Eavesdropping agency must be more transparent with Canadians: watchdog

OTTAWA – The federal privacy watchdog wants the government’s electronic eavesdropping agency to tell Canadians more about what it’s doing.

Interim privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier says Communications Security Establishment Canada should table an annual public report in Parliament describing its ongoing activities.

Bernier also recommends CSEC disclose annual statistics on cases in which it assists other federal agencies with requests for interception.

The recommendations are among several intended to bolster protection of privacy rights in national security efforts.

Ottawa-based CSEC monitors foreign computer, satellite, radio and telephone traffic for information of intelligence interest.

Its role has come under intense scrutiny due to leaks by a former contractor for the National Security Agency, CSEC’s American counterpart.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.