I suppose it would be naive to think that the Government of Canada is not engaged in spying on other governments and even industrial espionage.
I suppose it is equally naive to think it is not spying on us, its own citizens.
Nevertheless, it is very disheartening to learn we are spying on Brazil. In the naivety of Canadian pride, we’re supposed to be above that, aren’t we?
The United States spying on North Korea, Great Britain spying on Russia, that makes sense.
But Canada? Brazil?
“We do not comment on foreign intelligence gathering activities,” comes the refrain from government ministers.
And so the charade begins, the false outrage, the hypocrisy, the denials, the obfuscation.
The prime minister and his cabinet are under a great deal of fire over these allegations, but I don’t think we can pin this on Harper or the Conservatives. CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada), an organization most Canadians didn’t know existed until Monday evening, has been operating since 1946 and under the administration of the Department of National Defence since 1975.
The fact is, according to experts, that everybody is spying on everybody, always have, probably always will. Perhaps it is simply a reality that we know, but don’t know and probably don’t want to know.
But what about spying on us? When those allegations about the American National Security Agency (NSA) spying on Americans erupted in the United States, we naively and smugly thought, “that’s them; that’s not us.”
When asked about whether our version of the NSA was doing the same thing on The National Monday, John Adams the former director of CSEC said: “That’s against the law. Absolutely not.”
Forgive us if we don’t believe you, Mr. Adams. It is against the law, but who is going to stop them?