As I said before, welcome to Kanuckistan
A University of Toronto-led transparency project has criticised Canada's ISPs for unnecessarily routing user traffic via the US, even when both the origin and destination of the traffic is within Canada. In a study that mirrors, in part, European concerns about why traffic should traverse the US when it doesn't need to, the …
Sorry Sureo, but you are 100% wrong. Canada's spooks, the CSE, are subject to PIPEDA privacy law. If you've never read that set of laws, you should as they lay out in specific terms what an organization, government or private body can do with your information. If it were ever proven that your information was collected illegally then there are heavy cash fines.
If you are a crook, they can get a court order, but it cannot be used for mass surveillance or collection.
PIPEDA is one of the reasons SIlent Circle set up their email servers there initially.
I am neither Canadian nor a lawyer, but it appears on reading that PIPEDA applies in the private sector and defers matters relating to government data collection to the Privacy Act. The latter appears to have loopholes large and numerous enough to accommodate a broad range of activities, conceivably including the kinds of activity we have come to expect of signals intelligence agencies. In particular, it is not obvious that collecting, e. g., telephone and email metadata, or internet search data, would be restricted. Subparagraphs c and d in the definition of personal information might not be enough, depending on the interpretation of "identifying number" or "address". The section on "Exemptions" (to disclosure), too, covers a lot of territory, including information received in confidence from foreign governments and international organizations of states and their institutions as well as that accumulated in conjunction with investigations of illegal activity or national security threats.
Again, I am not a lawyer, and case law based on the Privacy Act and other related legislation may tightly constrain what intelligence agencies may do, although I would expect things to far more settled in matters of police activity. In the end, however, much depends on how government officials behave in practice, whether they can be (and are) trusted to behave well, and whether there are adequate controls on their misbehavior. The Canadian Privacy Commissioner appears to be important, and hopefully is more active and effective than its US counterpart has been.
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