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Breaking - New Liberal Bill takes meaningful steps to rein in spy agency CSEC and improve oversight and judicial control

Privacy campaigners consider Liberal proposals to boost oversight, judicial control, and transparency over Canadian spy agency CSEC a welcome first step toward reining in the eavesdropping agency

“These proposals are a welcome step forward, and a valuable contribution to the ongoing national debate about how best to rein in CSEC,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “This bill is a really positive first step forward for improved transparency and greater accountability over what, to date, has been a secretive, expensive, and out-of-control spy agency. The Bill does not solve all of CSEC’s many problems, but considering how problematic the agency’s activities have become, this bill would mark a dramatic improvement if passed into law. I look forward to building on this initiative to also rein CSEC’s harvesting of Canadians’ sensitive information.”

Anderson continued: “Every resident of Canada deserves to be able to live their private life free from government surveillance. We’ll continue to work with decision-makers of all political stripes until we achieve the meaningful privacy protections Canadians deserve. MPs from across the political spectrum should support and work to improve this bill.”

A series of revelations from journalist Glenn Greenwald and whistleblower Edward Snowden have exposed how CSEC and its foreign intelligence partner the U.S. NSA have been undermining democracy at home while tarnishing Canada’s reputation overseas. It has been revealed that CSEC spied on thousands of innocent Canadian air travellers, facilitated a massive U.S. spy operation on Canadian soil, monitored important Canadian trading partners at the behest of the U.S. NSA, and even spied on the private communications of Brazil’s energy ministry.

OpenMedia.ca has been working with over 50 major Canadian organizations in the Protect our Privacy Coalition to demand effective legal measures to safeguard Canadians’ privacy from government spies. The BC Civil Liberties Association, a coalition member, has also launched a constitutional challenge that aims to put a stop to all illegal government spying on Canadians.

Over 39,000 people have pledged their support to Privacy Coalition calls for new legislation to protect citizens’ privacy from government spying, with more signing on every day at http://OurPrivacy.ca

About OpenMedia.ca

OpenMedia.ca is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.

Through campaigns such as StopTheMeter.ca and StopSpying.ca, OpenMedia.ca has engaged over half-a-million Canadians, and has influenced public policy and federal law.


David Christopher
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
[email protected]

About OpenMedia.ca’s privacy campaign
OpenMedia.ca led the successful StopSpying.ca campaign that forced the government to back down on its plans to introduce a costly, invasive, and warrantless online spying law (Bill C-30). Nearly 150,000 Canadians took part in the campaign. To learn more, see this infographic.

On October 10, 2013 OpenMedia.ca collaborated with over 40 major organizations and over a dozen academic experts to form the Protect Our Privacy Coalition, which is the largest pro-privacy coalition in Canadian history. The Coalition is calling for effective legal measures to protect the privacy of every resident of Canada against intrusion by government entities.

OpenMedia.ca and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) recently announced they will work together to put a stop to illegal government surveillance against law-abiding Canadians. OpenMedia.ca has launched a national campaign encouraging Canadians to support a BCCLA legal action which aims to stop illegal spying by challenging the constitutionality of the government’s warrantless collection of data on Canadians’ everyday Internet use.

More Information

  • Bill C-13 would let authorities obtain private information without a warrant. Source: Michael Geist
  • Supposed “cyberbullying” legislation will erode the privacy of Canadians. Source: OpenMedia.ca
  • Canada's Lawful Access Bill Appears to Have Contained a Provision to Enable PRISM-Style Surveillance Source: Michael Geist
  • Lawful Access back on the agenda this Fall? - Michael Geist.
  • Data breach protocols deficient in 9 federal departments, watchdog finds. - [Source: CBC News]
  • Internet Law expert Michael Geist on why Canadians should be concerned about government spying.
  • 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. Take action now

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