around the world. 

I've written about the need for changes here and many others - including Interim Privacy Commissioner Chantal Bernier, Kent Roach, Wesley Wark, Ron Diebert, David Fraser, Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian and Avner Levin, Craig Forcese, and Lisa Austin - have highlighted other potential changes. There are no shortage of ideas for reform. What we need now are Canadians to speak out to demand an open review and reform of Canadian surveillance law and policy.
Comments (13)add comment

Anonymous said:

Anonymity is privacy
The only way to give the oppressed a safe voice is to continue to facilitate and allow anonymity.

We need to own our own encryption, to trust it. We also need this so that we can be private. We need it to be curious & progress.

We don't need surveillance plus oversight, we need the means to make surveillance impossible. Only that will allow anonymity.

Privacy is a right we must seize, not outlaw.
TrueCrypt, linux, TOR, bitcoin, cut the cord,
start with prism-break.org and keep anonymous comments.

Anonymous
February 11, 2014

Michael Heroux said:

THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP MICHAEL GEIST

We notice you and Judge Mosley have led the struggle to bring this issue to the fore front. I know Judge Mosley saved our lives and I know the persistant effort on your part has saved ours and most likely other peoples lives also. People are very affraid and for good reason. I have personally lost friends and have seen people lose their live over what is happening. Most people don't see what's going on until they get out on the streets and speak to the people. Most people would not believe what is going on. I know stuff that has happened that it is no wonder they tried to kill us. If people knew what we knew they would not believe it in a million years. It's crazy. Thanks for all your effort. This is one site I can post on without my posts being sanitized. Thanks alot GOD BLESS YOU.
February 12, 2014

Michael MacDonald said:

...
If I call my MP, should I try to say something short and to the point, or try to engage in conversation on the topic? There are so many things that need to be protected, along with the need for better and cheaper internet service overall. CSEC bad, we don't want it. We're wasting money spying on ourselves. We need anonymity. Everyone. It levels the field. Merit goes to what is said, not who is saying it. No one is worried about what they might say, so anything might be said. You don't have to care, even, if it was stupid, because you just move on. It has to be protected and kept safe. Somewhere. It is an amazingly powerful tool for society, and it should not be something we need to struggle and fight against our own govenment for on a daily basis. It is the closest thing to a definition of true freedom we have ever had in history.
February 12, 2014

Gregg said:

My MP is a Scheisskopf!
AGAIN I contact him and I get a form letter, "...thank you for your input, but I stand by my party."
Their should be a law that MP's represent CONSTITUENTS, not act simply as a govt. agent telling the constituents to "deal with it!"
February 14, 2014

Nicolas said:

...
Michael, the link doesn't work anymore (even by clicking the official site)... http://www.parl.gc.ca/ErrorPag...usCode=500
February 20, 2014

christy said:

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March 05, 2014

Michael Heroux said:

Intelligence Harassment

My wife and I are trying to deal with The Department Of Justice Canada and The Privacy Commissioner Of Canada to get information on the abuse of us and our children by CSIS CSEC and the RCMP for over 5 years now. Both The Department Of Justice Canada and The Privacy Commissioner Of Canada said they can help us with our case until they realized who we were and now they are both ignoring us after multiple attempts in the last 4 months for us to follow up with them. They both asked us for specific information about our case and since we sent them the information that they needed they are ignoring us now. I guess our next step will be to get a Charter Of Rights And Freedoms lawyer and see if they can help us out. We contacted the BC Civil Liberties Office and as soon as they realized who we were they said they couldn't help us because their organization was not large enough and they didn't have the resources to handle a case as large as ours. We also contacted our Member Of Parlient and Thomas Mulcair about our family being abused by CSIS CSEC and the RCMP but no one has gotten back to us ever.
March 19, 2014

Michael Heroux said:

