Mr Jean-Pierre Plouffe, CSEC watchdog, has determined that CSEC is off the hook,it did not direct any activity at Canadians or persons in Canada. He’s hanging his hat on the distinction between “collecting metadata” and “tracking Canadians”. I guess if CSEC activity isn’t “directed” at Canadians, then CSEC bears no responsibility if it just happens to capture data from Canadians by spying on…um…somebody in Canadian airports.
Ron Deibert, a cyber expert who wrote the book (literally) on cyber snooping says the ruling “makes a mockery of public accountability and oversight.”
Ontario’s privacy commissioner, the inimitable Ann Cavoukian, is appalled and says Mr Plouffe’s reasoning is “doublespeak”—a very fitting description in our increasingly Orwellian world.
Ms Cavoukian urges all Canadians to write to their MPs to insist on appropriate oversight of CSEC by a parliamentary committee. I’d suggest you copy your email to Justin Trudeau and Wayne Easter so they know we haven’t forgotten this violation of our rights in the flurry of election reform bills and whatever else the Conservatives plan to hurl at us in the coming few weeks.