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NEWS: RCMP given permission to use information obtained through torture

CBC reports, “The Conservative government has quietly given Canada’s national police force (the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP) and the federal border agency (the Canadian Border Services Agency, CBSA) the authority to use and share information that was likely extracted through torture. …The directives are almost identical to one Public Safety Minister Vic Toews sent last summer to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)… As with the directive to CSIS, the instructions from Toews to the RCMP and the border agency apply to information sharing with foreign government agencies, militaries and international organizations. …As key members of Canada’s security apparatus, both the RCMP and border services agency have frequent and extensive dealings with foreign counterparts (such as the CIA, MI5 and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation). …(The directives) say Canada ‘does not condone the use of torture’ and is party to international agreements that prohibit torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment (but) ‘terrorism is the top national security priority’ of the government and it is essential that the RCMP and border agency maintain strong relationships with foreign entities and share information with them, as well as with domestic agencies.” Other motivations? In May 2011, CBC reported that if information on Canadians suspected of, but not charged with, ‘terrorist-related activity’ was not shared, “U.S. authorities, already suspicious that Canada is ‘soft on terror’, would likely tighten the common border, damaging hundreds of billions of dollars worth of vital commerce.” More at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=6868 and http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/08/24/rcmp-border-agency-information-torture.html.