Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

Canada a key snooper in huge spy network

Sunday May 23, 1999

FROM THE OTTAWA CITIZEN Share This Story With A Friend

Canada a key snooper in huge spy network

Report says alliance is able to intercept nearly any message

Jim Bronskill The Ottawa Citizen

Canada belongs to a global spy network capable of snooping on virtually every type of communication, from long-distance phone calls to Internet e-mail, says a newly published study.

The detailed report, prepared for the European Parliament, warns that the electronic intelligence agencies of the world's major English-speaking countries increasingly use the information they collect to gain an upper hand on economic rivals.

It concludes the surveillance web controlled by the UKUSA alliance -- Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand -- has evolved into a highly advanced network that automatically sifts through the vast bulk of the messages that traverse the globe daily.

"Comprehensive systems exist to access, intercept and process every important form of communications, with few exceptions," says the report, by Edinburgh-based researcher Duncan Campbell, a longtime observer of the intelligence world.

Canada is represented in the alliance by the Communications Security Establishment, an ultra-secret wing of the Defence Department with headquarters in an Ottawa office building.