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Did Canadian Oil Companies Get a Tip-Off from CSEC?

The Globe and Mail reports on discussions in the Canadian Senate. Specifically, Liberal Senator Wilfred Moore asked:

“Can the [Senate] leader enlighten this chamber as to what was done with the data obtained by CSEC from the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy?”

Alleging that CSEC’s “cyberhacking” was intended to probe Brazil’s claims about discovering billions of barrels of oil in a new offshore-field find, Mr. Moore noted that no Canadian or U.S. corporations have joined the bidding for drilling rights in an auction that was held earlier this week in Brazil.

This is an incendiary question. If it turns out that Canadian companies didn’t bid because CSEC found Petrobras has overestimated the oil reserves in the Libra field, or if CSEC found that it was going to be harder to extract the oil that stated by the Brazilian government, then it’s a very, very big deal on the basis that the Canadian government (and extension of the department of national defence) would then be engaging in espionage on the behalf of Canadian companies.