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MPs should listen to Canadians and support Liberal bill to make spy agency CSEC more transparent and accountable to citizens

Privacy advocates hail Joyce Murray’s Private Members Bill as a step forward to boost transparency, oversight, and accountability for secretive spy agency CSEC

Significantly, the bill ensures that metadata - which can reveal a huge amount about citizens’ private lives - is defined as “protected information” which CSEC would be prohibited from collecting without a court order.

“This bill is a positive step forward and I hope MPs listen to Canadians and support these common sense measures,” says Executive Director Steve Anderson. “Canadians have been hugely disappointed to learn how CSEC has been monitoring law-abiding citizens, while recklessly engaging in overseas spying activities that have done enormous damage to Canada’s international reputation.”

Anderson continued: “Joyce Murray’s sensible proposals may not solve all of CSEC’s many problems, but they would mark a significant improvement if made into law. The Conservative government seems intent on extending its spying powers and it’s critical that we balance those powers with appropriate oversight. That’s why we’re working with Canadians from across the political spectrum to develop crowdsourced policy recommendations to ensure we get the robust privacy protections we deserve.”

Revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald have exposed how CSEC and its foreign intelligence partner the U.S. NSA have been spying on citizens. They revealed that CSEC spied on 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. is leading a national coalition calling for effective legal measures to protect Canadians’ privacy from government surveillance. The coalition is supported by over 40,000 Canadians and now comprises over 60 major organizations from across the political spectrum.

In less then a week thousands of Canadians have already participated in an effort to crowdsource policy recommendations for pro-privacy safeguards at



David Christopher
Communications Manager,
[email protected]

About’s privacy campaign led the successful 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 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. and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) have announced they will work together to put a stop to illegal government surveillance against law-abiding Canadians. 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

  • OpenMedia radio ad about Bill C-13 for Peter MacKay's Central Nova riding
  • Supreme Court’s historic decision on warrantless disclosures is huge win for Canadian privacy, places big question mark over constitutionality of govt’s Bill C-13. Source:
  • 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:
  • 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.

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