Canadians sue spy agency over mass data collection

Gigaom

The legal fallout over government surveillance operations, which have been widely publicized as a result of leaks from a US security contractor, has spread north of the border where two activist groups filed a lawsuit asking a court to declare that the Canadian government is violating the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The case, announced on Tuesday by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Union and internet advocacy group OpenMedia.org, claims that the eavesdropping agency, Communications Security Establishment Canada, is collecting vast amounts of meta-data about Canadians phone records and internet activities.

An agency spokesperson responded to the suit by saying the activities are not directed at Canadians but at foreigners.

The case resembles legal challenges filed by groups like the ACLU and NSA in the United States, and also involves complicated questions about how exactly the government collects data and what is permissible without a warrant.

In the US, leaks…

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