Exposing Canadas Secret Spying Programs (with Correct Links!)

This is a test r1 Over 4,000 never-before-seen pages ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Hi Friend,

In December, the BCCLA wrote about its decade-long battle that exposed the bulk collection of metadata and private communications by the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). This is the government agency responsible for collecting intelligence from communications and computer systems and securing Canadian government cybersecurity.

Our work exposing CSE’s mass surveillance resulted in the government making sweeping changes to how Canada’s spy agencies operate.

We’re now thrilled to publicly release over 4,000 never-before-seen pages detailing the CSE’s surveillance practices.


“It seemed the public might never be allowed to learn important details about CSE’s spying programs or the BCCLA’s court case challenging them.”


Read our new Commentary: ‘Pulling Back the Curtain on Canada’s Mass Surveillance Programs: The CSE Secret Spying Archive.’

As part of the case these documents relate to, the Federal Court granted... the government’s request that the hearings be conducted in secret, and that the court files be sealed to prevent public access.

This all changed when Bill Robinson, a researcher who worked with BCCLA on the case, made a request for the documents under the Access to Information Act and a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner. The CSE finally agreed to release the documents with no additional redactions, allowing the BCCLA to share these critical documents with the public.

Read about the CSE's surveillance practices and view the full Secret Spying Archive!

This collection of documents demonstrates that the facts alleged by the BCCLA in its lawsuit were correct: CSE operates bulk metadata surveillance programs that collect and share information about Canadians with government clients and foreign intelligence agencies.

The findings above are just the tip of the iceberg.

We encourage journalists, academics, watchdogs, advocates, and the general public to dig into the documents and help us see what else can be found.

Thank you for being on our side.

Vibert Jack (he/him)
Litigation Director

P.S. From defending privacy rights in the courts, to advocating to strengthen online surveillance protections, to educating the public on digital privacy rights, the BCCLA is committed to protecting your rights. This work would not be possible without your support.

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The BCCLA was represented by David Martin of Martin & Associates, Sebastian Ennis of Iris Legal, and Neil Abraham of Olthuis van Ert. The BCCLA was also represented by Joseph Arvay, O.C., O.B.C., Q.C.
Bill Robinson and Greg McMullen served as experts on the case. Due to the scope and duration of this litigation, it is not possible to give credit to all those who participated. The BCCLA is extremely grateful to everyone who contributed.
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