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Canadian Spy Agencies Deliberately Misled Courts

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the but-they-were-so-polite-about-it dept.

Canada 62

Walking The Walk writes "Canada's spy agency deliberately withheld information from the courts in an effort to do an end-run around the law when it applied for top-secret warrants to intercept the communications of Canadians abroad, a Federal Court judge said Friday. CSIS assured Judge Richard Mosley the intercepts would be carried out from inside Canada, and controlled by Canadian government personnel, court records show. However, Canadian officials then asked for intercept help from foreign intelligence allies without telling the court. 'It is clear that the exercise of the court's warrant issuing has been used as protective cover for activities that it has not authorized,' Mosley wrote in redacted reasons."

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Who watches the watchmen? (4, Interesting)

mschaffer (97223) | about 8 months ago | (#45758803)

So, I see the Canadians are taking notes from the Americans and the British.

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (5, Interesting)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#45758847)

Notes? We have even fewer laws controlling CSIS than the US has controlling the NSA. Not that either agency believes they are much more than suggestions or guidelines and not actual hard and fast rules.

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759261)

Notes? We have even fewer laws controlling CSIS than the US has controlling the NSA.

I'm not sure which is better:
- Canada's lack of laws providing oversight of the CSIS.
- US's NSA violating more oversight laws.

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#45759367)

What's worse: Not having laws at all or knowingly breaking them?

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about 8 months ago | (#45759719)

What's worse: the malice of a few or the apathy of an entire nation?

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759861)

What's worse: the malice of a few or the apathy of an entire nation?

Meh, whatever.

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

davecb (6526) | about 8 months ago | (#45759803)

Fortunately lying to a court is a criminal offence, typically called perjury. If officers of the court lie to it, as appears to be the case, they can at the very least be disbarred, if not imprisoned for contempt.

The guilty parties, of course, will be posting everywhere saying you can't do anything about it, to avoid a ground-swell of opinion that would force the Crown Attorneys to lay charges.

Also expect the miscreants to be writing learned opinions saying that the courts should defer to the security services, whose job is to lie and spy...

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#45761081)

"Your honor, there was some miscommunication in the chain of command. We have since revised our processes to ensure this specific problem will not be detected, er, happen again."

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

davecb (6526) | about 8 months ago | (#45761713)

Saying "sorry, won't happen again" isn't a good tactic when you are in front of the court against whom you committed the offence (;-))

Perjury, fabricating evidence, obstructing justice, criminal contempt ... all sorts of Criminal Code fun for the culprits.

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#45764889)

It works for the NSA. No reason why it won't work for CSIS.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/19/fisa-court-documents-nsa-violations-privacy [theguardian.com]

To summarize:

FISA judge is told by NSA that they have repeatedly violated his warrants for years. He's mad. And he does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT IT, other than write a report about how they aren't listening to him.

Unless there is some actual penalty that is applied when the law isn't followed, there is no point to having the law. And right now, the three groups that the power to actually penalize the NSA for flagrantly violating the law, namely the DOJ, Congress and the Senate are not willing to do so.

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

davecb (6526) | about 8 months ago | (#45771751)

In the British systems, there are more checks and balances, as our courts used to have Kings in them, who kept trying to put their thumbs on the scales of justice (;-))

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#45772165)

Yeah, those checks and balances really seems to be working for GCHQ...about as well as the checks and balances work for the NSA...

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

stoatwblr (2650359) | about 8 months ago | (#45768503)

"Saying "sorry, won't happen again" isn't a good tactic when you are in front of the court against whom you committed the offence (;-))"

Judges tend to be overly credulous when facing members of the security and law enforcement services.

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

davecb (6526) | about 8 months ago | (#45771723)

Indeed, that's what this judge has said... anyone want to bet he's more than a *little* annoyed ?

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (0)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#45772179)

Like I posted earlier:

It works for the NSA. No reason why it won't work for CSIS.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/19/fisa-court-documents-nsa-violations-privacy [theguardian.com]

To summarize:

FISA judge is told by NSA that they have repeatedly violated his warrants for years. He's mad. And he does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT IT, other than write a report about how they aren't listening to him.

Unless there is some actual penalty that is applied when the law isn't followed, there is no point to having the law. And right now, the three groups that the power to actually penalize the NSA for flagrantly violating the law, namely the DOJ, Congress and the Senate are not willing to do so.

Canadian spooks misled their courts ... (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 8 months ago | (#45758855)

... and American spooks misled the congress !

