Canada has a massive domestic spying program of its own:
via Global Research
On the basis of secret government directives, Canada’s national security apparatus is conducting mass surveillance of Canadians parallel to, if not directly patterned after, the domestic spying operations of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), the NSA’s Canadian counterpart and longstanding partner, has been scrutinizing the metadata of Canadians’ electronic communications since at least 2005.
Moreover, the NSA routinely provides Canada’s security agencies with intelligence on Canadians and CSEC reciprocates by providing U.S. intelligence officials with information about people living in the U.S. This arrangement allows both agencies to circumvent legal bans on warrantless surveillance of their own citizenry’s communications.
It was “common” for NSA “to pass on information about Canadians,” Wayne Easter, Canada’s Solicitor-General in 2002-3, told the Toronto Star this week. As Solicitor-General, Easter was responsible for overseeing the operations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
The extent and scope of CSEC’s spying and who is being targeted and why are all zealously guarded state secrets. The CSEC functions under secret directives issued by the Minister of Defence—directives whose very existence is unknown to parliamentarians, let alone the public at large.
The Conservative government has responded to this week’s slight and very partial lifting of the veil on CSEC activities with a campaign of disinformation, dissembling and lies. This campaign has been facilitated by the opposition parties, especially the ostensibly leftwing New Democratic Party, and the corporate media; they have made no more than tepid calls for greater transparency about the CSCE’s spying.
On Monday, the Globe and Mail reported that in November 2011, Defence Minister Peter MacKay signed a secret directive authorizing the CSEC to continue its “mining” of the metadata of Canadians’ telephone and internet communications. The Globe said the program had been first authorized by Bill Graham, Defence Minister in Paul Martin’s Liberal government, in 2005, that is six years earlier.
MacKay, like U.S. President Barack Obama, responded to this revelation of massive state spying by flatly denying that CSEC is “targeting” Canadians or violating constitutional prohibitions on warrantless surveillance of their communications. This lie is predicated on the drawing of a spurious distinction between the metadata created by any electronic communication and the rest of the communication and on the transparently false claim that such information is innocuous.
According to the Globe, a briefing prepared for MacKay in 2011, presumably by CSEC or lawyers within his department, declared, “Metadata is information associated with a telecommunication … And not a communication.”