Viral Video Reveals Government Spying in Canada
Diverse Groups Put Out Hard-Hitting Video Exposing How Government Spy Agency Has the Power to Monitor the Everyday Lives of Innocent Canadians
Viral video released amid growing outrage at how government spy agencies like Canada’s CSEC and the U.S. NSA are collecting hugely revealing information on innocent citizens
September 22, 2014 – Government spying on law-abiding Canadians is secretive, expensive, and out-of-control. That’s the message of a hard-hitting video launched this morning by community-based OpenMedia.ca, which is leading a large, non-partisan national coalition calling for effective legal measures to safeguard Canadians from government spying.
Watch the video here: http://youtu.be/NK4zY2IVhqk
The video reveals how information collected by government spy agency CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada) can expose intimate details about Canadians’ private lives, including their financial status, medical conditions, political and religious beliefs, and even their sexual orientation. CSEC was caught red-handed spying on thousands of innocent Canadian air travelers earlier this year.
video was designed by Dafne Melania, an
OpenMedia volunteer and graduate of Emily Carr University of
Art and Design. Explaining why she got involved, Dafne said:
"The project is a response to public apathy over online
privacy. The aim was to raise awareness and encourage
involvement against unchecked government surveillance in
“We’ve launched this new video to help inform Canadians about just how out-of-control CSEC’s spying on our private lives has become,” adds OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “Brave whistleblowers have exposed how CSEC is secretly spying on the private online activities of innocent citizens, and storing that information in giant, insecure, government databases. Experts, including Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner, have shown how this data can be used to build detailed portraits of our private lives, right down to our medical conditions and political leanings. Taxpayers are left to pick up the tab - we’re even on the hook for over $4.2 billion to build and operate a lavish new spy palace for CSEC. ”
Anderson continued: “This government has left Canadians with a hugely worrying privacy deficit. They are still resisting sensible calls to reform CSEC while refusing to come clean about precisely how many Canadians have been swept up into their giant databases. Enough is enough - that’s why Canadians are sharing our video with their friends and networks today and why members of parliament from all parties would be wise to move forward with legal reforms to protect our privacy.”
Josh Paterson, Executive Director, B.C. Civil Liberties Association, said: “For more than a year, we have been shocked by revelation after revelation of governments’ mass spying on private citizens. There has been no meaningful action from Canada’s government to account for, or to stop mass suspicionless surveillance. We hope this video will encourage every Canadian to take seriously the very real dangers presented by surveillance, and unaccountable sharing of our personal information with foreign institutions. There is too much at stake here -- this is a fight we must not lose”.
A series of revelations from journalist Glenn Greenwald and whistleblower Edward Snowden have exposed how CSEC has been undermining democracy at home while tarnishing Canada’s reputation overseas. It was revealed that CSEC spied on thousands of innocent Canadian air travellers, facilitated a massive U.S. spy operation on Canadian soil, monitored important Canadian trading partners at the behest of the U.S. NSA, and even spied on the private communications of Brazil’s energy ministry. Decision-makers from across the political spectrum are speaking out and calling for action. Proposed new legislation was recently announced that would take great strides toward reining in CSEC.
The video is being launched by OpenMedia in partnership with a range of organizations spanning the political spectrum including B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Canadian Access and Privacy Association, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, the Council of Canadians, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Dominion, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, the National Firearms Association, Rabble.ca, the Surveillance Studies Centre, the Tyee, and Voices-VOIX.
Canadians can keep in touch with the campaign to rein in CSEC by joining the Protect Our Privacy Coalition. The Coalition includes over 60 major organizations and over a dozen academic experts and is calling for effective legal measures to protect Canadians’ privacy from government spies. Over 40,000 Canadians have pledged their support to the Coalition at http://OurPrivacy.ca
OpenMedia.ca’s infographic on CSEC data collection can be found at: https://openmedia.ca/sites/openmedia.ca/files/Metadata_Infographic_CTA.png