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CSEC Retained Private Communications of Canadians

Fresh Revelations That CSEC Retained Private Communications of Canadians Underline Need for Much Stronger Transparency, Oversight, And Accountability, Says OpenMedia.Ca

The government’s spy agency CSEC intercepted and deliberately retained the private communications of 66 Canadian citizens last year. The interceptions were made without a warrant and without judicial oversight. These revelations were contained in an official report by CSEC’s Commissioner Jean-Pierre Plouffe. The report did not reveal how many Canadians in total had their private communications spied on by CSEC before being discarded as irrelevant.

According to, a community-based group working to safeguard Canadians’ privacy, the report raises more questions than it answers, and underlines the need for much greater transparency, independent oversight, and accountability for CSEC.

“These fresh revelations will do little to assure law-abiding Canadians who simply want to communicate online without being spied on by their own government,” said spokesperson David Christopher. “First CSEC assured us they didn't spy on Canadians. Then they admitted to ‘incidentally’ collecting private data. Now it's been officially revealed CSEC retained the private communications of dozens of Canadians, all of which were intercepted without a warrant. And they still aren’t coming clean about exactly how many Canadians had their private communications spied on before being discarded.”

Christopher continued: “It’s no wonder so many Canadians are calling for much stronger transparency, accountability, and independent oversight of CSEC’s activities. The government should listen to Canadians and support common sense measures, such as those proposed by Liberal MP Joyce Murray, to create stronger parliamentary oversight and more robust public reporting obligations. Every resident of Canada deserves to live free from fear of government surveillance and we’ll keep up our campaign until we get the strong privacy protections we deserve.”

Tens of thousands of Canadians are calling for effective privacy safeguards at


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