Canadians demanding answers after CSEC revealed to be spying on Brazil at behest of United States
October 7, 2013
Brazil’s Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo has expressed “outrage” at Canada’s involvement, describing it as a “serious and unacceptable” violation of Brazilian sovereignty. Brazil’s President Rousseff is demanding answers; however Rob Nicholson, the Canadian minister responsible for CSEC, has refused to comment on the allegations, despite being questioned multiple times at a press conference early this afternoon. Mr Nicholson stated that he “would not comment on foreign intelligence gathering activities.” When asked whether he could refute the very serious allegations of economic espionage, Minister Nicholson responded in the same way – “no comment.”
Steve Anderson, Executive Director of OpenMedia.ca, said: “Many Canadians will be appalled at these fresh revelations about the increasingly reckless activities of their government spy agency. Canadians were already demanding answers about CSEC’s involvement with the U.S. NSA and their invasive blanket surveillance against law-abiding citizens. We’re talking about secret spying on the private lives of anyone, at anytime and we can’t even tell when we’ve been victimized by it. Now it looks like CSEC’s activities at the behest of the NSA have hugely damaged our relationship with Brazil, one of Canada’s most important Latin American friends and allies.”
“The government is responsible for CSEC and it is simply not good enough for the Minister to refuse to address these serious revelations. Their activities are undermining our relationships overseas as well as our democracy here at home. The government cannot continue to manage CSEC in such a reckless and secretive manner. We need to bring CSEC’s activities out into the open so that Canadians can have an informed democratic debate about what is being carried out in their name and what of their sensitive private information is being stored in giant unsecured CSEC databases.”
Over 16,000 Canadians are speaking out at SecretSpying.ca to call on the government to make public the details of Canadian foreign intelligence agencies’ activities, and to demand a stop to any programs of indiscriminate and arbitrary online spying.
OpenMedia.ca is a network of people and organizations working to safeguard the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy.
Communications Coordinator, OpenMedia.ca
About the Secret Spying Campaign
The Secret Spying campaign brings together a group of organizations focused on civil liberties, pro-democracy, privacy rights, and open access to the Internet. The campaign, which was launched in June of this year, is demanding answers and immediate action from the government after it was revealed that a secretive government agency has been spying on the telephone and Internet activities of individuals, including law-abiding Canadians.
Groups who are part of the campaign include include Amnesty International Canada, the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (BCFIPA), Council of Canadians, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, Leadnow, OpenMedia.ca, Privacy & Access Council of Canada, the Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association, and the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC). OpenMedia.ca worked with many of these same organizations to host the StopSpying.ca campaign that successfully defeated the government’s online spying bill C-30.
- Canada’s spy agency may have illegally targeted Canadians within the last year. Source: National Post.
- Annual Report 2012-13 of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner.
- The secretive CSEC agency has a staff of more than 2,000 and a budget of about $400 million. Source: CBC News.
- Surveillance expert Ron Deibert on the threat spy agencies pose for citizens.
- Internet Law expert Michael Geist on why Canadians should be concerned about government spying.
- Privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart says there are significant concerns about the scope of information that CSEC are reported to collect. Source: CBC News.
- In this article, The Globe and Mail describes the revelations about Canadian government spying as “disturbing and unacceptable”
- This document, obtained by The Globe through Access to Information, shows how Minister MacKay authorized a top secret program to data-mine global ‘metadata’ in 2011.
OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.
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