Re:Canadian spooks misled their courts ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759271)

Canadian spooks misled their courts ... and American spooks misled the congress !

This is more like if the NSA misled the FISA courts. Congress makes the laws, but the FISA courts are supposed to provide the oversight and limit the NSA's activities. Similarly, the warrant approved by that Canadian judge was supposed to limit the activities of CSIS and the CSEC.

To paraphrase the story, it says that the two agencies knew they were exceeding the warrant, and that the judge only found out because the head of one of the agencies mentioned that they should give "the rest of the information" to the judge. The judge was quick enough to ask just what that meant, and that's the only reason he found out what was going on.

NSA *DID* lie to the Congress ! (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 8 months ago | (#45759363)

This is more like if the NSA misled the FISA courts

Sorry, NSA did lie to the Congress.

NSA's director James Clapper, when testified, under oath, to the Congressional Oversight Committee, LIED.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/19/5228672/lawmakers-slam-intelligence-chief-james-clapper-for-lying-to-congress [theverge.com]

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/18/rand-paul-clapper-lying-nsa-surveillance?guni=Network%20front:network-front%20main-3%20Main%20trailblock:Network%20front%20-%20main%20trailblock:Position2:sublinks [theguardian.com]

Re:NSA *DID* lie to the Congress ! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759691)

Clapper's not the director of the NSA.

Re:NSA *DID* lie to the Congress ! (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 8 months ago | (#45761391)

Of course they lied to Congress but this thread is about lieing to the courts which the American agencies probably also do just as our government would lie about spying to Parliament.
It is the job of the courts to stop the government, including their four letter agencies, from interfering with our constitutional rights and our Supreme Court has interpreted our right to unreasonable searches as a right to privacy.
ps, it breaks the flow when you have your post split between the subject and body.

Re:NSA *DID* lie to the Congress ! (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#45763643)

NSA's director James Clapper, when testified, under oath, to the Congressional Oversight Committee, LIED.

Was it a "lie," or a cover story for something that should never have been asked in open session, and about which the Congress had already been properly notified? I guess we'll find out.... maybe.

Wyden’s Stunt Was Congress at its Worst [commentarymagazine.com]

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 8 months ago | (#45762063)

So, I see the Canadians are taking notes from the Americans and the British.

Hardly. It was exactly this type of abuse back in the 80's(1984 actually), when the RCMP was responsible for national security that caused the mandate to be ripped away from the RCMP, and the creation of CSIS with...a civilian oversight board. Very nasty bit of history with the entire organization on that. The real question of course is, why didn't the board do anything, say anything, or check this. The other part is, this will end up before the senate, and a house committee, both of which are good. Maybe, just maybe, it'll get the senate abolitionists to back off if they manage to get their act together. This is also going to cause a huge mess with on-going terrorism trials, especially the muslim nutbar that wanted to cause a terrorist attack on a VIA train going from Canada to the US. [nationalpost.com]

There's a lot more to this than what we're seeing, just going by what I know from past history of CSIS and RCMPSS. And in this case, like the previous one I'm going to hazard a guess that it was also someone in CSIS who believed that "they could get away with it."

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45765097)

So, I see the Canadians are taking orders from the Americans and the British.

FTFY

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

Gallomimia (1415613) | about 8 months ago | (#45767817)

I think you mean "orders" not notes.

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

lsatenstein (949458) | about 8 months ago | (#45784851)

So, I see the Canadians are taking notes from the Americans and the British.

The Harper Conservative government walks over and steps on the Canadians rights to privacy and to reasonable justice. The Conservatives have one god, called money / business. They have been gradually destroying the social safety net of Canadians and the indigionous peoples.

We are waiting for a re-election, and hopefully, we can dump the conservatives and their xxx licking policies.

I'm not surprised (4, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | about 8 months ago | (#45758825)

I've been ranting about "bi-lateral security agreements" as a means to do an end-run around the bans on spying on citizens/locally that each nation has. This is just proof that such is exactly what the countries are all doing.

Re:I'm not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759357)

Interestlingly I first became aware of this particular style of shenanigans in the Jan Guillou's 1994 novel "I Hennes Majestets tjeneste" ("In Her Majesty's service"). He wrote the "Coq Rouge" novels to put a serious spotlight on the intelligence agencies' activities. He sort of failed; the books were much to readable and entertaining. That said, read with the proper mindset they still give plenty food for thought.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

Yaotzin (827566) | about 8 months ago | (#45760637)

Coming soon to the silver screen: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2335888/ [imdb.com] . Pretty good timing if you ask me. This is off-topic, but I'm looking forward too se how much blatant product placement they can manage in this instalment. Hamilton 2 was almost ridiculous when they had a Microsoft roll-up [feber.se] randomly placed in a Lebanese airport.

