As I mentioned in my first PatrickBay.ca audiocast (which I’m itching to pick up again real soon), one of the topics that got me started on this blog was Canada’s version of the NSA, the Communications Security Establishment of Canada or CSEC.
What both fascinates and terrifies me about organizations such as CSEC is the cloak of secrecy under which they operate. While being all undercover makes a certain amount of sense, it also lends itself to a great deal of abuse. The little bit that we can glean from accounts such as Mike Frost’s book Spyworld leaves a very bad taste in my mouth — the agency has no problems spying on even the highest levels of government for undetermined reasons, meaning that none of us peons are excluded from warrantless surveillance.
Where CSEC feels something is out of its jurisdiction it simply asks a foreign security apparatus to pick up, thereby absolving themselves of any wrongdoing, and the whole thing is anonymized and removed from oversight anyways meaning that even if such actions ever came to light they would never be linked to anyone in particular. It’s a free pass to do whatever they please to anyone they like. And such behaviour has been going on for decades — proposed laws such as Lawful Access are merely an attempt to broaden and legitimize it for wholesale use across Canada (and elsewhere).
Continue reading at: http://patrickbay.ca/blog/?p=4048