Secret agent agency' s airport data gathering aimed at countering kidnappers: document

OTTAWA — A controversial effort by Canada’s electronic eavesdropping agency to track the wireless devices of travellers at airports was intended to locate kidnappers and terrorists, a newly leaked out document indicates.

The Communications Security Establishment Canada slip presentation, published by CBC, says information was taken from wireless devices using an unidentified Canadian airport’s totally free Wi-Fi system over a two-week period.

The May 2012 presentation suggests the project may help security officials zero in on a kidnapper based in a rural area who travelled to a city to produce ransom calls.

Ottawa-based CSEC monitors foreign computer, satellite, radio and telephone traffic of individuals, states, organizations and terrorist organizations for information of intelligence attention to Canada. It is a key player in the Five Eyes intelligence system that includes partner agencies from the Usa, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

The focus on monitoring network Internet Protocol addresses has been carried out by the partners’ Tipping plus Cueing Task Force, a Five Eyes effort to allow their intelligence-gathering systems to “provide real-time notifications of events of interest. ”

It notes terrorists continue to target airlines and hotels intended for attack, and that public Internet providers in such facilities have “clear characteristics” — suggesting that could make it simpler to find a suspect.

Edward Snowden, who once worked intended for CSEC’s American counterpart, gave the document to Brazil-based journalist Glenn Greenwald, who collaborated with CBC. The public broadcaster released a censored version of the presentation, prepared by a CSEC “tradecraft developer” in the agency’s network analysis centre.

Its disclosure prompted opposition MPs to accuse the Conservative govt Friday of allowing CSEC to Canadians and spy on them.

“Will the minister recognize that tracking the locations associated with Canadians by CSEC is illegitimate? ” asked New Democrat MEGA-PIXEL David Christopherson in the House of Commons. “Will he at least acknowledge it really is wrong? ”

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, who is responsible for CSEC, repeatedly told the House the eavesdropping service made it clear in order to CBC that Canadian communications are not targeted, collected or used, neither were travellers’ movements being tracked.

CSEC spokeswoman Lauri Sullivan said in a statement that the agency is legally authorized to gather and analyze what is known as metadata — technical information used to path communications but not the actual contents of the phone call or message.

Some civil libertarians say CSEC’s metadata monitoring is worrisome since even this material can expose much about a person, such as their location and who they are contacting.

All CSEC activities “include measures to protect the privacy associated with Canadians, ” Sullivan said.

“The classified document involved is a technical presentation between specialists exploring mathematical models built on everyday scenarios to identify and find foreign terrorist threats, ” the lady added.

“The illegal disclosure of tradecraft puts the techniques at risk of being less efficient when addressing threats to Europe and Canadians. ”

The watchdog over CSEC, Quebec, canada , judge Jean-Pierre Plouffe, said in the statement Friday that he was conscious of the metadata activities mentioned in the CBC story.

“The law prohibits CSEC from directing its activities at Canadians, inch he said. “In accordance with its mandate, CSEC is only allowed to make use of metadata to understand the global information facilities, for the purpose of providing intelligence on international entities located outside Canada and to protect computer systems of importance to the govt of Canada. ”

Past commissioners have reviewed CSEC metadata activities, finding them to take compliance with the law and to end up being subject to “comprehensive and satisfactory measures” to protect the privacy of Canadians, he added.

“CSEC is providing full co-operation to my workplace in the conduct of another continuous in-depth review of these activities, which was formally approved in the fall associated with 2012. ”

Materials disclosed by Snowden last year pointed out that Canada helped the United States plus Britain spy on participants at the London G20 summit in 2009. Some other documents from Snowden’s extensive cache suggested CSEC once monitored Brazil’s department of mines and power.

Earlier this week, temporary federal privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier said CSEC should table an annual public report in Parliament describing its continuing activities.

Bernier also recommended the eavesdropping agency disclose annual statistics on cases in which it assists other federal agencies with requests intended for interception, which can include monitoring associated with Canadians.


