Canadian spy agency, CSIS, uses illegal bulk data collection to subvert Canadian freedoms

On a beautiful Sunday morning, I have to link to this bit of ugliness on the illegal bulk data collection by the Canadian spy agency, CSIS. Only a handful members of government knew about and it was only revealed because of a court case.

From the article:

Many corporations and government agencies are now gravitating toward so-called big data computer analytics that can predict patterns of future behaviour based upon records about what has happened in the past. Spy agencies are no different, and the centre in question appears to be the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s equivalent of a crystal ball – a place where intelligence analysts attempt to deduce future threats by examining, and re-examining, volumes of data.

This is precisely why I’ve expanded the scope of the topics we cover on SourceContribute; we’re now covering security and peer2peer technologies, and this is also why I talk about the FreedomBox and how to set it up for yourself on a Raspberry Pi. FreedomBox includes Tor  and OpenVPN and Privoxy which are some of the tools you need to protect yourself from the data collection done by marketing agencies and by the NSA and by Canadian spy agencies CSIS and CSE.

More from the article:

The fundamental question is whether CSIS should be allowed to do this, by means that include retaining information relating to its wiretaps indefinitely, and indiscriminately keeping information about as many people as it can.

What the Federal Court has decided is that such retention violates federal laws. Under the 1984 CSIS Act, the agency’s intelligence officers can only hold onto data deemed “strictly necessary” to keep.

Yet, for a decade it appears the spy agency was secretively holding onto phone logs and e-mail trails that it had mapped out around targets of past investigations, even when it was forced to destroy the underlying intercepted conversations.

Far more troubling is that so far they aren’t even getting a slap on the wrist about this horrid violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

But there is no apparent fallout from this for CSIS yet. While the spy agency says it will stop analyzing the contentious data, there are no indications that it will destroy the data.

You can read more here.

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