Everyone has heard about the Verizon data mining performed by the United States government in the name of national security. But are you aware that it might be happening in Canada as well ?

Communications Security Establishment Canada is a security agency that collects various information to protect national interests and according to Ronald Diebert there is a possibility that they are collecting data right now.

Like in the United States this data is likely just cross referenced because it would take an enormous effort to listen to every call or read every email, for example. But we should ask ourselves if this information is stored securely enough so that it cannot be accessed by someone else and how long this data remain accessible, waiting to be abused.

A June 13th, 2013 press release from Commissioner Robert Décary of the Communications Security Establishment Canada addresses some of the issues and he states that the “CSEC does not direct its foreign signals intelligence collection and IT security activities at Canadians — wherever they might be in the world — or at any person in Canada.” But he also confirmed that the CSEC may “unintentionally intercept a communication that originates or terminates in Canada” and that metadata is being collected by the CSEC “for purposes of providing intelligence on foreign entities located outside Canada and to protect information infrastructures of importance to the government”.

We’ve already had serious security breaches with data stored on hard drives and USB sticks within the past six month courtesy of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, who managed to loose a hard drive containing data on over half a million Canadians in January and a USB key containing private information on an additional 5000 Canadians in December. And in 1999 we had sensitive top secret documents stolen from a CSIS agent’s car while he was at a Toronto Maple Leafs game so Canadians should know what is being stored and by whom.

If you are concerned about this issue contact your local Member of Parliament and/or sign this petition.

Thank you.