What do Canadian companies have to say about mass surveillance in Canada?

Image from Lindy Buckley on Flickr

We now know that the Canadian government asked Google for data on 128 Canadian users in 2012. This journalist recently investigated issues of Internet privacy and mass surveillance in Canada. He also asked Canadian companies about mass surveillance in Canada. Read their response.

Article by Jesse Brown for Macleans:

One hundred and twenty-eight Canadians. According to Google, that’s the number of users in this country on whom our government has requested account data in 2012. And less than half of those requests resulted in Google actually providing authorities with any information.

But is that the whole story? In the wake of revelations about PRISM, one of several bulk surveillance efforts by the U.S. National Security Agency, Canadians have been wondering if something similar has been happening here, wherein the data of millions is getting scooped up in whole, stored, and analysed at some later date. Last month, the Globe and Mail revealed the existence of a metadata surveillance effort by CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada). CSEC, our little-known equivalent to the NSA, is tasked with “foreign signals intelligence,” but as the Globe revealed, they’ve also been spying on Canadians. Metadata is information about a communication (say, who sent a message, to whom, when, and from where) but does not include the message itself. The Globe learned through access to information requests that CSEC has spied on bulk metadata, but reported nothing on how CSEC was obtaining this data, or on which companies have been aiding them.

Read more at Macleans