National Newswatch

Canada’s domestic spy agency looking to hire hackers and data scientists

Jan 3 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Canada’s domestic spy agency is in the market for hackers. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) wants to hire a “network exploitation analyst” to assist the agency in “cyber investigative activities.” The successful candidate will be expected to build new tools for the spy agency to carry out electronic snooping, develop and maintain a database […]

Companies should get ‘meaningful consent’ for user data, privacy watchdog says

Dec 28 2018 — Alex Boutilier — After a year of high-profile data breaches that have shaken the public’s trust in companies’ collection of personal data, Canada’s privacy watchdog is issuing new guidelines for private-sector companies to obtain “meaningful consent” from their users and customers. The guidelines make clear that it’s no longer sufficient for companies to simply provide a legal disclaimer […]

Ottawa planning larger effort to safeguard 2019 election

Dec 2 2018 — Alex Boutilier — The Canadian government is planning a larger push to protect the integrity of the 2019 federal election against foreign meddling, the Star has learned. Ottawa is expected within weeks to announce a broader effort by federal agencies and departments to safeguard the 2019 vote, sources have confirmed. The total number of departments is not yet […]

Only 3% of ‘potential threats’ led to action at Canadian border last year

Nov 27 2018 — Alex Boutilier — Only three per cent of “potential threats” identified by Canada’s border security agency last year resulted in any enforcement action, an internal review reveals. The Canada Border Services Agency reported last week that of the “potential threats to the safety and security of Canada” identified by the agency — including both inadmissible goods and people […]

National security committee continues work without Conservative MPs

Nov 14 2018 — Alex Boutilier — The new committee overseeing Canada’s spies is continuing its crucial first year of operations without Conservative MPs at the table. Andrew Scheer’s office told the Star the Conservative leader had not yet decided who he’ll recommend to replace Tony Clement, who was booted out of the party he helped build after he became embroiled in […]

Conservative MP Tony Clement scales back duties, says he’s being extorted over sexually explicit images

Nov 7 2018 — Alex Boutilier — A Conservative MP is stepping down from Canada’s fledgling National Security Committee after he says he sent sexually explicit messages and a video to an unknown source. Tony Clement informed the Privy Council Office, the department that supports the prime minister, days ago that he had sent inappropriate text messages to someone he believed to […]

Conservatives preparing to battle with reporters as they go ‘for the jugular’ in the 2019 federal election campaign

Oct 26 2018 — Alex Boutilier — The Conservative party appears to be gearing up for a fight with news outlets as part of its 2019 electoral strategy. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s office has revamped its communications team to provide a more rapid response, war room-style operation. And they have not been shy about calling out reporting they don’t like.

CSIS sees ‘significant’ jump in far-right activity online

Oct 8 2018 — Alex Boutilier — One month after the deadly shooting rampage at the Grande mosquée de Québec, Canada’s spy agency quietly put together a “preliminary assessment” of the threat far-right extremists pose in Canada. The report, heavily censored and stamped “SECRET,” noted right-wing extremism and violence is nothing new in Canada — in fact, it was present in the […]

Right-wing extremism not welcome in Canadian Armed Forces — but ‘clearly, it’s in here,’ says top soldier

Oct 8 2018 — Alex Boutilier — Canada’s top soldier frankly acknowledges there are members within the Canadian Armed Forces who harbour right-wing extremist and white supremacist beliefs. It’s obvious Gen. Jonathan Vance has given the issue much thought. “Clearly it’s in here,” Vance told the Star. Over a 40-minute interview at National Defence Headquarters, Vance repeatedly stressed that nobody holding extremist […]

Liberals won’t put political parties under privacy laws in wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal

Sep 20 2018 — Alex Boutilier — The Liberal government will not impose privacy rules or oversight on federal political parties, rejecting a key recommendation from an all-party committee in the wake of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. The decision means federal political parties can continue to collect, store and use the personal information of Canadian citizens without limitations, laws or independent oversight.