Canadian espionage services again warned by court over frank obligations

Ottawa-Federal judges condemn “institutional and systematic negligence” for the latest case of Canadian espionage services, which has not been fully published in applying for a judicial warrant to conduct an investigation.

In a decision published in editorial form on Tuesday, Federal Court Judge Henry Brown violated the candid obligations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to the court in certain October 2018 warrant applications. He said he did.

Spy Services has applied for several warrants to intercept communications of “groups of individuals” that are considered a threat to Canada’s security. That detail has been removed from the public version of the decision.

Brown discovered that CSIS did not disclose that the human information it relied on to obtain the warrant could have flowed from potentially illegal activity.

He also accused espionage services of failing to reveal information that could adversely affect the credibility and credibility of human sources.

Still, the judge concluded that the newly available information did not justify setting the warrant aside.

“Both violations were caused by a combination of institutional and systematic negligence,” Brown wrote. “Nevertheless, I cannot find any intent to mislead or deceive the court. The court acknowledges that neither the lawyer nor the service witness who appeared before it has personal responsibility. Is not.”

This decision is the latest in several recent years when the court warned CSIS not to disclose important information when applying for a warrant.

A similar federal court ruling, issued in July 2020, said CSIS did not disclose reliance on information that may have been illegally collected to assist warrants in investigating extremism. Said.

“The situation raises fundamental issues regarding respect for the rule of law, oversight of security intelligence activities, and the behavior of individual decision makers,” wrote Judge Patrick Gleason.

Gleason called for a closer look at the interaction between CSIS and the Federal Ministry of Justice to fully identify systematic, governance, and cultural shortcomings and failures.

The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, CSIS’s leading oversight body, is investigating the issue.

Another review, completed by former Deputy Minister of Justice Morris Rosenberg, called for improvements such as improved training and clarification of roles, but emphasized that it would not succeed unless it addressed “cultural issues regarding warrants.”

A Rosenberg review prompted CSIS to begin efforts last year to promote its ability to meet its candid obligations to the court, and the plan was finalized in January.

The project team is reviewing the recommendations of the Rosenberg report and leveraging lessons learned from other ongoing initiatives at CSIS based on ongoing efforts, service spokeswoman Keira Lawson said Tuesday. Told to.

“Also, since the start of the project, there has been extensive involvement and consultation with employees to seek ideas for solutions to problems identified by Rosenberg’s report and federal court.”

In his judgment, Brown ordered CSIS to continue to notify the court of progress, including follow-up related to external reviews.

Canadian press

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