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OTTAWA — A controversial effort by Canada’s electronic eavesdropping agency to track the wireless devices of travellers at airports was intended to locate kidnappers and terrorists, a newly leaked out document indicates.

The Communications Security Establishment Canada slip presentation, published by CBC, says information was taken from wireless devices using an unidentified Canadian airport’s totally free Wi-Fi system over a two-week period.

The May 2012 presentation suggests the project may help security officials zero in on a kidnapper based in a rural area who travelled to a city to produce ransom calls.

Ottawa-based CSEC monitors foreign computer, satellite, radio and telephone traffic of individuals, states, organizations and terrorist organizations for information of intelligence attention to Canada. It is a key player in the Five Eyes intelligence system that includes partner agencies from the Usa, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

The focus on monitoring network Internet Protocol addresses has been carried out by the partners’ Tipping plus Cueing Task Force, a Five Eyes effort to allow their intelligence-gathering systems to “provide real-time notifications of events of interest. ”

It notes terrorists continue to target airlines and hotels intended for attack, and that public Internet providers in such facilities have “clear characteristics” — suggesting that could make it simpler to find a suspect.

Edward Snowden, who once worked intended for CSEC’s American counterpart, gave the document to Brazil-based journalist Glenn Greenwald, who collaborated with CBC. The public broadcaster released a censored version of the presentation, prepared by a CSEC “tradecraft developer” in the agency’s network analysis centre.

Its disclosure prompted opposition MPs to accuse the Conservative govt Friday of allowing CSEC to Canadians and spy on them.

“Will the minister recognize that tracking the locations associated with Canadians by CSEC is illegitimate? ” asked New Democrat MEGA-PIXEL David Christopherson in the House of Commons. “Will he at least acknowledge it really is wrong? ”

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, who is responsible for CSEC, repeatedly told the House the eavesdropping service made it clear in order to CBC that Canadian communications are not targeted, collected or used, neither were travellers’ movements being tracked.

CSEC spokeswoman Lauri Sullivan said in a statement that the agency is legally authorized to gather and analyze what is known as metadata — technical information used to path communications but not the actual contents of the phone call or message.

Some civil libertarians say CSEC’s metadata monitoring is worrisome since even this material can expose much about a person, such as their location and who they are contacting.

All CSEC activities “include measures to protect the privacy associated with Canadians, ” Sullivan said.

“The classified document involved is a technical presentation between specialists exploring mathematical models built on everyday scenarios to identify and find foreign terrorist threats, ” the lady added.

“The illegal disclosure of tradecraft puts the techniques at risk of being less efficient when addressing threats to Europe and Canadians. ”

The watchdog over CSEC, Quebec, canada , judge Jean-Pierre Plouffe, said in the statement Friday that he was conscious of the metadata activities mentioned in the CBC story.

“The law prohibits CSEC from directing its activities at Canadians, inch he said. “In accordance with its mandate, CSEC is only allowed to make use of metadata to understand the global information facilities, for the purpose of providing intelligence on international entities located outside Canada and to protect computer systems of importance to the govt of Canada. ”

Past commissioners have reviewed CSEC metadata activities, finding them to take compliance with the law and to end up being subject to “comprehensive and satisfactory measures” to protect the privacy of Canadians, he added.

“CSEC is providing full co-operation to my workplace in the conduct of another continuous in-depth review of these activities, which was formally approved in the fall associated with 2012. ”

Materials disclosed by Snowden last year pointed out that Canada helped the United States plus Britain spy on participants at the London G20 summit in 2009. Some other documents from Snowden’s extensive cache suggested CSEC once monitored Brazil’s department of mines and power.

Earlier this week, temporary federal privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier said CSEC should table an annual public report in Parliament describing its continuing activities.

Bernier also recommended the eavesdropping agency disclose annual statistics on cases in which it assists other federal agencies with requests intended for interception, which can include monitoring associated with Canadians.

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