Monday, February 24, 2014

Revisiting the Commissioner's reports: Missing s.16 review

Here I am, spending my weekend reading through back issues of the CSE Commissioner's annual report (yeah, I don't have a life) when I see what looks like a promising upcoming review mentioned in the 2008-09 report:
Other reviews that are underway or planned for the next reporting year include: ... CSEC’s assistance (under part (c) of its mandate) to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service under section 16 of the CSIS Act.
Section 16 is the part of the CSIS Act that enables CSIS to collect foreign intelligence in Canada at the request of either the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the Minister of National Defence. When CSIS gets the go-ahead for such operations, it can then bring CSEC in if necessary to assist in the operation through part (c) of CSEC's mandate, which authorizes CSEC to provide assistance to federal law enforcement and security agencies.

As I commented here, s.16 probably provides the legal basis for the collection of foreign embassy communications in Canada. And if monitoring was done at the G8 and G20 summits, that monitoring was also probably authorized through s.16.

It was concern about the "private communications" of Canadians getting monitored during the interception of embassy communications that led former CSE employee Jane Shorten to blow the whistle about privacy violations in 1995.

All in all, it seems like a pretty interesting topic for a review.

So off I go to the 2009-10 annual report to find out what transpired in the Commissioner's review (or whatever he would be willing to report about it, anyway).

No s.16 review.

Well, that's OK. Some of these reviews take more than a year to complete, and indeed the 2009-10 report promises that
Other reviews planned for 2010–2011 include: ... CSEC assistance to CSIS under part (c) of CSEC’s mandate and sections 16 and 21 of the CSIS Act.
On to the 2010-11 report!

Well, you can guess where this is going.

No review.

And no promise of a forthcoming review, either in that report or in any subsequent report!

Nor is there any mention of such a review having been conducted in the CSE Commissioner's list of classified reports provided to the Minister of National Defence over the years.

What happened to the s.16 review?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael Heroux said

I wonder if they did the review and decided to keep it confidential or if they decided not to do it at all. Either way there must be something damning. The time period seems suspect also. It seems like alot of bad stuff started happening in 2009. Thanks

February 25, 2014 6:45 am  

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