We now know that CSEC somehow accessed the public WiFi signals at a major Canadian airport, apparently gathering “metadata” on thousands of Canadians.
Mr. Forster and Mr. Plouffe correctly point out that ministers of defence legally authorized the collection and analysis of this metadata: information about who is talking to whom, when and where, rather than what they are saying. It is fair to say that most Canadians would feel intruded upon if they realized that the government was gathering information on their movements, their location, their relationships and whom they are talking to by phone or online – all without a judge having granted the equivalent of a wiretap authorization. And yet by law, the defence minister can authorize all this with a stroke of a pen, and has. This truck-sized legal loophole violates common sense, not to mention some basic and long-standing constitutional principles.