The CSIS (Canadian Security intelligence service) has suspended the use of cellphone tracking and is reviewing its use of mobile devices (MDI’s), IMSI catchers, and cell site simulators. However, the spy agency has admitted the usage of the most disputable cellphone surveillance technology in the organization, without a warrant.
The RCMP has admitted in the past months that they have been using a high-tech spy device to track cellphone data. These mobile device identifier tools can gather high-level data about a phone’s location and is a very important investigative tool. However, the agency breached its duty to inform the court of its data-collection program, and the information was gathered using judicial warrants.
The reports note that the CSIS has been using the ‘IMSI Catcher’ from long and there was no disclosure of that. The thing that attracts our attention the most is that this spy agency was allowed to use the technology even without a legal warrant.
Another review of CSIS confirms the collection of controversial data using a powerful program known as the operational data analysis centre (ODAC). ODAC is a small program that produces intelligence reports that can reveal specific, intimate details about people the spy services investigates. A federal court judge stated that Canada’s spy agency has illegally kept potentially revealing electronic data of several Canadians over a period of 10 long years.
It’s not clear what sort of metadata the agency retained. However, the CSIS director would only describe it as the non-threat-related associated data. Metadata could mean the collection of phone numbers or e-mail addresses, a data that act as a base for further information but not the actual content of the message.
The IMSI catcher technology is more remarkable for the Canadians if used in a legal manner. However, with the situations prevailing in the present scenario, it’s more of a breach in the lives of the people of Canada.
According to the lawyer Michael Vonn, policy director of the BC civil liberties association, the public of Canada should be aware of the ways CSIS is operating. The Canadians should reassure that CSIS is not still retaining metadata of people, as they are not authorized to keep it for any purpose.