Confirmed: We didn’t need Bill C-51
Before C-51, laws and arrangements often allowed for the sharing of information for national security purposes. C-51 adopts an excessive approach that will harm online innovation, political discourse and our civil liberties. Speak out to get it repealed at KillC51.ca Article by The Canadian Press for CBC
With its new mandate, CSIS could take measures, at home and abroad, to disrupt threats when it had reasonable grounds to believe that there was a threat to the security of Canada. Intelligence services in most of Canada's close democratic allies have had similar mandates and powers for many years." — Public Safety Canada backgrounder on proposed anti-terrorism bill, January 2015.
In introducing its sweeping security bill earlier this year, the government said the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada's spy agency, did not have a legal mandate to take action concerning threats. Rather, CSIS was limited to collecting and analyzing information as well as advising the government.
The government characterized the bill's proposed new powers — which have since received royal assent — as a means of bringing the spy service's capabilities in line with those of allied counterparts.
How accurate were the government's claims?
Spoiler Alert: The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of "no baloney" to "full of baloney" (complete methodologybelow).
This one earns a rating of "a lot of baloney."
Some have pointed out that CSIS already used disruptive tactics — for instance by making it known to targets that their activities were being investigated.
The RCMP, Canada's national police force, also fights terrorism through disruption. "The RCMP has a robust range of disruption tools and continues to develop its own threat diminishment capability in light of rapidly evolving changes in the threat environment," the police force said in April 2015 briefing notes.
- Read more at CBC