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Canada’s intelligence service asked foreign agencies to spy on Canadians

Published time: December 22, 2013 19:21
Edited time: December 24, 2013 08:36

Canada’s intelligence agency deliberately kept the country’s Federal Court “in the dark” to bypass the law in order to outsource its spying on Canadian citizens abroad to foreign security agencies, a federal judge said.

Federal Court Judge, Richard Mosley, has slammed the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) for knowingly misleading him on numerous occasions.

Since 2009, Mosley has issued a large number of warrants to the CSIS, authorizing interception of electronic communications of unidentified Canadians abroad, who were investigated as threats to domestic security.

The spy agency assured the judge that the surveillance was to be carried out from inside Canada and controlled by and the Communication Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC), the country’s foreign signals intelligence service.

But, after the warrants were obtained, Canada’s foreign partners from the Five Eyes intelligence-gathering alliance (US, UK, Australia and New Zealand) were asked to perform the interceptions.

Canada’s Federal Court wasn’t notified of the foreign involvement and never approved it, Mosley wrote in a redacted version of a classified court decision which was made public on Friday.

“It is clear that the exercise of the court’s warrant issuing has been used as protective cover for activities that it has not authorized,” the document stressed. “The failure to disclose that information was the result of a deliberate decision to keep the court in the dark about the scope and extent of the foreign collection efforts that would flow from the court’s issuance of a warrant.”

Under Canada’s current legislation, the Federal Court has no authority to issue warrants that involve surveillance of Canadians by foreign intelligence agencies, he added.

The actions of CSIS and CSEC put the Canadian citizens abroad at risk as they “may be detained or otherwise harmed as a result of the use of the intercepted communications by the foreign agencies,” Mosley wrote.

“Given the unfortunate history of information sharing with foreign agencies over the past decade and the reviews conducted by several royal commissions, there can be no question that the Canadian agencies are aware of those hazards,”
the document said. “It appears to me that they are using the warrants as authorization to assume those risks.”

Mosley demanded explanations from the security agencies after an annual report by CSEC commissioner, Robert Decary, this August.

The judge became suspicious after Decary suggested that CSIS should provide the Federal Court with “certain additional evidence about the nature and extent” of the help, it received from his agency.

The results of the Federal Court’s inquiry into the matter were made public on Friday.

By misleading him, the CSIS and CSEC have been in “breach of the duty of candor,” which resulted in misstatements on the public record about the scope of the authority granted to the service,” Mosley wrote.

Mosley, who used to be a former assistant deputy minister in the Justice Department, was intimately involved in the creation of the 2001 Anti-terrorism Act, which the CSIS and CSEC violated.

Comments (28)


Preaching Snake 24.12.2013 19:27

Every spy services in the world from every so-called 'democracies' are exchanging favors like that. You spy on my sheeps & I'll spy yours.

"Yeah but jack, that guy hasn't done nothing wrong..."
& quot; Pffft, not yet Sherlock. Check the skeletons in his closet. You prolly find something!"

That way folks, guess what, they trample the constitution and any bill of rights without any problems... BUT, Who will watch the watchdogs?

"Then what about privacy Jack ?"
"Lo l, forget it Sherlock, it's a thing of the past."


Michelle Hopson 24.12.2013 05:55

PM Harper his a different agenda than the Canadians who voted. The Conservative party and Harper are only sitting where they are via fraud. Allowing jokes like Rob Ford entertain the masses while they rape and pillage Canada. I do not believe that the people Canada will allow it to continue much longer. With so many irons in the fire environmentally, health care and education reform all intertwined in union labor busting we are somehow still mystified by the fact we are even on the American radar. There are more ONE WORLD ONE COUNTRY folks here than the Feds want you to believe.


David Richardson 23.12.2013 14:13

P.A. if you think it's that bad, you could always leave.
No, contrary to public opinion, we are not perfect. But, that Judge has the power to shut those paranoid, terrorist around every corner military douches down. Something the US and UK don't seem to be willing to do.

View all comments (28)
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