Communications Security Establishment Canada - Controversies


A former employee of the organization, Mike Frost, claimed in a 1994 book, Spyworld, that the agency eavesdropped on Margaret Trudeau to find out if she smoked marijuana and that CSEC had monitored two of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher's dissenting cabinet ministers in London on behalf of the UK's secret service.

In 1996, it was suggested that CSEC had monitored all communications between National Defence Headquarters and Somalia, and were withholding information from the Somalia Inquiry into the killing of two unarmed Somalis by Canadian soldiers.

In 2006, CTV Montreal’s program On Your Side conducted a three-part documentary on CSEC naming it “Canada’s most secretive spy agency” and that “this ultra-secret agency has now become very powerful”, conducting surveillance by monitoring phone calls, e-mails, chat groups, radio, microwave, and satellite.

In 2007, former Ontario lieutenant-governor, James Bartleman, testified at the Air India Inquiry on May 3 that he saw a CSEC communications intercept warning of the June 22, 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182 before it occurred. Two former CSEC employees have since testified that no CSEC report was ever produced.

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