Since the Snowden leak in 2013 Canadians have learned that:
– Our telecoms have built databases specifically for use by police.
– At least one company has given the government unrestricted access to its network.
– Our electronic surveillance agency, CSEC, is spying on Canadians. One program got so out of hand it had to be shut down.
– The government closely collaborates with the NSA and likely has a similar warrantless surveillance program.
– Canada allowed the NSA to spy at the Toronto G20.
– CSEC takes money from the NSA and helped the U.S. agency crack encryption standards that keep the internet secure.
Most tellingly, we know the government just doubled funding for CSEC and is moving the agency to a new state-of-the-art headquarters at a cost of $1.2 billion.
We know these revelations are just the tip of the iceberg because both the government and the telecom companies resist transparency at every turn. Only three of the nine telecom companies asked by the privacy commissioner about warrantless government requests deigned to provide her with information. The size of the program is undoubtedly much larger than has been reported.
And yet Canadians don’t seem to care.
The government is once again using the guise of protecting children to push legislation that will give telecom companies even more legal cover to hand over our information without a warrant. Bill C-13, the so-called cyberbullying bill, will lower the standard required for government agencies to get our data. Even Amanda Todd’s mother, whose daughter took her own life after being mercilessly abused online, thinks the legislation goes too far.
In short: Canada should get angry.