"We should get our comrades to understand that the twofold basic task of the leading bodies of the Communist Party is to know conditions and to master policy; the former means knowing the world and the latter changing the world." -Mao Zedong, 1941, Reform our Study
The push for new Internet surveillance capabilities goes back to 1999, when government officials began crafting proposals to institute new surveillance technologies within Canadian networks along with additional legal powers to access surveillance and subscriber information. The so-called lawful access initiatives stalled in recent years, but my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that earlier this month the government tabled its latest proposal with three bills (C-50, C-51, C-52) that received only limited attention despite their potential to fundamentally reshape the Internet in Canada.
By People’s Commission Network. Posted on rabble.ca
Over past months, reports have multiplied of Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) visits to the homes and even workplaces of people working for social justice. In addition to its longstanding and ongoing harassment and intimidation of indigenous peoples, immigrant communities, and others, the spy agency has become much more visible in its surveillance of movements for social justice.
The People’s Commission is aware of dozens of such visits in the Montreal area alone. People visited range from writers and artists to staff at advocacy organizations and anarchists living in collective houses. Unannounced, in the morning, the middle of the day or the evening, CSIS agents knock at the door of private homes. Their interest is far ranging: from the tar sands, to the G8, to indigenous organizing, Palestine solidarity, Afghanistan; who you know and what you think. Their very presence is disruptive, their tone can be intimidating, and their questions intrusive, manipulative and inappropriate. They guarantee confidentiality — “just like in security certificate cases” — and invariably ask people to keep quiet about the visit.
The People’s Commission Network advocates total non-collaboration with CSIS. That means refusing to answer questions from CSIS agents, refusing to listen to whatever CSIS may want to tell you, and breaking the silence by speaking out whenever CSIS comes knocking.
If you are in immigration proceedings, or in a vulnerable situation, we strongly advise you to insist that any interview with CSIS be conducted in the presence of a lawyer of your own choosing.