‘Significant concerns’: Canada’s privacy watchdog launches probe into sweeping U.S. spy programs

National Post | News

OTTAWA — Canada’s privacy watchdog, expressing “significant concerns” about reports Canadians may have had their global telephone and Internet use monitored by spy agencies without their knowledge, will be digging for more information.

The world learned last week that the U.S. government had been conducting a secret surveillance program, called Prism, that collected telephone records as well as electronic communications such as emails and documents between individuals around the world.

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While U.S. officials say individual phone calls and emails were not read, it appears the purpose of Prism was to look at whom individuals were contacting, when and from where, in an effort to discover patterns of communication that might indicate suspicious activity.

This is called analysing “metadata,” and many observers fear Canadians weren’t excluded from Prism.

Furthermore, Defence Minister Peter MacKay reportedly authorized Canada’s super-secret Communications Security Establishment (CSE) to conduct its own “metadata” surveillance program in…

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