NSA & CSIS, who's spying on me?
by annelaurenceb on February 24, 2015 - 7:18am
In the past years, technology has evolved up to a point where it had the power to enter in conflict with some humans rights. The issue of cyberspying by agencies such as the NSA and the CSIS affects the entire population, which is why I believe it is important to raise the awareness of the citizens on this subject.
In the United States, the NSA, the National Security Agency, has acquired over the years a power of control over many information regarding the population of the country. Recently, a judge has even allowed this organization to access some communication information coming from the citizens. As the plaintiffs were AT&T customers, the decision ruled in favor of the agency by saying that its priorities were of greater importance that an individual’s privacy. Even though it has been made clear that only potential dangerous information, such as information regarding potential terrorist activities, would be gathered, the NSA still has access to the content of their choice. (Reuters) Since 2013, attention was drawn to the enormous amount of $1.7 billion warehouse budget which was given to the NSA to collect and store different information from the US citizens. The NSA is continuously being attacked by hackers who wish they could find a breach in order to leak information to serve personal benefits, and their challenge is to keep the doors closed for these curious. However, the NSA is constantly searching and recruiting the best computer technicians to protect their enormous amount of information. (Associated Press)
In Canada, the equivalent of the NSA is called the CSIS, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and it serves similar functions, although they are also a controversial subject among the population. Recently, the Canadian government has passed new regulations regarding the power the CSIS which expanded its power over the control of information. (Global Staff) Other new powers allowed to the country leaders could be to allow them to remove what they would consider as propaganda on any website accessible in Canada, if they believe this could later lead to a threat. This bill would have been put in place mainly for security measures regarding terrorism according to the government. (Global Staff) The civil liberty experts do not agree completely with the passing of this new regulation, since it is an incursion into people’s life if the government collect personal information for their use. (Montreal Gazette Editorial Board) Over the course of its history, there have been many controversial actions made by the CSIS, such as its relation with the CSE, the Communications Security Establishment, which was not very clear over the years and was needed to be clarified due to the amount of secret information shared by the two organizations. (Globe Staff)
By comparing the situation in these two countries, it is noticeable that for both countries, improvements are required in order to respect the rights of the citizens of both countries. I also believe that on some points, the Canada’s government tries to get along with the United States’ way of thinking, such as with the measures taken to support the defence against terrorism. Even though this may be a serious potential danger over both countries, the citizens must ask themselves what are the lines that the governments are allowed to cross to protect the country, and if it is necessary.
In conclusion, I personally believe that human rights should not be violated in the way they are when agencies such as the NSA and the CSIS have access to every information of every citizens, and that some others measure should be installed to control and prevent the potential terrorist activities.
Associated Press. "Cyber-Attacks Rising in Utah, Likely Due to NSA Facility" The New York Times. The New York Times, 6 February 2015. Web. 18 February 2015.
Globe Staff. "CSIS's new powers: How the new legislation will affect security agencies". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail, 2 February 2015. Web. 18 February 2015.
Montreal Gazette Editorial Board. "Who will watch the watchers?" Montreal Gazette. Montreal Gazette, 3 February 2015. Web. 18 February 2015.
Reuters. "Judge Rules for NSA in Warrantless Search Case" The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 February 2015. Web. 18 February 2015.