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Re: CSE gets flak on TV

On Tue, 14 Nov 1995 [email protected] wrote:

> For those who care, the Communications Security Establishment has been
> getting some flak for spying on Mex. during NAFTA talks and on Korea to
> help us sell Can. nuke reactors:
> (This rather mirrors the trouble their sister agency, the NSA, has been 
> getting into)
> (sorry the online newscasts were rather vague)

Hmm, actually the news tape is reading a little strange here in Canada.
Not AP, or REUTERS, but simply the Canadian Press newswire.

Let's see ... over the last couple of days, we've had one provincial
Premier resign over "BingoGate" -- kickbacks from bingo games, another
premier is under some pretty heavy fire for some insider trading in a
company he promoted in Hong Kong, (actually his wife got stock she never
had to pay for), while Canada in conjunction with the normally very
neutral Swiss have frozen accounts pertaining to about $20 million or so
in kickbacks from Airbus Industries to a "senior Canadian politician". 

And all these stories ... coincidentally ... broke back to back.

It's almost as though the country is disinfecting itself, or has taken 
one particularly powerful laxative.

But the CSE story is really, really smelly.  The worst of the whole lot. 

I think that there might be more to this than appears on the surface. 
Maybe filling in some details might help our friends on this list.

You listening, Perry???

              *             *            *

On Tue, 14 Nov 1995 [email protected] wrote:

>    Electronic snooping part of the game
>    OTTAWA (CP)--Intelligence experts say it's no big secret that Canada's
>    high-tech spy agency snoops on friendly countries for financial gain. 

No big secret??  It was news to me. ;-)

>    Increasingly, intelligence agencies around the world are using their
>    antennas, computers and codebreakers to gather economic information,
>    Wesley Wark, a University of Toronto history professor, said Monday.
>    Some of Canada's largest trading partners--including the United
>    States, France and Japan--comb the airwaves for useful information, so
>    Canada would be foolish not to join the game, said Wark. 

Wark actually continued here.  He said:  "I don't know what a friendly
power in the economic sphere is, exactly, these days.  That seems to be a
very ambiguous term."

(Of course, this is diplo-dodo-speak for something ... I think ... but 
I'm not sure what.)

>    Canada's secretive Communications Security Establishment--an arm of
>    the Defence Department--collects and analyses communications traffic
>    on the activities of foreign states, corporations and people.
>    Jane Shorten, a former CSE employee, told CTV News in an interview
>    Sunday the agency spied on Canada's allies and trading
>    partners--including Mexico and South Korea--by eavesdropping on
>    embassies, consulates and diplomats.

There was also a followup segment, broadcast Monday.  I think that "Jane
Shorten" said that the CSE intercepted telephone conversations and faxes
of Canadians working at FOREIGN embassies in Canada.

But Prime Minister Chretien, in ... New Zealand ... at a meeting of the
Commonwealth did not deny Canada is spying on allies, but he did say that
"This is an organization that works within the law of Canada". 

He also said, "They do not report to me on a daily basis and I cannot make
any comments on if they are spying on anybody.  I don't know.  But they
have the mandate to check a few things around the world.  Probably
somebody is listening to us at this moment." 

Later the Prime Minister said that if any laws have been broken, "somebody
will have to pay the price." 

Ottawa maintains that the CSE, the NSA and their counterparts in Britain, 
Australia, and New Zealand have all agreed not to spy on each other.  He 
also said that the CSE does not target Canadians and scrupulously abides 
by Canadian laws.

"Jane Shorten" said in her Sunday broadcast, "I have lived with this 
information for so long and I just think that it is time that Canada 
knows what the CSE is doing."

"Shorten" worked as an analyst for the CSE from 1986 to 1994 when she was
laid off.  "Shorten" said that the agency spied on Canada's allies and
trading partners, eavesdropping on friendly embassies, consulates, and
diplomats in Canada and around the world. 

Ottawa denies it.  

"Countries like Canada have understandings that they don't carry out these
activities against each other."  Solicitor General Herb Gray said earlier
this year in response to claims that the US Central Intelligence Agency
had spied on the Japanese delegation during auto trade talks in Geneva. 

"Shorten" however replied:  "He does not know what's going on because CSE
is certainly doing that ... I spied on the (South) Korean government for
the Canadian government." 

[I think she was referring to Atomic Energy of Canada's sale of nuclear 
power plants ... possibly ... but I don't know, about AECL.]

Today, it was reported by the deupty prime minister -- since the Prime
Minister is away at an economic conference in Japan -- that there will be
a review of operations to make sure that the Communications Security
Establishment is obeying the law. 

"And if, in fact, there has been illegal activity going on, we'll want to 
deal with that in as public a way as possible," said Sheila Copps.

The Mexican government has presented a diplomatic note to Canada
expressing "surprise and concern" over the report that it was spied on
during the North American free-trade talks. 

South Korea is looking into the matter as well. 

The head of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association wants an independent
committee to oversee CSE operations.  Alan Bovoroy, angered by the
suggestions of spying on Canadians, said a watchdog could put pressure on
politicians to make changes if the CSE steps over the line. 

International diplomacy experts said the allegations of economic espionage
wouldn't damage Ottawa's relations with the countries. 
                      --  E N D --

And I guess ... that's all of the news that I've got to this hour.  Except
for one brief note, that Prime Minister Chretien tried to call the States,
but the Government shutdown meant that his call couldn't get through.  
I think he tried to call NASA.

Speaking personally, I just think that something is a bit fishy. I mean 
"Jane Shorten" is a nym if I ever heard one ... probably married to
"Dick Lengthen" or something.  But putting my wry sense of haha, aside 
there are some serious questions.

How does someone cleared for TOP SECRET UMBRA, like our dear "Jane
Shorten" say, "I have lived with this information for so long and I just
think that it is time that Canada knows what CSE is doing."  And then
later say:  "I feel so strongly that its time that people learned what CSE
is all about." 

I mean ... HELLO .... GiGGle TesT ... what on earth did she think the CSE 
did?? Made snowmen and skated on the Rideau Canal??

"Shorten" apparently is quite distraught, over the stepped up CSE
operations in 1991.  Operations targetted at foreign embassies in Canada.
She recalled overhearing conversations of Canadians employed there -- even
one woman's phone call to her doctor.  She was appalled and confronted her
boss, who assured her that the practice was legal. 

I mean, whop dee doo ... "Shorten" overheard a patient/doctor telephone
call that a Canadian made from their place of work -- a foreign embassy.

Did she listen with great intent and intererst, or did she simply try not
to listen??  If "Shorten" was so disraught at listening in on personal
information, she should have closed her ears.  I mean, this is Canada,
what is the problem if we listen to people who work in embassies?? 

The agency IS obligated to destroy information about Canadians it scoops 
up in its electronic net.  A rare exception might be a phone call 
describing a terrorist plot, but that would truly be exceptional, I think.

I mean its not like one big fishing expedition. 

In any event, "Jane Shorten" returned to Canada from New York, this last

She told CTV she was aware her revelations could result in
prosecution under the Official Secrets Act but she felt the risk of prison
was worth it. 

And that's the fleshed out version of the story.

I'm just sorry that our Prime Minister is in such a bad position because 
of the timing of this "Jane Shorten's" revelations.  She also revealed 
that Canada spied on Japan.

To think ... Canadian Prime Minister Chretien is a guest of the Japanese
people today.  Talk about some awkward moments.  I mean, what on earth do
you talk about?? 

George Bush and Sushi??

Alice de 'nonymous ...

                                  ...just another one of those...

P.S.  This post is in the public domain.
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