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Lucas Rizoli
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Digs games, user interfaces, and the web.
Digs games, user interfaces, and the web.

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Oh, Canada…
CSEC has no legal authority to collect metadata (including WiFi) of Canadians without a warrant

Last night, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported on another leaked #Snowden document that provided more information on the activities of the Communications Security Establishment of Canada ( #CSEC  ). http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/csec-used-airport-wi-fi-to-track-canadian-travellers-edward-snowden-documents-1.2517881

The actual document at issue is here, in redacted form: http://www.cbc.ca/news2/pdf/airports_redacted.pdf

Interestingly, CSEC has responded with a media release: http://www.cse-cst.gc.ca/home-accueil/media/media-2014-01-30-eng.html

I welcome CSEC and the government of Canada finally entering the discussion, but it is all spin. What's additionally galling is that they are pointing to s. 273.64 of the National Defence Act for their authority to collect metadata:

"CSE's activities, including the collection and analysis of metadata, are authorized under the National Defence Act, under section 273.64. Our activities are further guided by a robust framework of Ministerial Directives and operational policies. CSE’s activities, as well as its operational directives, policies and procedures, are reviewed by the CSE Commissioner, to ensure they are lawful."

That section sets out the mandate of CSEC in very broad terms, but it does not create any authority to collect the metadata of Canadians.  

Mandate
273.64 (1) The mandate of the Communications Security Establishment is
(a) to acquire and use information from the global information infrastructure for the purpose of providing foreign intelligence, in accordance with Government of Canada intelligence priorities; ...

Subsequent sections of the Act set out the CSEC's authority, none of which permit the warrantless collection of metadata of Canadians.

If the CSEC has a legal opinion to the contrary, I'd like to see it.
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