Intelligence Harassment

My wife and I are the two people Justice Mosley was refering to when he ruled CSIS was end running the law. We have been following this decision very closely, we are being spied on right here in Canada. My wife and I and our 3 children have been abused by the RCMP CSIS CSEC and other police forces in Ontario and British Columbia for over 5 years now. I have a mental disability and the police started harassing my family and I when I started using Craigslist 5 years ago, what can I say, we're swingers. My wife slept with a few of them while I watched. We are not terrorist. It sounds strange but I have been poisoned and my wife has been poisoned for speaking out publicly about the abuse. We have also been assulted numerous times in the last 5 years. They are listening to us in our bedroom and living room because they let us know by telling us what we are talking about in the privacy of our home. We contacted the BC Human Rights and Civil Rights office last year because the police were trying to run me and my family over on the streets, but they never got back to us. We got a lawyer a couple years ago and the lawyer was able to get them to lay off for a bit. They sent a gunman to murder us last year, we managed to evade him. It also sounds strange but we have a spy monitoring us right now in the adjacent suite to us and they have been there for 10 months now. Since Judge Mosleys decision they quit harassing us but they are still messing around with our internet and phone communications. Thank God for Judge Mosley, I think he saved our lives. We think the reason they are still watching over us is because of what Judge Mosley refered to as "invasive survailence techniques" used against the people who had those warrents issued on them. They don't want us to tell anyone about the techniques used against us for the last 5 years. Pretty sophisticated alien technology if I do say so myself. Pretty cool actually but we don't plan on telling anyone. We are patriotic Canadians and we hate terrorist like everyone else but we don't want to see people abused. Caught up in the fish net so to speak. They have tried to set us up numerous times for arrest over the last 5 years to get their hands on us and make us look like the bad guy's but we have managed to evade those attempts also.
March 19, 2014

Michael Heroux said:

Intelligence Harassment

My wife and I are concerned because Canada Post is being scaled back and it has got us worried. We use open source software for our operating system. In the last 5 years our privacy has been majorly violated. We are most concerned about our communications being sanitized. We no longer have control over who we can make contact with through electronic means. We can only contact people in person for representation so most people not within our city are off limits to us. We realize we are being followed and are being listened to in the privacy of our own home and our home has been entered numerous times when we are not home by intelligence but our means of communications are being sanitized. 5 years ago we noticed rootkits being installed on our operating systems and I was able to set up honey pots and found they were being installed by the military. Since, we switched to virtual machines from static medium verified with sha512sums (DEBIAN KNOPPIX) to get a malware free system each boot. The only website we use is Craigslist and we have met RCMP agents through Craigslist who wanted us to work for them to help them entrap people from terrorist to gangsters. We believe they were just looking for patsies though. I used to work for the RCMP over 20 years ago to infiltrate criminals and make arrests but I quit working for them because they wanted me to set people up that weren't even breaking the law. For the last 5 years we have used Gmail and we have had numerous internet suppliers and numerous Gmail accounts and we have noticed people we have been emailing and people emailing us have not been getting the emails even though Gmail says they have been sent. We use an SSL connection so our communications are encrypted. The same thing applies to our text messages, we have used Rogers for internet, text and phone for the last 5 years. We have noticed our posting on certains forums are not showing up or they are being deleted as we are writing them right before our eyes or our browsers are being closed as we are writing stuff. Our computers are being shut down and our cell phones are being shut down as we are trying to correspond with people. We have realized that people have been contacting us through our email and our cell phones claiming to be people we know like family members for instance but we know they are imposters. We have tried contacting Human and Civil Rights advocates through electronic means but have had no replies. We have even tried to contact legal representation through electronic means but have never heard anything back over the years. It sounds strange but a gunman was sent to kill us early last year but we managed to evade him. Shortly after that someone tried hiring a hitman through the SILK ROAD website to kill us. At first when the website was taken down by the FBI the owner said the hit was for a father of 3 from Vancouver but later he admitted it was for the whole family of 5, a husband, wife and 3 children. We have been poisoned numerous times in the last 5 years and I have numerous painful swollen lumps throughout my body. Strangers have come up to us on the streets and have told us I have cancer. I went to the emergency room last year because my brain was swelling in my head and my eyes were bulging and I was having severe headaches and the doctor didn't want to treat me and sent me home. Thanks for reading.
March 19, 2014

Michael Heroux said:

Intelligence Harassment
Michael Heroux said

My wife and kids and I finally got a reply back from The Justice Department Of Canada. They were ignoring us just like the Privacy Commisioner Of Canada is now. They finally acknowledged our statements to them about us being poisoned and assaulted numerous times and the assasination attempts on our lives, and the fact that I have cancer because of the poisonings that they did against us. I think my cancer is getting worse, it is really painful now and the lumps are spredding throughout my abdomin. They sent us a letter the other day and said the information we are looking for on the 30-08 warrants against us are not under their control and told us to contact CSIS. I hope I live long enough to see those bastards pay.
April 05, 2014

Michael Heroux said:

