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Canada Government Privacy

Canadian Spy Agencies Deliberately Misled Courts 62

Posted by timothy
from the but-they-were-so-polite-about-it dept.
Walking The Walk writes "Canada's spy agency deliberately withheld information from the courts in an effort to do an end-run around the law when it applied for top-secret warrants to intercept the communications of Canadians abroad, a Federal Court judge said Friday. CSIS assured Judge Richard Mosley the intercepts would be carried out from inside Canada, and controlled by Canadian government personnel, court records show. However, Canadian officials then asked for intercept help from foreign intelligence allies without telling the court. 'It is clear that the exercise of the court's warrant issuing has been used as protective cover for activities that it has not authorized,' Mosley wrote in redacted reasons."
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Canadian Spy Agencies Deliberately Misled Courts

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  • by mschaffer (97223) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:14AM (#45758803)

    So, I see the Canadians are taking notes from the Americans and the British.

    • by davester666 (731373) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:38AM (#45758847) Journal

      Notes? We have even fewer laws controlling CSIS than the US has controlling the NSA. Not that either agency believes they are much more than suggestions or guidelines and not actual hard and fast rules.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Notes? We have even fewer laws controlling CSIS than the US has controlling the NSA.

        I'm not sure which is better:
        - Canada's lack of laws providing oversight of the CSIS.
        - US's NSA violating more oversight laws.

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        What's worse: Not having laws at all or knowingly breaking them?

      • by davecb (6526)

        Fortunately lying to a court is a criminal offence, typically called perjury. If officers of the court lie to it, as appears to be the case, they can at the very least be disbarred, if not imprisoned for contempt.

        The guilty parties, of course, will be posting everywhere saying you can't do anything about it, to avoid a ground-swell of opinion that would force the Crown Attorneys to lay charges.

        Also expect the miscreants to be writing learned opinions saying that the courts should defer to the security

        • "Your honor, there was some miscommunication in the chain of command. We have since revised our processes to ensure this specific problem will not be detected, er, happen again."

          • by davecb (6526)

            Saying "sorry, won't happen again" isn't a good tactic when you are in front of the court against whom you committed the offence (;-))

            Perjury, fabricating evidence, obstructing justice, criminal contempt ... all sorts of Criminal Code fun for the culprits.

            • It works for the NSA. No reason why it won't work for CSIS.

              http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/19/fisa-court-documents-nsa-violations-privacy [theguardian.com]

              To summarize:

              FISA judge is told by NSA that they have repeatedly violated his warrants for years. He's mad. And he does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT IT, other than write a report about how they aren't listening to him.

              Unless there is some actual penalty that is applied when the law isn't followed, there is no point to having the law. And right now, the three grou

              • by davecb (6526)
                In the British systems, there are more checks and balances, as our courts used to have Kings in them, who kept trying to put their thumbs on the scales of justice (;-))
                • Yeah, those checks and balances really seems to be working for GCHQ...about as well as the checks and balances work for the NSA...

            • "Saying "sorry, won't happen again" isn't a good tactic when you are in front of the court against whom you committed the offence (;-))"

              Judges tend to be overly credulous when facing members of the security and law enforcement services.

              • by davecb (6526)
                Indeed, that's what this judge has said... anyone want to bet he's more than a *little* annoyed ?
    • ... and American spooks misled the congress !

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      So, I see the Canadians are taking notes from the Americans and the British.

      Hardly. It was exactly this type of abuse back in the 80's(1984 actually), when the RCMP was responsible for national security that caused the mandate to be ripped away from the RCMP, and the creation of CSIS with...a civilian oversight board. Very nasty bit of history with the entire organization on that. The real question of course is, why didn't the board do anything, say anything, or check this. The other part is, this will end up before the senate, and a house committee, both of which are good. Ma

    • I think you mean "orders" not notes.
    • So, I see the Canadians are taking notes from the Americans and the British.

      The Harper Conservative government walks over and steps on the Canadians rights to privacy and to reasonable justice. The Conservatives have one god, called money / business. They have been gradually destroying the social safety net of Canadians and the indigionous peoples.

      We are waiting for a re-election, and hopefully, we can dump the conservatives and their xxx licking policies.

  • I'm not surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by msobkow (48369) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:31AM (#45758825) Homepage Journal

    I've been ranting about "bi-lateral security agreements" as a means to do an end-run around the bans on spying on citizens/locally that each nation has. This is just proof that such is exactly what the countries are all doing.

  • And as usual... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RocketRabbit (830691) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:32AM (#45758831)

    And as usual no individuals will be held personally accountable for this. Perhaps a general censure will occur, or a mocking speech stating that they didn't do anything wrong thinly veiled as an apology.

    Canadians often mock America but it seems that you guys have achieved banana republic status too.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Who the fuck modded this comment down? Another government employee?
      OP raised valid points and deserve to be modded up.

    • by HansKloss (665474)

      Exactly, what is going on? Offended government bureaucrats removed your comment.

    • by davecb (6526)

      Danger Danger, Will Robinson!

      In cases like this, the miscreants will want you to express exactly that opinion, to avoid a ground-swell of opinion that will force the Crown to lay charges. I recommend you write your local newspaper to ask for their heads on a pike!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      if we're mocking america that includes ourselves america is a continent that we own the majority of

    • by Maow (620678)

      And as usual no individuals will be held personally accountable for this. Perhaps a general censure will occur, or a mocking speech stating that they didn't do anything wrong thinly veiled as an apology.

      Canadians often mock America but it seems that you guys have achieved banana republic status too.

      Sorry, that's petro-state.

      Too cold for bananas up here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @04:33AM (#45758837)

    What we have seen for the last couple of months is avoidance, avoidance and spiting on national laws.
    It's time for those people knowingly engaging in criminal behavior to face charges. If we not react now, they will feel more and more powerful.

    • by davecb (6526)
      Happily, the article describes criminal offences. A good ground-swell of opinion to encourage the Crown is in order.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Spread the word: Those who don't prosecute criminals are criminals themselves.

  • Canadians are so pure and innocent, and their government is even purer, right? After all, that's why Barbara Streisand moved after W was reelected...

  • by sandbagger (654585) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @09:35AM (#45759621)

    Politicians are egomaniacs and love the prestige of being invited into 'the great game'. So, we can't put our faith in them to encourage a reasonable balance between the necessary and important work that intelligence agencies must do and civil liberties that are necessary for the wee project we call western civilization.

    Judges reallly. really really hate being lied to. They're confronted with people who will do nearly anything to stay out of jail or avoid paying fines so they have to assume that someone is bending the truth a bit in court. But bending the truth a lot is the sort of thing they have all sorts of powers to dissuade. Now, the Crown may never lay charges but that's a separate issue. Rulings of all kinds can rattle up the ladder and cause no end of unintentional activities.

    • by davecb (6526)

      The Crown has a duty to act if someone lays an "information" before them. If they push back, a good ground-swell of opinion will "encourage" them to do the right thing.

      In addition, a private person (preferably a world-famous lawyer) can lay charges, naming any member of the crown (ie, prosecutors) who were involved in presenting the lies to the Court.

      If that doesn't work, things get nasty, with contempt and disbarment actions.

  • David T.S. Fraser writes in the Canadian Privacy Law Blog, Dec 23, 2013 Special prosecutor required to investigate spies and their lawyers lying to the Federal Court [bit.ly].

    Special prosecutors are used when you fear political interference with the crown prosecutors...

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