Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Recent items of interest

Recent news and commentary items related to CSE, signals intelligence, and related issues:

- Daniel Therrien, "Without big changes, Bill C-51 means big data," Globe and Mail, 6 March 2015.

- "Lee Berthiaume, "All Canadians would be trapped in anti-terror legislation's 'web', warns privacy commissioner," Ottawa Citizen, 6 March 2015.

- Scott Vrooman, "Why is oversight of Canada's snooping apparatus so useless?" Toronto Star, 5 March 2015. Youtube commentary on the CSE Commissioner by comedian Scott Vrooman. See also Vrooman's earlier Youtube commentary, "We need a restraining order on our spies," Toronto Star, 25 February 2015.

- "Snowden Live: Canada and the Security State," 4 March 2015. Video Q&A with Edward Snowden followed by panel discussion with Dave Seglins, Andrew Clement, and Laura Tribe. Organized by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression.

- Amber Hildebrandt, "Edward Snowden archive aims to 'piece together the bigger picture'," CBC News, 4 March 2015.

- Andrea Bellemare, "The apps Edward Snowden recommends to protect your privacy online," CBC News, 4 March 2015.

- Tanya Talaga & Alex Boutilier, "Edward Snowden warns of perils in Canada’s proposed anti-terror law," Toronto Star, 4 March 2015.

- Colin Freeze, "The Globe adopts encrypted technology in effort to protect whistle-blowers," Globe and Mail, 4 March 2015.

- Jim Bronskill, "Work on better spy monitoring still underway four years after promise: feds," Canadian Press, 25 February 2015.

- "Canadian media largely ignored major Snowden story," Eyeing the Five blog, 25 February 2015.

- Craig Forcese, "Bill C-51: Does it Reach Protest and Civil Disobedience?" National Security Law blog, 19 February 2015.

- Jean Chretien, Joe Clark, Paul Martin & John Turner, "A close eye on security makes Canadians safer," Globe and Mail, 19 February 2015.

- Editorial, "Heed this call for better oversight of Canada’s spy services," Toronto Star, 19 February 2015.

- Shawn McCarthy, "‘Anti-petroleum’ movement a growing security threat to Canada, RCMP say," Globe and Mail, 17 February 2015.

- Alex Boutilier, "NSA offered help hours after Ottawa attack," Toronto Star, 15 February 2015.


Snowden Archive

As noted above, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression has launched a great new resource for those interested in Five Eyes signals intelligence, a searchable archive of all the Snowden documents that have been made public: Snowden Surveillance Archive. Well worth checking out.

Other potentially useful compilations of the Snowden documents include:
  • FVEYdocs.org. Also searchable, with a highly useful search feature: snippets are provided showing the context of the words searched for and their location within the documents.
  • NSA Primary Sources. Hosted by the Electronic Freedom Foundation. Very basic search function, but a nice, easy to use chronological listing by release date.
  • The NSA Archive. Hosted by the American Civil Liberties Union. Searchable. Collection also includes a lot of officially released U.S. government documents.
  • IC Off The Record. Not to be confused with the official government site IC On The Record, IC Off The Record is a parody site that also contains a wide range of real information about the U.S. intelligence community.
  • Canadian SIGINT Summaries. Unlike the other sites, this site focuses only on documents related to CSE. Helpful summaries and explanations of the documents are provided.

SIGINT history

And for those interested in earlier times, Jerry Proc has a new webpage discussing the history of the DOT's Ottawa Monitoring Station, which intercepted German naval communications during the Second World War.

One of Jerry's primary sources was this webpage by Ernie Brown, who actually served at the station. For more on Brown, see Andrew King, "How Ottawa's project ULTRA helped Alan Turing crack Nazi code," Ottawa Citizen, 16 February 2015.

Helen Leadbetter is another veteran of the SIGINT war against the U-boats who has recently appeared in the media:
- "The Imitation Game's real-life history has link to Canada," Canadian Press, 1 February 2015.
- "Helen Leadbetter, 92, reveals secret story told in The Imitation Game," CBC News, 16 February 2015.

The Imitation Game itself is an entertaining movie, but unfortunately it bears at most a passing resemblance to the actual story.

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