B.C. Civil Liberties Association and Open Media have filed a lawsuit against Canada’s Communications Security Establishment Agency (CSEC) for violating privacy rights of Canadians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The lawsuit argues two aspects of CSEC’s operations violate the charter’s protections against unreasonable search and seizure, and infringe on free expression, including:
- The interception of the private communications of Canadians.
- The sweeping collection of metadata information produced by Canadians in their everyday activities online and through phone conversations.
One of the lawyers involved is Joe Arvay. Joe said:
“Unaccountable and unchecked government surveillance presents a grave threat to democratic freedoms.”
“We are deeply concerned that CSEC is gaining secret, illegal access to the private communications of ordinary Canadians, and there are no reasonable safeguards in place to monitor its activities. We know from the experiences of other countries that government agencies have a tendency to push and even break the boundaries of spying unless they are checked.”
As many of you know, Joe is the lawyer some of us consulted about FATCA. He is one of Canada’s leading constitutional lawyers and is “on stand-by” for us if we need to file a FATCA Charter challenge. I can only imagine what Joe will say if the government tries to turn our financial information over to a foreign government.
You Go Joe!