Spying for us or on us?
by Mitch94 on February 13, 2014 - 4:48pm
The CBC news team received information that the CSEC (Canada’s electronic spy agency) has used intelligence from the Wi-Fi at a major Canadian airport of thousands of travellers for a two-week period. The information that was received from the cell phones would indicate the calls made by the owner as well as the location they were made from. The content however wasn’t monitored and can only be censored by obtaining a warrant. The monitoring made by the CSEC was a trial run for new software that is being developed. They claim that they had never targeted Canadians and that they never monitored any phones to begin with. However the top-secret document that was attained by U.S. informer Edward Snowden presents a different story. The claim is that the software that is being developed would help the agency in its affaires and help keep Canada safe. However at the same time, it has violated the privacy rights of over 300 000 Canadians in the process. It is a classic case of security over privacy all while presenting a lack of honesty to the public. The belief is that even if the agency isn’t granted permission by a judge to test their software on Canadian soil that they may do as they please in order to benefit the agency and the Canadian population as a whole. If the rights of a few are disrupted in order to benefit the entire Canadian population than the cause for these acts can be justified. However the privacy rights and personal information of many Canadians was scrutinized for over a week. These are rights that in our digital age are constantly at risk and if we allow agencies/ organizations to do as they please then where do we draw the line. Little to no action on this issue could result in a snowball effect allowing other organizations to do the same and using the information that they obtain to target specific individuals with specific ads or using personal information against them. Should the agency be able to target and monitor the phones of many Canadians to “try out” software? And in the case where they are even evaluating other means of information gathering should they be granted access at all to personal files without permission. I believe that the agency should look to other means of trying their new software. Perhaps it may benefit us in some way or another in the near future however if the rights of many Canadians are violated in the process, the agency would be doing more harm then good when it comes to the protection of Canada and its citizens.