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In the House of Commons Question Period Thursday, November 28, 2013, Canada's Defence Minister Rob Nicholson refused to confirm reports that Canada allowed U.S. surveillance of a G20 summit in Toronto.
Photo Credit: Adrian Wyld/CP

Canadian government refuses to confirm U.S. surveillance of G20 summit in Canada

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The day after a news report about U.S. surveillance in Canada of a G20 summit in 2010, a Canadian government minister and the head of Canada’s intelligence gathering agency CSEC refused to answer whether the surveillance had actually occurred.

John Forster, chief of the Communications Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC) said he couldn’t answer questions because “I can’t comment in detail on the intelligence operations or capabilities of ourselves or our allies. What I can tell you is that CSEC, under its legislation, cannot target Canadians anywhere in the world or anyone in Canada, including visitors to Canada.”

Later in the House of Commons Question Period, no direct comment on the allegations from the Minister of Defence Rob Nicholson who is responsible for CSEC.

According to a report on Wednesday night by Canada’s national public television broadcaster CBC, the covert U.S. operation was no secret to Canadian authorities and was coordinated with Canada’s intelligence gathering agency, the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC).

RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda has a report.

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More information:
CBC News - Top spy won’t answer questions about G20 surveillance – here
Postmedia News - Canada’s spy chief dodges questions about G20 eavesdropping – here
CBC News - New Snowden docs show U.S. spied during G20 in Toronto (includes video report) – here

Update November 29, 2013:
Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald, the journalist who has revealed a massive domestic and foreign spying operation by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and was involved with Wednesday’s CBC report, tweeted the following on Friday (November 29):

Remember over the next few weeks that Canada’s spy chief claimed CSEC “cannot target Canadians…or anyone in Canada” http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2013/11/28/canadian-government-refuses-to-confirm-u-s-surveillance-of-g20-summit-in-canada/ [ a link to this page]

More information – January 31, 2014:
RCI – Canadian intelligence agency CSEC tracked thousands through airport’s free Wi-Fi – here

twitter.com/wojtekgwiazda

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Posted in International, Politics, Society
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2 comments on “Canadian government refuses to confirm U.S. surveillance of G20 summit in Canada
  1. Stand for Canada says:

    So Canada can’t spy on Canadians anywhere in the world or on anyone who visits Canada but it’s A-OK to let someone else do it?

    I could be wrong here but I’d bet we’re going to see this statement proven to be an outright lie in the near term.

  2. Maurice Alarie says:

    What else is new! This party has high jacked our government and getting away with it! How is it possible that we as Canadians are standing by watching this happen….we should be out in the streets demonstrating like so many other countries around the world who are feed up with their government. Are we so complacent….? Maybe it’s our cold weather….who knows….but it’s really frustrating for an ordinary Canadian to see this happen…. Is this what democracy is all about? Where are the safeguards ?

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