Friday, March 27, 2015

CSE and Bill C-51

Must-read from Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert ("Who Knows What Evils Lurk in the Shadows?" Canadian International Council opencanada.org, 27 March 2015):
Many stakeholders and experts have weighed in on various aspects of C-51 as the proposed legislation has touched off a vigorous public debate. I am going to focus on issues around the role of Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE), our country’s main signals intelligence (SIGINT) agency and the subject of significant media coverage since June 2013 and the disclosures of former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

As one of Canada’s principal security and intelligence agencies, CSE would factor into C-51 in a substantial way. One of the most contentious parts of C-51, the Information Sharing Act, would relax rules on information sharing among at least 17 government agencies, CSE included. As the lead agency charged with gathering intelligence from the global information infrastructure (i.e. the Internet and all Internet-connected systems), protecting Canadian networks from threats abroad, and providing “technical assistance” to Canada’s other security agencies, CSE will be front and centre around the “big data” analysis opened up by C-51 and would take on an even more prominent role than it has today around our security, foreign intelligence, and law enforcement. In order to make an informed opinion, it is imperative that Canadians understand how this highly classified agency operates, what are the statutory limits to its authority, and how it will change should C-51 pass into law.
Go read the whole piece.

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