Canadian spy agency admits to illegally spying on Canadians


So where does it say that this is illegal? Or is this just a conclusory statement?

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What CSE actually has done is admit in a considerably more frank way than normal that it has been legally spying on Canadians.

As I explain here, the laws under which CSE operates permit the kinds of activities CSE described (assuming they’re not struck down as a result of the BCCLA’s current lawsuit).

That said, being legal doesn’t necessarily make CSE’s monitoring justifiable. (And there’s certainly no justification for misleading judges.) We need to know a lot more about the nature and extent of CSE’s eavesdropping activities before we can feel reassured that they’re justified, and we ought to take the rights and needs of non-Canadians into consideration as well when deciding the boundaries of acceptable activities.

The ironic thing about all this is that CSE’s brain trust put considerable effort into convincing Canadians that it is illegal for CSE to monitor them. The agency’s boilerplate assurances all came with what I call secret asterisks attached.

Now that they’ve had to admit that at least some monitoring of Canadians does occur, it’s hardly surprising that most people conclude they must have broken the law.

They should have been more honest with us in the first place.

Thanks for the coverage you’ve been giving to these issues!


Wait, I’m from the U.S. so I don’t understand how this is news in any way?



Also, you should know this body is invalid, so I’ll try using a little more description next time.

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You have asked a very hard question.
Its not a hard question because the answer is hard but because there’s a lot of things packed into it and it is a sort of self delusion BECAUSE it has been asked.

An example of a similar question which in a different context might help you unpack your own loaded question:

Admittedly the US government already spies on our every communication and said assholery doesn’t seem to be a problem for US citizens. But we Canadians would like to dream that our own government would be less of an asshole, or at least not a well funded enough asshole to enact any serious privacy invasions.

Sadly, that is not the case. Our governments have decided that WE are the enemies, at least the ones they can most easily track. It won’t be long before they start ‘finding’ a few convenient fall guys/bad guys to justify their existence and probably increased powers. They just have to finish creating them first.

Also, I assume you are being ironic.

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They are going to have to say " We’re sorry" soO0o many times!

Yes, yes I was.

And far be it from me to critique the great nation of Canada, but given the things I read about the Harper government in the pages of BoingBoing, I’m not sure why you would give them a pass on the asshole front. But I admit I’m not very well-informed about things Canadian.

Rob Ford has become a trailblazer!

Oh don’t get me wrong. I have spent a lot of money, time and energy over the past 20 years trying to prevent the Reform/Tory party from gaining power, and then trying to get them out once they had it.

Harper is a disaster for the country and I cannot wait for him to resign. The ‘brain’ trust in that party is limited, and what brains there are have zero charisma and less respect. It is truly the Harper party, and it won’t last much longer than he does. Or so I hope.

We are always voting them out and replacing them with replicas who are merely flying a different coloured flag. One man does not make a government – for once I would like a voting public to stop making monsters out of politicians and find some capable people to vote in instead…

I hear that. I’d love to have an electoral system that didn’t reward effective gaming of the process (targeting swing ridings, FPTP etc). Let’s have an election in some kind of PR type system, then at least the 30% wingnuts who currently run the country will need to negotiate and compromise with the rest of us (and vice versa if another group wins).

Talking, negotiation, balance, compromise - that is what democracy is supposed to be like. Endless infuriating talking is always better than ‘do it because I said so’. At the moment we intermittently elect a new dictator, with some semblance of accountability to a small percentage of voters every few years. (I live in a ‘safe’ Conservative riding, which means that my vote is basically a spit in the wind every 4 years).

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