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Poor record of fed requests to telecom companies for Canadians’ data

Poor record of fed requests to telecom companies for Canadians’ data:

Many law-enforcement agencies do not track requests for private information, making the system vulnerable to abuse

“Many departments say they don’t have the information and say they don’t keep track of these things,” said NDP MP Charmaine Borg, whose questions led to the release of response documents. “… And if that is the case, that brings up to me a huge problem. How are we supposed to ensure there are no abuses, and that government agencies are making these requests within very extreme circumstances, when they don’t even keep track of when they’re making them?”

Christopher Parsons, a postdoctoral fellow at the Citizen Lab of the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, said non-federal agencies, such as police forces, are also seeking data. “Even if we got good numbers from all the federal government, there is a huge, huge part of the surveillance iceberg that’s yet to be seen,” he said.

It’s important to keep in mind that much of the attention concerning government surveillance has been about how federal agencies access telecommunications data, and how proposed lawful access legislation would extend and expand such access. While this attention is deserved there is an entirely different set of actors that have yet to be examined in any sustained way: provincial agencies and municipal organizations.