presumably this over-trawling case has nothing to do with the other recent Canadian Spook/Police 'error'
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, NEWS Last Updated: Nov 05, 2016 10:21 PM ET
"Should Canadian journalists assume they're being secretly watched by police?
'You cannot rely only on official truth,' Patrick Lagacé says "
Journalists rely on whistleblowers to report wrongdoing, and whistleblowers trust journalists to keep their identities secret to protect their jobs, their families and sometimes even their personal safety. It's a relationship that's fundamental to holding those in power to account.
That's why what happened this week was so remarkable.
Not one but seven Quebec journalists, including some who work for CBC's French-language service Radio-Canada, learned they have been the subjects of secret surveillance by police in Quebec.
The first revelation came Monday, when La Presse columnist Patrick Lagacé revealed that Montreal police confirmed they had been collecting metadata from his cellphone, effectively keeping tabs on every incoming and outgoing call. The data also included phone numbers for incoming texts. . .
. . .DS: Tell me what have you learned about the level of detail that was obtained about your pattern of movement?
PL: We have not been able to access what they gathered on me. But what I know is that they accessed my metadata. Hence, the phone numbers that were calling me, that I was calling. Same thing with the text messages. So not the content, if you [will]. That's what we call metadata. But the thing is, with metadata you can track and you can quite see who I'm talking to, who I'm not talking to. And this is very invasive. And for a journalist, it's almost as bad as listening in on my conversations. And they were also able, if they'd wanted — because they got a warrant for that — they were able to basically locate me in real time through the GPS in my phone. Which they say they did not do.
DS: We've focused on journalists, and that's what we've heard about this week. But should Canadians at large be concerned about this? People who are not journalists?
PL: Yes, and for a very good reason. If you want to have a healthy debate, healthy debates, in this society, you cannot rely only on official truths. You cannot rely only on what spokespersons tell you. You cannot rely only on what you find in press releases. This is what a free press does. We try to get all the facts, even the facts that institutions, like the police, doesn't want you — Canadians — to hear about. So if we cannot do that freely, we cannot have healthy debate in this country.
Should 5-eyes nation citizens at large be concerned about this? People who are not journalists, (or Supreme Court Judges)?
Luckily I'm no longer worried about questions like this. . . moving on!