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C-22 - The Intelligence Agency Oversight Bill That Has No Real Oversight

  • Broadcast in Politics



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Since Edward Snowden, intelligence agencies in the "western democracies" have been a little more careful about how their quest for ever-incresing powers are presented to the public. This is a good thing, even if the public is woefully still unaware and apathetic to what is being done to their privacy and information in the name of safety. But one country in particular in the Five Eyes alliance remains far behind the others regarding oversight and responsibility to the public they are chartered to protect. Canada.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC, now CSE) remain the envy of agencies in other countries. The powers granted to these agencies in Canada have increased by a magnitude as in other nations. But those other nations have effective oversight of their activities, via committee or public boards that review and release their findings on a regular schedule. Not so in Canada.

While on the campaign trail, Justin Trudeau talked about changing that, like he talked about changing a lot of things. For the vast majority of those promises, Canada is still waiting. Now, C-22, An Act to establish the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, has passed second reading and ignored all evidence, testimony and past transgressions in favor of a Harperesque misnomer that makes oversight worse, not better. Sunny ways, suckers.

Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) is the currency in the new global surveillance world. In Canada, the public is at a huge disadvantage and the government is doing nothing to change that. In fact they are seeking to make it worse and permanent. We will discuss past incidents of rights violations en masse and the zero consequences for CSIS and CSEC.

Tim McSorley, National Coordinator for the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) joins us to discuss the deficiencies and risks to Canadians of C-22