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Canada under fire over controversial rules on cell phone users

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The Canadian government has come under fire over a controversial series of regulations that allow spying on cell phone users, Press TV reports.

Cell phone companies in Canada, bidding on new contracts, face rules that force them to allow Canadian authorities to spy on mobile phone users under an unpublicized accord.

For almost 20 years, Canadian telecommunications companies have been told that one of the conditions of getting a license to use wireless spectrum is to permit the government to monitor the devices that use the spectrum.

According to documents, the surveillance activities in Canada are governed by 23 specific technical surveillance standards, which are known as the Solicitor General’s Enforcement Standards (SGES).

Based on the accord, mobile-phone companies should provide police or intelligence agencies with telecommunications data, including eavesdropping, reading text messages, pinpointing users’ whereabouts, as well as unscrambling some encrypted communications.

“Well you know most people don’t realize under the border and prosperity agreement, US police forces can come up here in Canada without any checks and balances and arrest a person and take him down and so our forces can do that too. Adversely, the NSA (the US National Security Agency) and the CSIS (the Canadian Security Intelligence Service) – a Canadian equivalent – are working hand in hand together and the NSA shares all the information with Israel for whatever reason that is,” said media instructor Dan Gascon.

Leaks by American whistleblower Edward Snowden recently revealed that the NSA collects the phone records and email information of both US citizens and foreign nationals.

The massive surveillance operations by the NSA was uncovered in June, when former US intelligence contractor, Snowden, leaked two top-secret US government spying programs under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are spying on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies.


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