To be clear, the judge’s ruling:
- Found that CSIS had deliberately been misleading/lying to the court for a decade concerning the agency’s permanent retention of metadata;
- Raised the prospect of contempt of court proceedings against CSIS and its attorneys at the Department of Justice;
- Approved changes to unknown warrants (we’re not allowed, as members of the public, to know the warranting powers of CSIS it seems);
- Did not require CSIS to delete or stop using the metadata it had illegally collected, on grounds that doing so could raise jurisdictional issues. Translation: the information has been shared, or mixed with, foreign agencies’ metadata already and thus prevents the court from easily crafting a judgment around its use;
- CSIS did not believe that it was required to be fully transparent with the federal court that issues CSIS’ warrants on grounds that the court was ‘not an oversight body’;
- CSIS had internally, with Department of Justice guidance, secretly reinterpreted laws to cloak its actions in the guise of lawfulness (internally) while deliberately hiding such interpretations and the implications thereof from the court.
Canada has a national security consultation going on, and part of it raises the question of ‘does Canada have sufficient oversight and accountability for its national security operations?’ If you care about these issues, go and spend some time sending a message to the government.