Tuesday, October 22, 2013

CSE sued by BCCLA

CSE is being sued by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association:
On October 22, 2013, the BCCLA filed a lawsuit against the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) claiming that its secret and unchecked surveillance of Canadians is unconstitutional.

The BCCLA’s lawsuit calls on the government to come clean and state clearly who they are watching, what is being collected and how they are handing Canadians’ private communications and information. The BCCLA filed the case because we believe that secret and unrestrained government surveillance presents a grave threat to democratic freedoms.

The BCCLA’s lawsuit is the first challenge to the legality of CSEC’s spying programs.

CSEC’s Operations Infringe Canadians’ Rights

The BCCLA’s lawsuit argues that two aspects of the CSEC’s operations violate the Charter’s protections against unreasonable search and seizure: the interception of the private communications of Canadians and the sweeping collection of metadata information produced by Canadians.

By law, CSEC is permitted to read Canadians’ emails and text messages, and listen to Canadians’ phone calls, whenever a Canadian is communicating with a person outside Canada. CSEC also operates under a secret ministerial directive that allows it to collect and analyze the metadata information that is automatically produced each and every time a Canadian uses a mobile phone or accesses the internet.

There is no court or committee that monitors the CSEC’s interception of these private communications and metadata information, and there is no judicial oversight of its sweeping powers. CSEC’s operations are shrouded in secrecy.

The BCCLA filed this lawsuit to force the government to enact specific safeguards to protect the rights of all Canadians.
Press Release

Notice of Claim

Backgrounder

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