More Revelations About Government Spying in Canada

Worst. Photoshop. Ever.

If you’re reading this on the front page then you’ll see four comments immediately below this post, all by forums user pjw918. But if you visit the Canadian Wireless Industry Discussion you’ll see the reverse—I’m actually tailgating this thread in order to bring more attention to it, particularly for fellow Canadians. Because it’s pretty scary stuff.

This time last month I wrote about an episode of Jesse Brown’s CANADALAND Podcast, wherein Globe and Mail reporter Colin Freeze details how CSEC, our intelligence signals gathering agency, games the media. Long story short, when CSEC makes their surveillance of Canadians so deliberately opaque it’s hard to figure out what’s going on.

But now, thanks to Professor Michael Geist, we know at least a little more about what’s going on.

Dr. Geist filed an ATIP request with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada—ATIP, if you didn’t know, stands for Access to Information and Privacy; see this Government of Canada FAQ for more info. Anyway, as pjw918 posted below—or above—okay, just go here—Dr. Geist has made the results of his ATIP request publicly available. Some of it we already knew, like Citizen Labs’ ongoing efforts to uncover our government’s telecommunications surveillance; other revelations are most definitely news.

Take it away, news media…

Government makes over a million requests a year for data from telecoms

Canadian governments go to telecoms for users information 1.2 million times a year

Government agencies seek telecom user data at ‘jaw-dropping’ rates

Telecoms refuse to release information on private data given to feds

These links are in addition to those already posted by pjw918…

TL;DR Despite over a million requests to telcos by law enforcement agencies for personal data about their subscribers, telcos have refused to share anything about these requests with the public.

To wrap this up I will once again direct you to Jesse Brown, who wrote a piece for CJFE. Curiously it’s not available as a web page proper, only as a PDF or in some kind of proprietary viewer. Nonetheless, in my opinion the title of the piece says it all: