Canadian Spy Agency Tracks Users Worldwide

Published Categorized as News

Canada, often seen as the land of politeness, maple syrup, and hockey, hides a secret not-so-friendly side. Thanks to whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2012, we now know that the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), Canada’s spy agency, has been quietly snooping on internet traffic globally for years. So, grab a seat, and let’s delve into the details of this digital espionage.

The Levitation Project: A Sneak Peek into Canadian Surveillance

In 2012, an unnamed CSE employee crafted a PowerPoint presentation, shedding light on “Levitation.” This ambitious project monitors a staggering 10 to 15 million daily file uploads and downloads from free file-sharing websites. The goal? To unearth any signs of terrorist activity. However, the sheer scale of this operation raises concerns, as even jokes about irrelevant data flood the agency’s databases.

Sorting Through the Noise: Canada’s Access to File Sharing Sites

The presentation claims Canada has access to 102 free file-sharing sites through “special sources.” Skepticism arises, with some sites, like Sendspace, denying such allegations. Ron Deibert, director of the Internet security think-tank Citizen Lab, acknowledges the importance of surveillance but expresses worry about the massive scale at which it’s conducted.

Uncovering the Needle in the Digital Haystack

Out of millions of analyzed files each month, only a mere 0.0001 percent are deemed “interesting download events.” Once identified, the agency can retrieve metadata and uncover the IP addresses of users involved in suspicious activities. Leveraging Mutant Broth, a British snooping technology, CSE can peer into five hours of a user’s digital life before and after a questionable file transfer.

Balancing Act: Successes and Concerns of Levitation

While the agency boasts successes in finding hostage targets and terrorist strategies, Deibert paints Levitation as a “giant X-ray machine over all our digital lives.” The question remains: How much surveillance is too much?

Canada’s Role in the Global Spying Game

This isn’t Canada’s first dance with the spying cookie jar. As a member of the Five Eyes alliance, Canada plays a significant role. In 2013, it collaborated with the National Security Agency (NSA) to set up over 20 spying posts in “high-priority countries.” With the NSA facing public scrutiny, Canada stepped in, hardware and decryption software in hand.

Driving the Point Home: Spying Beyond Borders

While we may chuckle at the Canucks’ spying endeavors, it’s worth noting that the DEA is busy tracking every car on American roadways. The DEA’s real-time vehicle movement tracking database raises eyebrows, especially since all vehicles, regardless of suspicion, are monitored. The goal? Increasing asset forfeiture and funding agency goals through seized assets.

The Global Web of Surveillance

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, points out that even among Five Eyes partners, Britain excels in making data open but falls short in respecting citizen privacy. The global obsession with internet spying is evident, with Canada’s sophisticated snooping technology leading the way.

The Takeaway: Is Anyone Truly Safe Online?

What does this mean for us? Firstly, even seemingly “benign” countries like Canada aren’t immune to global internet spying trends. Secondly, whether you’re downloading, surfing, or simply using the web, someone is watching. Perhaps it’s time to rethink online privacy and ensure it’s fully protected.

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