And as usual... (5, Insightful)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 8 months ago | (#45758831)

And as usual no individuals will be held personally accountable for this. Perhaps a general censure will occur, or a mocking speech stating that they didn't do anything wrong thinly veiled as an apology.

Canadians often mock America but it seems that you guys have achieved banana republic status too.

Re:And as usual... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45758887)

Who the fuck modded this comment down? Another government employee?
OP raised valid points and deserve to be modded up.

Re:And as usual... (1)

HansKloss (665474) | about 8 months ago | (#45758905)

Exactly, what is going on? Offended government bureaucrats removed your comment.

Re:And as usual... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759477)

Actually, we are a banana parliamentary democracy.

Re:And as usual... (1)

alexo (9335) | about 8 months ago | (#45769135)

Banana constitutional monarchy.

Re:And as usual... (1)

davecb (6526) | about 8 months ago | (#45759815)

Danger Danger, Will Robinson!

In cases like this, the miscreants will want you to express exactly that opinion, to avoid a ground-swell of opinion that will force the Crown to lay charges. I recommend you write your local newspaper to ask for their heads on a pike!

Re:And as usual... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45760207)

if we're mocking america that includes ourselves america is a continent that we own the majority of

Re:And as usual... (1)

Maow (620678) | about 8 months ago | (#45764741)

And as usual no individuals will be held personally accountable for this. Perhaps a general censure will occur, or a mocking speech stating that they didn't do anything wrong thinly veiled as an apology.

Canadians often mock America but it seems that you guys have achieved banana republic status too.

Sorry, that's petro-state.

Too cold for bananas up here.

It's time for criminal charges (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45758837)

What we have seen for the last couple of months is avoidance, avoidance and spiting on national laws.
It's time for those people knowingly engaging in criminal behavior to face charges. If we not react now, they will feel more and more powerful.

Re:It's time for criminal charges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759523)

They have their politicians on a short leash, so it will not happen until "we the people" put politicians that work for us on an even shorter leash. Given that the mass media tell the people which politician to vote for, it probably will not happen until things get soo much worse...

Re:It's time for criminal charges (1)

davecb (6526) | about 8 months ago | (#45759827)

Happily, the article describes criminal offences. A good ground-swell of opinion to encourage the Crown is in order.

Re:It's time for criminal charges (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45760157)

Spread the word: Those who don't prosecute criminals are criminals themselves.

But, but, but... (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 8 months ago | (#45758839)

Canadians are so pure and innocent, and their government is even purer, right? After all, that's why Barbara Streisand moved after W was reelected...

Re:But, but, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759189)

Stephen Harper shaved the Canadian beaver and pimps it out as a two bit whore for the well hung American Government to do as it pleases.
I would love to say the other parties would change course and move my country back somewhat from being yet another puppet controlled by the same puppeteer that pulls the strings to make Obama dance but alas it is unlikely to happen. Best chance would be NDP but they gave up on the more socialist side of government and bought their own razor.

Re:But, but, but... (4, Interesting)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 8 months ago | (#45759337)

Innocent we are not, but we do still respect the rule of law. The courts are also somewhat vindictive when they are screwed around with - I'd expect the bar just got raised for any future warrants CSIS wants.

Come on Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45758991)

Kick their asses out into the cold.

Re:Come on Canada (4, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | about 8 months ago | (#45759023)

Unless 10 or more Conservatives or the Harper-appointed Governor-General spontaneously develop consciences, the next election isn't going to be for almost 2 years.

Re:Come on Canada (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 8 months ago | (#45759177)

Doesn't the fucker have a term limit or something?

Re:Come on Canada (4, Interesting)

sandbagger (654585) | about 8 months ago | (#45759649)

Not in Canada but three or four terms is about the limit before people get tired of any politician. Moreover, I don't think much of 'Harper-ism' will survive Harper. Too much of his 'reforms' are based upon running the entire government off his desk.For example, not letting government scientists talk to the press unless the PMO understands what is being said, i.e.. nothing. Statistics Canada now actually appends footnotes saying that their work cannot be trusted because the statistical samples are now too small or otherwise do not meet best practices.

