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UPDATE: Statement on RCMP spying then briefing corporations

RCMP records obtained under freedom of information legislation reveal a disturbing relationship between the national police force and corporations.

According to a CBC news report, the Joint Intelligence Group, an RCMP-led intelligence team that has extensively spied on community organizations and activists, “made a series of presentations to private-sector corporations, including one to ‘energy sector stakeholders’ in November 2011. Other corporations that received intelligence from police included Canada’s major banks, telecom firms, airlines, downtown property companies and other businesses seen to be vulnerable to the effects of summit protests.”

The Council of Canadians and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada demands answers.

The public must know:

  • Why is the RCMP spying on activist groups and then briefing energy corporations and banks?
  • What was the ‘energy sector stakeholders’ meeting held this month?
  • Has there been a breach of privacy laws?
  • What groups and individuals have been monitored and reported on at RCMP briefings to corporations?
  • What corporations specifically have been briefed by the police?

In August 2001, the Ottawa Citizen reported, “Officers from various police forces and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service have infiltrated, spied on or closely monitored organizations that are simply exercising their legal right to assembly and free speech. Before and during the (1997) APEC meetings, security officials compiled extensive lists that included many legitimate organizations whose primary threat to government appeared to be a potential willingness to exercise their democratic rights to demonstrate.”

While it is unacceptable for organizations ‘exercising their legal right to assembly and free speech’ to be spied on, closely monitored, or infiltrated by the police, it is simply wrong for police forces to be briefing corporations ‘vulnerable to the effects of summit protests’.