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Canada Eavesdropping on Phone, Internet Records Too

OTTAWA (Security Week) – Canada has also been electronically eavesdropping on Canadians and others, scouring global telephone records and Internet data for patterns of suspicious activity, a newspaper said Monday.

The daily Globe and Mail reported that Defense Minister Peter MacKay signed a ministerial directive renewing the program in November 2011, after a brief hiatus over concerns that it could lead to surveillance of Canadians without a warrant.

The program, operated by the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), originated during the Cold War to spy on Soviet states but its mandate shifted in 2005 amid rising fears of terrorist networks.

CSEC spokesman Ryan Foreman told the Globe and Mail that the CSEC “incidentally” intercepts Canadian communications but primarily “is used to isolate and identify foreign communications, as CSEC is prohibited by law from directing its activities at Canadians.”…read full article

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