U.S. spied at G20 summit in Toronto in 2010, and Canada knew: CBC report

TORONTO – The United States reportedly conducted widespread surveillance while world leaders were gathered in Toronto for the G20 summit in 2010 and that Canada knew about it.

CBC’s The National reported Wednesday on documents it said were leaked by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The national broadcaster said the briefing notes show Canada allowed the National Security Agency to conduct the operation out of its Ottawa embassy during the the 2010 G8 and G20 summits.

The report said one briefing note describes the NSA plans and said they were “closely co-ordinated with the Canadian partner.” Canada’s counterpart is Communications Security Establishment Canada.

There’s no word on specifics of the spying operation. The documents describe part of the mandate as “providing support to policymakers.”

A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the government would not comment on “operational matters related to national security.”

“Our security organizations have independent oversight mechanisms to ensure that they fulfil their mandate in accordance with the law,” Jason MacDonald said in an email to The Canadian Press.

A spokeswoman for Communications Security Establishment Canada said it could not comment on the operations of Canada or its allies.

“Under the law, CSEC does not target Canadians anywhere or any person in Canada through its foreign intelligence activities,” the spokeswoman, Lauri Sullivan, told The Associated Press. “CSEC cannot ask our international partners to act in a way that circumvents Canadian laws.”

Past documents leaked by Snowden revealed Canada had hacked into phones and computers in Brazil’s department of mines.