Trudeau’s intelligence agencies spying on politicians, opposition MP says

Keean Bexte

August 10, 2022

Conservative MP Martin Shields is ringing the alarm bells after it was revealed that the RCMP and Trudeau’s other intelligence agencies are using spyware to spy on elected officials.

Opposition MP says Trudeau's intelligence agencies are spying on politicians
Opposition MP says Trudeau’s intelligence agencies are spying on politicians

Shields said that the Ethics Committee has been meeting over the last two days to discuss the recent revelation that the RCMP uses spyware to monitor Canadians — even elected Members of Parliament — through their devices.

“What is spyware? Spyware is a technology that’s recently been developed in the last few years; even Canadian companies are developing it. It allows someone who’s using spyware to be able to turn your cellphone on, listen to what you’re saying, and all the other things that might be part of your cellphone,” Shields began.

“What we found out was yes, the RCMP have been using it. Yes, there were smaller numbers [of use cases] to begin with, but as the Committee went on, the numbers grew to the number of people.”

Shields continues, saying there appears to be no privacy protocol for utilizing this technology, and the Privacy Commissioner said he was never consulted about the use of spyware by Canada’s federal agencies. In fact, the Privacy Commissioner says that he didn’t know about it until the media revealed it.

He adds that when the Committee got to the final witnesses yesterday, some indicated that other agencies are using the same spyware technology.

“And no, they haven’t been to the Privacy Commissioner to establish the protocols by which they can use it,” Shields continues.

“What lastly came out was this [sic] spyware being used on elected officials, municipally, provincially, and federally. This, now, gets to be a real scary situation where anyone in this country could be monitored by spyware from multiple agencies in Canada.”

Yesterday, Canada’s former privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien said that while he believes the use of spyware is being done lawfully when warranted, he also has “no doubt” that covertly collecting sensitive personal information from Canadians’ devices “is an extremely intrusive practice.”

“What’s at play is the balancing of privacy and other public interests,” Therrien told the Ethics Committee.

“There is no question that this particular tool is extremely intrusive, more intrusive than traditional wiretap tools. It does not just record communications on the phone between person A and B. It sits on the phone, on the digital device of the individual.”

It was first revealed in late June that the RCMP engaged in this sort of espionage. However, this latest bombshell that such technology is actually utilized to monitor MPs is extremely troubling, and the full scope of Canada’s surveillance state remains to be seen.

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