Judge Hears CSIS Planning to Spy on Foreign Agencies in Canadians

The most important jurist of Canada on national security law has recently thumped CSIS for knowingly keeping the Federal Court of Canada “in the dark” regarding its outsourced spying on Canadians abroad to foreign agencies.  A redacted version of a classified court decision made public on Friday revealed that the Federal Court Judge, Richard Mosley, found that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) intentionally misinformed him at the time he wanted to grant numerous warrants beginning in 2009, while intercepting the electronic communications of unidentified Canadians abroad suspected as domestic security threats.

In his remarks, Mosley mentioned in his ‘Further Reasons for Order,’ that “this was a breach of the duty of candour owed by the service and their legal advisers to the court.” The document also reveals that CSIS wrongly assigned powers to warrants which the court never authorized and hence did not exist lawfully. Mosley added that “it is clear that the exercise of the court’s warrant issuing authority has been used as protective cover for activities that it has not authorized,” Mosley wrote.

Moreover, Mosley found that his tasked foreign security intelligence services to spy on Canadians overseas who “carries the risk of the detention of or other harm to a Canadian person based on that information.” Additionally, “given the unfortunate history of information sharing with foreign agencies over the past decade and the reviews conducted by several royal commissions, there can be no question that the Canadian agencies are aware of those hazards. It appears to me that they are using the warrants as authorization to assume those risks.”

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