Canada asks citizens: How would you like us to spy on you?

Le Canada demande aux citoyens: Comment aimeriez-vous que nous vous espionnions?


The Canadian government is asking citizens to weigh in on its plans for digital surveillance programs.

A government-hosted page called Investigative Capabilities in a Digital World seeks input from residents on matters such as intercepting communications, forcing data decryption, and requiring service providers in Canada to store and retain customer data.

"The same technologies we enjoy and rely on every day – smartphones, laptops and the like – can also be exploited by terrorists and other criminals to coordinate, finance and carry out their attacks or criminal activities," the page argues.

"We treasure our privacy, and rightly so, but we also expect law enforcement and national security investigators to be as effective in keeping us safe and secure in the digital world as they are in the physical world."

Last year, Canadian lawmakers passed a controversial law aimed at greatly expanding the powers of Canadian intelligence agencies to gather information on citizens.

Now, lawmakers are asking citizens to share their thoughts on the state of government surveillance in the country with a series of open questions that gauge sentiment on just how far law enforcement should be able to go in collecting data.

"How can the Government address challenges to law enforcement and national security investigations posed by the evolving technological landscape in a manner that is consistent with Canadian values, including respect for privacy, provision of security and the protection of economic interests?" asks one question.

"In the physical world, if the police obtain a search warrant from a judge to enter your home to conduct an investigation, they are authorized to access your home. Should investigative agencies operate any differently in the digital world?" reads another.

Canada, of course, is one of the "five eyes" nations named in the Edward Snowden intelligence dump. The country's spies were found to be using covert tactics such as airport hotspots and false flag operations. ®


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