Spies and Lies: The CSE story

Spies and Lies: The CSE story
Posted on February 2, 2015 | Open Media | Written on February 2, 2015
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A little late for the holiday season, we’ve just learned that Canadian spy agency CSE is making a list… but they’re not checking it twice.

In fact, they’re not checking it at all. Leaked documents reveal a secret program that is spying on the use of our favourite downloading sites. This means the bulk collection of Canadians’ private information, regardless of whether they’ve been naughty or nice.1

Tell Prime Minister Stephen Harper to put an end to warrantless online spying. Today.

The sensitive data being collected about you can be used to tell everything from your sexual orientation, to your religious and political beliefs, to your medical history.

And the government’s mishandling of this data has meant innocent Canadians have lost their jobs and even been banned from entering the U.S.2

You could even end up on a government watch-list for simply clicking a link.

What’s more, Stephen Harper’s Defence Minister explicitly told us last year that CSE doesn’t spy on Canadians.3

So which is it, Harper?

This government needs to know that we don’t support their secretive, expensive, and out-of-control spying program.Send a message now.

Not only are innocent Canadians being spied on, but their sensitive information is being shared with the spy agencies of several other countries4 - and who knows what happens from there. All of this without our knowledge or consent.

Of the 10-15 million downloads CSE processes every day, they admit that only 0.00001% of them are “interesting.”5 Does that sound like effective use of a multi-billion dollar program to you?

And now the federal government just announced new legislation giving more powers to spy agencies without any matching increase in oversight or accountability.6

We need to rein in CSE, and put an immediate stop to indiscriminate warrantless online spying. Tell Stephen Harper to stop spying on Canadians and wasting our tax dollars.

This could be our best chance to end out-of-control spying, but it will only work if thousands of Canadians speak out. Let’s end this now.

–David, on behalf of the OpenMedia team

P.S. The bottom line is this: ending up as a target for invasive government surveillance should never be as easy as clicking a link on a popular service, or storing a file online. Please let Ottawa decision-makers know exactly where you stand right now.

Footnotes
*CSE, formerly known as CSEC, is Canada's spy agency
[1], [5] Canada Casts Global Surveillance Dragnet Over File Downloads. Source: The Intercept.
[2] Here’s what I told key MPs about their Online Spying Bill C-13. Source.
[3] Tories deny Canadian spy agencies are targeting Canadians. Source: Toronto Star.
[4] A look at how Canada tracked one person. Source: CBC News
[6] Stephen Harper makes his case for new powers to combat terror. Source: CBC.

About The Author

OpenMedia.ca is an award-winning civic engagement organization. We empower people to participate in Internet governance through fresh & engaging citizens

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