Canada’s Communications Security Establishment part of a secret state-within-the-state
By Ed Patrick and Keith Jones | WSWS
Most Canadians had never heard of the Communications Security Establishment (CSEC), the Canadian counterpart of the US National Security Agency (NSA), prior to last month’s Globe and Mail report that CSEC has been metadata mining Canadians’ electronic communications since 2005.
And Canada’s elite is determined to keep it that way—to ensure that the public knows as little as possible about the activities of CSEC.
The Conservative government and CSEC have responded with a series of lies, half-truths and disingenuous statements to the revelation that Canada’s signal intelligence agency has been collecting Canadians’ metadata. Peter MacKay, who until last week’s cabinet shuffle was the minister in charge of CSEC, lied repeatedly and brazenly in the days following the exposure of CSEC’s metadata mining, declaring that CSEC is only involved with “foreign threats.” A former CSEC deputy director, meanwhile, termed the exposure a “manufactured” story. Yet, the Supreme Court Justice who served as the government-appointed “watchdog” on CSEC’s activities from August 2006 until his death in July 2009 repeatedly raised concerns that the program violated the agency’s mandate and Canadians’ rights.
The government’s aim is to cover up the fact that the CSEC is systematically spying on Canadians and collecting information that can be—and undoubtedly is being—used by Canada’s national security apparatus to identify and develop intimate portraits of the views, habits and connections of individuals and groups that it deems hostile to the interests of Canadian big business and its state.
The press and opposition parties, for their part, quickly dropped discussion of CSEC’s activities.
The reality is that CSEC functions as part of a burgeoning state-within-the-state: a network of national intelligence, military and police agencies that are armed with draconian powers, subject to little and ever-shrinking judicial and parliamentary oversight, and shielded from public scrutiny.
CSEC is, as far as we know, the most secretive part of this network. It functions under secret ministerial directives issued by the Defence Minister. Not only are the directives’ contents shrouded in secrecy, even their topics are kept secret from the public, opposition and government parliamentarians, and almost all ministers.
CSEC does not report directly to parliament and its activities are not subject to the oversight of a parliamentary committee. Until 2011 it released annual reports through the Ministry of Defence that were tailored to obfuscate its activities. Since then, it is no longer obliged to publicly issue any annual report or document outlining its plans, priorities and performance.
Read the full article at: wsws.org
How Canada’s shadowy metadata-gathering program went awry
What do we know about Canada’s eavesdropping agency?
Latest News from our Front Page
Not Again: More US AID, Missiles Shipped to al Qaeda, al Nusra and ISIS in Syria, Iraq
Two weeks ago, 21WIRE reported on how ISIS and other terrorists militants operating in Syria and Iraq are receiving regular weapons and ‘supply drops’ – forming a ‘rat line’ which seems to be playing a crucial role in keeping this highly profitable conflict going on both sides.
This week, it’s been reported that Jabhat Al-Nusra fighters have been brandishing US-supplied ...
Swedish parliament removes Baroque artist's bare breasted painting for offending feminists and Muslims
A nude painting named Juno, which was painted by baroque artist G E Schröder and has hung in the dining room of the Swedish Parliament for 30 years has been taken down for fear of offending the sensitivities of feminists and Muslim visitors, Swedish newspaper, The Local reported on Thursday.
Explaining the ban on the baroque breasts, a source from the ...
White US children will be minorities by 2020 after immigrant 'baby boom', Census reveals
This is the result of an ongoing trend of declining birth among white Americans and a baby boom among immigrant groups, as well as a surge in immigration.
By the year 2020, 50.2percent of all children in the US are expected to be non-white, according to the Census. By 2044, whites will be outnumbered by minorities.
The Census study, released ...
New Jersey Shopkeeper Hangs 'White History Month' Sign In Window
A deli owner in Flemington, New Jersey, has angered many of his neighbors by posting a sign on his window that reads, "Celebrate Your White Heritage in March White History Month."
Jim Boggess, who is the owner of Jimbo's Deli, says he put up the sign to remind everyone that they should be proud of their race and culture.
"No matter what ...
The Viking ”Maine Penny” Mystery
In 1957, during his second year of digging at the Goddard site; a large prehistoric Indian trade village in Penobscot Bay on the central Maine coast, local resident and amateur archaeologist Guy Mellgren found a small silver coin. The coin is later identified by experts as a Norse silver penny dating to the reign of Olaf Kyrre, king of Norway ...
|More News » |