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Privacy, oversight issues identified in C-59, Trudeau’s proposed security legislation

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In Governance
Jan 15th, 2018
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Black Mirror Canada

“From mass dissemination of false information, to impersonation, leaking foreign documents in order to influence political and legal outcomes… the possibilities for the types of activities contemplated in [Bill C-59] are limited only by imagination.”

By Allie Graham Canadaland

If you thought Bill C-51 was concerning, boy do we have an update for you!

Bill C-59 is the Liberal government’s national security reform bill, and it covers a lot of ground.

According to the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab’s report, the potential activities and allowances put forward by Bill C-59 are “limited only by imagination”: Mass dissemination of false information, leaking foreign documents in order to influence political and legal outcomes, large-scale denial of service attacks, interference with the electricity grid…

The report also warns that Bill C-59 contains a loophole which would allow the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) — the country’s spy agency focusing on electronic communications — to cause death or bodily harm, and to interfere with the “course of justice or democracy.”

But it’s not all bad. Bill C-59 addresses institutional blindspots like lack of organizational oversight and accountability, and sheds some light onto the CSE’s inner workings. Lex Gill, a researcher with Citizen Lab, says that only 3% of Canadians know what CSE is.

This follow-up to Bill C-51, the Harper government’s controversial anti-terrorism Act, is making its way through parliamentary committees, but has yet to draw national attention or scrutiny.

Gill, along with fellow researchers, outlines over 50 recommendations for amendments to Bill C-59. To learn more, see their 75-page report. C-59-Analysis-1.0

Lex Gill joins Jesse. Podcast 

Media
Citizen Lab news release 
Toronto Star Sajjan defends proposed new spy powers to conduct ‘information’ warfare
National Post Critics fear the government’s national security bill puts Canadians in the crosshairs

BILL C-59 An Act respecting national security matters
Status of Bill
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