Moreover, Conservative judges have a way of ruling more for individual liberty than institutional liberties once they are ruling at lofty Olympian levels of the Supreme Court. Politicians keep being surprised by this.

Re:Come on Canada (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 8 months ago | (#45763889)

Doesn't the fucker have a term limit or something?

No such thing in Canada, at least on the federal level. The House of Commons has to stand for election at least once every 5 years (an election is typically called after about 4 years under majorities), but there's no legal limit on how long someone can stay in an MP's seat or the PM's office.

Also, Harper only first formed government in 2006 (minority), with reelections in 2008 (minority again) and 2011 (the current majority government). It have to be a pretty short term limit to kick in already.

What does Harper or the Cons have to do with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45764593)

You think it was any different under the prior Lib governments, or will be different under any future government? Silly naive child...

POT (Personal Open Terminal) catching on (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759053)

our best secrets are imaginary so no one will ever know anyway. Personal Open Terminals (POT) indicates a non-threatening stance. sooner than later, after browsing our personables (pictures of grandma, camp, pets...), our overlords would see that we are not of ill intent which may lessen their fear of us which is what spying is all about (fear). free the innocent stem cells

imf d afuck edup. kjjsy ahyijg. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759099)

Im jusy llite wow,,,, id ont even drinky that maych, but whenn i do m fiucking a, iget fucjed uop. party eoin biucthes,l wiojm.

Bend over and learn to like it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759145)

There is absolutely NOTHING you can do about this.

For a start, all major parties support this process of allowing bureaucratic lies to be told to enable illegal activity to continue - and by no means only in the intelligence services. ALL parts of government operate in this manner.

So, if you really want to do something, as a starter you will need to completely overhaul the government/bureaucratic structure. You need to start with abolishing the western intelligence services in their present form, and getting rid of the party system.

Good luck with that. Let me know how it's going in, oh, about 500 years...

Hang them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759173)

Hang them or they will never learn their place.

To be fair... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45759611)

I'm pretty sure they said they were sorry.

Re:To be fair... (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 8 months ago | (#45760825)

I'm pretty sure they said they were sorry.

I'm pretty sure the spooks in question were very polite when they cut into a conversation and said "Pardon my interruption, but could you please repeat what you just said? The tape didn't catch that. Thank you!"

Politicians won't help. Judges however.. (3, Interesting)

sandbagger (654585) | about 8 months ago | (#45759621)

Politicians are egomaniacs and love the prestige of being invited into 'the great game'. So, we can't put our faith in them to encourage a reasonable balance between the necessary and important work that intelligence agencies must do and civil liberties that are necessary for the wee project we call western civilization.

Judges reallly. really really hate being lied to. They're confronted with people who will do nearly anything to stay out of jail or avoid paying fines so they have to assume that someone is bending the truth a bit in court. But bending the truth a lot is the sort of thing they have all sorts of powers to dissuade. Now, the Crown may never lay charges but that's a separate issue. Rulings of all kinds can rattle up the ladder and cause no end of unintentional activities.

Re:Politicians won't help. Judges however.. (1)

davecb (6526) | about 8 months ago | (#45759855)

The Crown has a duty to act if someone lays an "information" before them. If they push back, a good ground-swell of opinion will "encourage" them to do the right thing.

In addition, a private person (preferably a world-famous lawyer) can lay charges, naming any member of the crown (ie, prosecutors) who were involved in presenting the lies to the Court.

If that doesn't work, things get nasty, with contempt and disbarment actions.

"Canada's Spy Agency" = JEWS... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45760569)

Jews watching over their 'cattle', lest they turn on their slavemasters...

http://www.wintersonnenwende.com/scriptorium/english/archives/nothanks/wwr00.html

I'm shocked! (1)

algoma69 (2033662) | about 8 months ago | (#45761565)

Shocked! I'm shocked I say! Time for a Royal Commission to investigate and shelve a report!

On Par With U.S.A. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45763487)

Just like G.W. Bush Administration 2.1 and 2.2, and Obama Junta 1.0 and !.2.

What a crock. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45767389)

Make no mistake about it. The Canadian government has been taken over by the Zionists just has America's government has.

Followup: courts appoint special prosecutor (1)

davecb (6526) | about 8 months ago | (#45790607)

David T.S. Fraser writes in the Canadian Privacy Law Blog, Dec 23, 2013 Special prosecutor required to investigate spies and their lawyers lying to the Federal Court [bit.ly] .

Special prosecutors are used when you fear political interference with the crown prosecutors...

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