While the locations of EONBLUE sites are not disclosed in the documents, one slide makes reference to the internet’s “core” and describes EONBLUE’s ability to “scale to backbone internet speeds”—implying possible access to telecom operators, data centers, undersea cables and other infrastructure providers worldwide.
Such access would mean that much, if not all of the data, travelling through a location tapped by CSE could be subject to surveillance. Though the agency maintains it cannot legally track Canadians at home or abroad it is hard to fathom how such data could be exempt.
As of November 2010, when the document was dated, EONBLUE had already been under development for ove> r eight years. However, it isn’t clear from the slides for how long EONBLUE has been used, or whether it is still in use today.
“We haven’t seen very much to date that hasn’t been suspected or known about, but it’s the scale and breadth of this activity that is so staggering on a daily basis,” said Christopher Parsons, a postdoctoral fellow at the Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary research group that studies global surveillance issues at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.
“It’s designed for mass tracking, mass surveillance, on a global level,” Parsons said.