Another top secret document from whistleblower Edward Snowden shows Canada set up spying posts around the globe to spy on trading partners at the bidding of the U.S. National Security Agency(NSA).
The leaked Snowden document is being reported on exclusively by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation(CBC). The clandestine spy posts are said to have been set up in "approximately 20 high-priority countries." A redacted version of the document can be accessed here.Clandestine cooperation between the Communications Security Establishment Canada(CSEC) and the National Security Agency(NSA) of the U.S. is nothing new. Earlier Snowden documents reported on by the CBC, show that CSEC cooperated with NSA when the latter spied on G8and G20 meetings in Canada in 2010. Such revelations could very well result in boycotting Canada for future meetings.NSA values its relationship with CSEC. Often CSEC is able to access geographical areas that are unavailable to NSA. Both sides would like to see their relationship expanded and strengthened. It already covers "worldwide national and transnational targets." Both groups specialize in signals intelligence or SIGINT:The CBC is behind the times. CSEC is now SEC. The "Canada" has been dropped out of the name. After all SEC is no longer so much Canadian but more a junior partner in a global spy operation led by the United States. The UK is also involved through such projects as ECHELONdeveloped by the Five Eyes:Canada is particularly useful to NSA in opening up covert sites on its behalf. Canada has a reputation for being benign as far as such undercover operations are concerned. Wesley Wark, a Canadian security and intelligence expert at the University of Ottawa said:Thomas Drake, a former NSA excutive but now a whistleblower said that Canada has been giving in to NSA requests for years. Drake warned that being caught out in these covert operations such as the CBC has uncovered can have huge diplomatic fallout. He also said such operations require very high level approval within the government. Drake says both the CSEC and NSA lack proper oversight and are a danger to democracy. They are also a danger to the taxpayers of Canada and the US:
Signals intelligence (SIGINT) is intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether communications between people (communications intelligence — abbreviated to COMINT) or from electronic signals not directly used in communication (electronic intelligence — abbreviated to ELINT). Signals intelligence is a subset of intelligence collection management.
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These countries are bound by the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.
"I think we still trade on a degree of an international brand as an innocent partner in the international sphere. There's not that much known about Canadian intelligence.In that sense, Canadian operations might escape at least the same degree of notice and surveillance that the operations of the U.S. or Britain in foreign states would be bound to attract."
CSEC employs about 2,000 people, has an annual budget of roughly $450 million and will soon move into an architecturally spectacular new Ottawa headquarters costing Canadian taxpayers almost $1.2 billion. By comparison, the NSA employs an estimated 40,000 people plus thousands of private contractors, and spends over $40 billion a year.