For Canada’s Spies, Your Data Is Just a Phone Call Away

For Canada’s Spies, Your Data Is Just a Phone Call Away:

“I have recently had to deal with a client who had a request from CSIS for information,” said a Canadian lawyer who asked to remain anonymous. The lawyer and client asked CSIS to put the request in writing so it could properly consider the request. “CSIS said ‘it is against our policy to put those requests in writing.’”

Penney says he tried to log onto his client’s account, only to find that the password wasn’t working. He recovered the account to discover someone changed it. Penney brought that fact to the judge and discovered the culprit was an officer in the Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation Unit. The officer sent a PIPEDA request to Gigatribe requesting the password.

Sean Carter, a Toronto lawyer who has experience with warrantless disclosure, said off-the-books requests are not exactly uncommon. “They hate putting it in writing,” he said. “It’s so hard to follow the trail back to the actual request.” Carter pointed out that if they obtain data from a company, and use that to put together evidence for a production order or warrant, nobody would ever be the wiser that they obtained the data in the first place.

Warrantless access to information isn’t just used to extract data from telcos, but from a litany of other ‘telecommunications service providers.’