Intelligence Harassment

Michael Heroux said michaelheroux1967@gmail.com

The Privacy Commissioner Of Canada finally got back to us after ignoring us for quite some time now. When we first contacted her office they wanted more specific information from us to prove to them that the 30-08 warrants Judge Richard Mosley issued were actually for us. We know they have the security clearance to find out and we know they know the warrants were for us but they keep saying prove it. We sent them the names of the first 2 agents they sent to investigate us in 2008 and they didn't even acknowledge the agents in any way. They didn't comment on the agents, they didn't ask questions about the agents or nothing. They are just ignoring anything we tell them even though they keep asking for more information. The first 2 agents they sent to investigate us in 2008 were our daughters. Our 2 daughters came back home to live with us in 2008 and told us they were working for Canadian Intelligence. They told us the agent that they were working for wanted them to set us up. It has got us worried. We don't know whether Canadian Intelligence are play some sort of sick game with us but a stranger approached us out of the blue last year and told us our daughters have been murdered. We have not heard from our 2 daughters since they were sent back home to investigate us for Canadian Intelligence. All The Privacy Commissioner Of Canada is saying to us is prove it. They want us to name names of the Intelligence agents we met in 2008-2009 but they won't offer us any protection against further assasination attempts against my wife and kids and I even though they know about the previous attempts. We are still being monitored as I write this and we have reason to believe they are using foreign spies from their international coalition. The last thing The Privacy Commissioner Of Canada did was refer us to the recommendations that she made to Parliament on our behalf. Thanks for reading.
April 13, 2014

Michael Heroux said:

Intelligence Harassment

UPDATED Michael Heroux said michaelheroux1967@gmail.com Part 1

The Privacy Commissioner Of Canada finally got back to us after ignoring us for quite some time now. When we first contacted her office they wanted more specific information from us to prove to them that the 30-08 warrants Judge Richard Mosley issued were actually for us. We know they have the security clearance to find out and we know they know the warrants were for us but they keep saying prove it. We sent them the names of the first 2 agents they sent to investigate us in 2008 and they didn't even acknowledge the agents in any way. They didn't comment on the agents, they didn't ask questions about the agents or nothing. They are just ignoring anything we tell them even though they keep asking for more information. The first 2 agents they sent to investigate us in 2008 were our daughters. Our 2 daughters came back home to live with us in 2008 and told us they were working for Canadian Intelligence. They told us the agent that they were working for wanted them to set us up. It has got us worried. We don't know whether Canadian Intelligence are play some sort of sick game with us but a stranger approached us out of the blue last year and told us our daughters have been murdered. We have not heard from our 2 daughters since they were sent back home to investigate us for Canadian Intelligence. All The Privacy Commissioner Of Canada is saying to us is prove it. They want us to name names of the Intelligence agents we met in 2008-2009 but they won't offer us any protection against further assasination attempts against my wife and kids and I even though they know about the previous attempts. We are still being monitored as I write this and we have reason to believe they are using foreign spies from their international coalition. The last thing The Privacy Commissioner Of Canada did was refer us to the recommendations that she made to Parliament on our behalf. The same thing is going on with The Justice Department Of Canada, all they want from us is more information from us to prove the 30-08 warrants were for us but even though they know about our daughters working as agents for Canadian Intelligence and they know about the poisonings and assasination attempts against us and they know the 30-08 warrants were for us all they are saying now is they don't have control over the 30-08 warrant information we are looking for against us and they are saying Canadian Intelligence have the information we are looking for.
April 14, 2014

Michael Heroux said:

Intelligence Harassment

UPDATED Michael Heroux said michaelheroux1967@gmail.com Part 2

Both agencies have security clearance and they know everything but they are playing dumb but they still want us to name names about the agents we met between 2008-2009 and neither of them are willing to offer us protection against further assasination attemtps against us.
After our daughters left our home when they were done investigating us in 2008 many agents were contacting us in the beginning of 2009 offering us large sums of money if we leave Canada for a while. We knew they were trying to get us to leave Canada but not until Judge Richard Mosley decision did we realize why. They were offering us luxury vacations in the sun and basically anything we wanted just to leave Canda for a while. Now we realize it was just a ploy to get their International Coalition involved, we probably would never have been heard from again. They also wanted us to bring our kids along. The good agents were warning us that our life was in danger and they were telling us to move back to British Columbia for our own safety. The local police force would escort us home late at night when we left the downtown area and we always wondered why we were so special. We decided to listen to the good agents and move back to British Columbia for our safety. Just as we were getting ready to moved a few agents approached us and offered us $250,000 dollars if we stay in Ontario. We couldn't believe it. But we left anyways. Thanks for reading.
April 14, 2014

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