A ruling has come down against Canada’s spy agency for illegally keeping potentially revealing electronic data about people over a 10-year period.
Justice Simon Noel says the Canadian Security Intelligence Service breached its duty to inform the court of its data-collection program, since the information was gathered using judicial warrants.
Noel says CSIS should not have retained the information since it was not directly related to threats to the security of Canada.
The ruling says the CSIS data analysis grew out of the spy service’s concerns in the early 2000’s that the information it collected was not fully utilized and should be processed using modern techniques.
Noel says CSIS crunched the data beginning in 2006 using a powerful program known as the Operational Data Analysis Centre to produce intelligence that can reveal specific, intimate details about people the spy service investigates.
The improperly retained material was metadata – information associated with a communication, such as a telephone number or email address, but not the message itself.