Canada’s Communications Security Establishment part of a secret state-within-the-state
2013 07 30

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



Related Articles
How Canada’s shadowy metadata-gathering program went awry
What do we know about Canada’s eavesdropping agency?


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills. I need to share information I have discovered ...
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
More News »