CANADA says it is “no interest” in using technology to spy on its citizens or collect data from its citizens.
The federal government’s position is a major blow to Ottawa’s previous stance on surveillance, which had been that it would use technology to protect the country’s interests.
Canadian Communications Security Establishment Director David McKim said Canada is committed to “complying” with its obligations under the Communications Security and Intelligence Act, which allows governments to spy without warrants.
But he added Canada is no longer interested in using the Canadian Forces’ electronic eavesdropping and surveillance technology.
Canada was supposed to have developed its own intelligence collection and monitoring technology in 2007, and in 2010, it was ordered to create a new spy agency.
But after years of delays and challenges, the federal government has decided to use a $300-million program called Canada-U.S. Intelligence and Security Partnership to build a network of intelligence agencies in the U.S., including the Canadian military, Canada’s National Security Agency and the Communications Assistance Centre.
McKim said that as long as the Canadian intelligence agencies are able to use their existing capabilities, they will continue to use the technology.
“Our security and intelligence relationship is important to us and will remain so,” McKim told a news conference.
“I would expect that to continue.”
McKim also noted that the U:S.
has a long history of surveillance programs in the past.
The Canadian government has been criticized for its reluctance to publicly discuss the extent of the Canadian spying program.
Canada has previously said that it was only “possible” to identify the targets of its surveillance because it relies on a secret court system and other means to monitor suspects.
McKimm said Canada will continue with its spying programs and said that Canada would continue to cooperate with the U.:S.
in other ways, including providing information to the FBI, which is investigating possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign.