Post Tagged with: "snowden"

The Shameful Canadian Silence on Surveillance

Later this morning, U.S. President Barack Obama will give a speech on U.S. surveillance activities in which he is expected to establish new limitations on the program. While the measures will likely fall well short of what many believe is necessary, it is notable that the surveillance issue has emerged as a significant political issue since the Snowden leaks and the U.S. government has recognized the need to address it. 

Reaction to the Snowden leaks in the U.S. has not been limited to political responses. In recent months, Verizon and AT&T, the two U.S. telecom giants, announced plans to issue regular transparency reports on the number of law enforcement requests they receive for customer information. The telecom transparency reports come following a similar trend from leading Internet companies such as Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and Facebook

The U.S. reaction stands in stark contrast to the situation in Canada. Canadian government officials have said little about Canadian surveillance activities, despite leaks of spying activities, cooperation with the NSA, a federal court decision that criticized the intelligence agencies for misleading the court, and a domestic metadata program which remains shrouded in secrecy. In fact, the government seems to have moved in the opposite direction, by adopting a lower threshold for warrants seeking metadata than is required for standard warrants in Bill C-13.

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January 17, 2014 12 comments News

Federal Ct Takes CSIS To Task In Case Involving CSEC Requests for Foreign Agency Spying on Canadians

Since the first Snowden revelations earlier this year, there has been much speculation about the use foreign intelligence agencies (such as the NSA) to conduct surveillance on Canadians. While the government is always careful to say that CSEC does not spy on Canadians, many suspect that each of the “five eyes” agencies (the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand)  do it on their behalf. Yesterday, a federal court judge confirmed the practice as part of a decision that found CSIS “breached its duty of candour to the Court by not disclosing information that was relevant to the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court and to the determination by the Court that the criteria of investigative necessity and the impracticality of other procedures set out in subsection 21 (2) of the CSIS Act had been satisfied.”

The lack of candour appears to arise from the failure to disclose that the CSIS warrants would involve seeking CSEC assistance in requesting foreign interception of Canadian communications:

the Court has determined that the execution of the type of warrants at issue in Canada has been  accompanied by requests made by CSEC, on behalf of CSIS, to foreign agencies (members of the “Five Eyes” alliance), for the interception of the telecommunications of Canadian persons abroad.

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November 26, 2013 16 comments News