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Canada helped NSA, GCHQ spy on G20 officials in 2009: leak

It’s not just you the NSA and Canadian government are spying on but foreign leaders and officials attending international summits like today’s G8 meeting in North Ireland, according to a new leak from former NSA worker Edward Snowden, reported in the Guardian UK.

“Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts,” writes the UK publication. “Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.”

And helping them carry out this covert surveillance on world leaders? The Communications Security Establishment Canada of course (check out the logos on the bottom of slide 2 here).

The U.S. National Security Agency has been under fire for a week after leaks showed it has been covertly collecting tonnes of information on U.S. citizens from communications firms (telephone and internet service providers) and social media websites (Twitter, Facebook, etc). Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay told media that the CSE has been conducting similar surveillance since 2011.

This prompted Canada’s Privacy Commissioner’s office “to express our concerns to and seek information from the Commissioner of the Communication Security Establishment to determine how the personal information of Canadians may be affected.” A blog post by Michael Geist lists 10 excellent questions that need to be answered, many dealing with how much NSA data is shared with Canada and vice versa. Increased information sharing is a priority of the ongoing Beyond the Border security and trade talks with the United States.

TAKE ACTION: In these past few days, OpenMedia.ca has already collected more than 13,000 signatures on a petition calling on the federal government “to make public the details of Canadian foreign intelligence agencies online spying and data sharing activities, including those involving foreign states,” and an “immediate stop to any programs of indiscriminate and arbitrary online spying.”

Sign the petition, and read more about the NSA-CSE spying scandal, at OpenMedia.ca.