November 27, 2015
OpenMedia original article
The Globe and Mail: Organizations respond to calls for increased surveillance
Re: Pointing fingers won’t prevent intelligence failures, by Christian Leuprecht, November 25, 2015. The Globe and Mail.
The horrific attacks in Paris have led to a wave of finger-pointing – often powerfully disassociated from the realities of the failures (Pointing Fingers Won’t Prevent Intelligence Failures – Nov 25). The answer from security agencies is inevitably to request more surveillance and more capacity to intrude into citizens’ lives.
These requests are made despite the historically unprecedented access to digital information that security agencies already enjoy and repeated expansions of security powers. Clearly “more security” is not the answer to preventing all future attacks.
The intelligence failure in Paris painted a familiar picture. Many of the attackers were known to French officials, and Turkish intelligence agencies sent repeated warnings of another. Yet in their rush to blame communications technologies such as iPhone encryption and the PlayStation (claims since discredited), security agencies neglect the lack of adequate human intelligence resources and capacities needed to translate this digital knowledge into threat prevention. Also absent is attention to agency accountability – the unaddressed information-sharing problems that caused the mistaken targeting and torture of Maher Arar.
The targets of terror are not only physical, but also ideological. Introducing a laundry list of new powers in response to every incident without regard to the underlying causes will not prevent all attacks, but will leave our democracy in tatters.
Vincent Gogolek, Executive Director, BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (BCFIPA)
Tamir Israel, Staff Lawyer, Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), University of Ottawa
Monia Mazigh, National Coordinator, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG)
Christopher Parsons, Postdoctoral Fellow, Citizen Lab at Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
Sukanya Pillay, Executive Director & General Counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA)
Laura Tribe, Digital Rights Specialist, OpenMedia
Micheal Vonn, Policy Director, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA)
View the response on The Globe and Mail.