The Canadian government is in the process of updating the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 (Formerly, Bill C-51). The new legislation, Bill C-59, proposes an offensive cyberwarfare mandate for the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), which would allow the CSE to “degrade, disrupt, influence, respond to or interfere with the capabilities” of non-Canadian entities. This could permit the CSE to “disrupt” access to the website of a foreign news organization, “influence” a foreign news organization by forging or altering documents relied upon by its journalists, or “interfere with” key technologies such as encryption tools and anonymity software that journalists and others routinely use in their work. All of these scenarios pose unacceptable risks to journalists and the free press.
We sent a copy of Orwell: Ignorance is Strength, a video game about cyber spies to Canadian lawmakers. Click here to learn more.
Foreign communications monitoring activities of the CSE could incidentally or intentionally result in the collection, use, and analysis of the communications of Canadian journalists with overseas sources. Considering the breadth of information available online, in combination with the CSE’s powers to collect information from foreign allies by entering into arrangements, and from other branches of government, the CSE could potentially build comprehensive digital dossiers on Canadians without ever running afoul of Bill C-59’s prohibition on directly targeting Canadians. If Bill C-59 is passed without amendment in Canada the potential for abuse poses an unacceptable risk to democracy, journalism and free expression.
Sign the petition below to tell the government:
"When you play games with our rights, we all lose."
We the undersigned:
Call on the government of Canada to amend Bill C-59 in response to the input of civil society advocates, privacy and technology experts about the impact that these proposed powers would have on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including rights of press freedom and free expression.