June 11, 2013
OpenMedia original article
It's a secret you deserve to know about
A secretive Canadian spy agency has been called out for spying on our sensitive personal data – without oversight. We need to put pressure on the government to stop this, and to tell Canadians exactly what’s going on. Stand up for your privacy by speaking out now while we have the government’s attention.
You probably saw on the news that a U.S. government agency has been caught secretly spying on the private communications of millions of people like you – through their cell phones,1 and through popular online services like Google, Facebook, and Skype.2
Now, The Globe And Mail is reporting that Canada has its own agency operating in near-total secrecy that appears to be doing the same thing – recklessly collecting and storing our most sensitive private information in giant databases.3
This is important: We need to know what sensitive private data is being collected and stored, and why. Call on the government to tell us the truth about their reckless online spying program immediately.
The key agency collecting our sensitive information is called the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), which The Globe And Mail describes as an “ultrasecretive Canadian electronic-eavesdropping agency”.4
According to online surveillance expert Ron Deibert, CSEC spying gives them the power to “pinpoint not only who you are, but with whom you meet, with what frequency and duration, and at which locations.”5
Even the government’s own Privacy Commissioner’s Office has ominously stated, “we know very little specific information at this point, but we want to find out more.”6
We need to use this moment—when privacy issues are in the spotlight—to get answers. Tell the government that we deserve to know if our sensitive private information is being collected and stored in giant unsecured databases.
Whether it be pushing back against copyright censorship schemes, Big Telecom’s price-gouging, or threats to our online privacy – we know that when we work together there is nothing we cannot achieve.
For our future,
Steve and Lindsey, on behalf of your OpenMedia.ca team
P.S. Fighting for our right to privacy has been a long haul, but we’re proud to have Canadians counting on us to keep our ears to the ground, and to keep amplifying your voices when it counts. It would mean a lot to our small team if you could chip what you can now. If you really believe in our work, please consider supporting our ongoing campaigns by making regular contributions as a special OpenMedia.ca Ally.
P.P.S. This is an international issue. OpenMedia is also joining with other groups to call on the U.S. government to stop its spying on the online activity of people around the world, including Canadians. Once you’ve raised your voice in Canada we hope you’ll also join the international campaign.
 NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily. Source: The Guardian.
 Secret program gives NSA, FBI backdoor access to Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft data. Source: The Verge.
 The Globe And Mail reports that CSEC has “acknowledged that some Canadian communications are scooped up into this dragnet.” Source: The Globe And Mail.
 Privacy watchdog on spy agency’s data collection: ‘We want to find out more’. Source: The Globe And Mail.
 Spy agencies have turned our digital lives inside out. We need to watch them. Source: The Globe And Mail.
 Supra note 4.