Canadians outraged by new revelations of potential spying on private information by CSEC
Canadians are urgently demanding answers from the government after new revelations that Canada’s ultra-secretive Communications Security Establishment Canada spy agency may have illegally targeted Canadians within the last year.
A report by independent CSEC watchdog and retired judge Robert Decary revealed the potentially illegal spying during a review of CSEC’s activities over the past year.
Decary, who has served as independent watchdog for the secretive CSEC since 2010, said he discovered the potentially illicit spying during a review of CSEC’s activities. Decary wrote in his report that: "some activities may have been directed at Canadians, contrary to the law.”
CSEC is forbidden by law to spy on Canadians, no matter where they are in the world. CSEC is also forbidden to spy on individuals in Canada.
The government’s own Privacy Commissioner’s office has already said it wants to “find out more” about CSEC’s activities and is conducting its own investigation into whether CSEC is illegally spying on Canadians.
Citizen-backed Internet freedom organization OpenMedia.ca says the government must immediately come clean about the full extent of CSEC’s spying on the private Internet activities of Canadian residents.
Executive director of OpenMedia.ca Steve Anderson says, “Through our campaign at SecretSpying.ca Canadians have been asking the government to come clean on the secret spying activities of CSEC for months—and now we know for sure that there's ample reason for serious concern. We’re talking about secret spying on the private lives of anyone, at any time and we can’t even tell when we’ve been victimized by it."
Anderson continues, "We deserve to know if our sensitive private information is being recklessly collected and stored in giant databases, and why. Canadians want an immediate stop to any programs of indiscriminate and arbitrary warrantless online spying."
OpenMedia.ca is also calling on Canadian telecom companies to make clear whether they are involved in facilitating agencies like CSEC to spy on the private Internet activities of Canadian residents. The concern comes in the light of the role a number of telecom companies played in co-operating with the government’s warrantless access proposals during the Bill C-30 debate.
Thousands of Canadians are speaking out at SecretSpying.ca to call on the government to make public the details of Canadian foreign intelligence agencies’ activities, and to demand a stop to any programs of indiscriminate and arbitrary online spying.