'Canada spying agency needs oversight'
Iran Press TV
Tue Oct 8, 2013 8:5AM GMT
The former head of Canada's secretive electronic intelligence agency has called for greater scrutiny of the country's spying programs by the government.
The remarks by John Adams, who is the former chief of the Communications Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC), came on Monday during an interview with Canada's CBC News.
Adams also admitted that the agency has deliberately hidden information from the Canadian public about its operations for decades.
"There's no question that CSEC is very, very biased towards the less the public knows the better, and in fact it seems to have worked, because you very seldom see them on the front page of the newspapers," Adams stated.
According to Adams, about 900 of the roughly 2,000 CSEC employees are involved in spying operations, both gathering intelligence and analyzing it.
The agency is responsible for monitoring foreign communications, as it gathers huge amounts of so-called metadata from phone companies and internet providers, which include information on large numbers of people.
Adams also warned that anything published on internet could be read and that users should not believe anything they read, write or send via the internet is private.
"The reality is if you're on the internet, you literally might as well be on the front page of the Globe and Mail."
The interview came in the wake of a new report by Brazilian Globo television on October 6 citing documents leaked by American whistleblower Edward Snowden, which revealed that Canadian intelligence targeted Brazil's Mining and Energy Ministry.
The documents showed that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had made a detailed outline of the Brazilian ministry's communications including phone calls, emails, and internet traffic.
The revelations caused Brazil's Foreign Ministry to summon the Canadian ambassador to convey its strong protest.
Brazil's Mining and Energy Minister Edilson Lobao has described the disclosures as "serious" and said that the ministry has possibly been spied on due to Canadian companies' mining interests in the country.
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