Canada’s intelligence agency admits to ‘incidentally’ snooping on own citizens

Posted on Jan 14 2014 - 11:10pm by IBC News

Washington, Jan. 14: In a continued series of revelations about the blurring line between individual privacy and national security, Canada’s intelligence agency has reportedly admitted that it might incidentally snoop-on its own citizens.

The nation’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE), responsible for gathering foreign intelligence, said that it might “incidentally intercept” Canadian communications.

According to The Verge, it is the first time the CSE, which is analogous in its responsibilities to the NSA, has admitted its work affects Canadian citizens.

The statement comes in light of a new FAQ posted about the CSE’s Signals Intelligence operations, in which the agency noted that it’s against the law for it to target Canadians either in Canada or abroad, or to request allies to do the same.

However, if CSE is assisting another agency that has a valid legal claim or warrant, an exception, known as Assistance Mandate, might be made, which can be used as a legal basis for performing intercept operations against Canadians.

The agency further said that the first admission about its operations is an “initial response” to increased scrutiny brought on by whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA ‘s mass surveillance activities.

The report said that the CSE would reveal more information in the coming months in as transparent a manner as possible.

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