Urgent changes needed to enable CSIS to perform intelligence mandates: Spy Watchdog


According to the new Watchdog Report, Canada’s Spy Services are unable to create a significant process of filing in court, guaranteeing professional transactions that require training, experience and investment.

A report by the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency calls for fundamental changes to the relationship between the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and lawyers in the Department of Justice.

Reviewers have heard recurring concerns from interviewees that systematic issues rooted in governance and cultural issues risk creating intelligence services that fail to carry out their mission.

A federal judge called for a comprehensive review in 2020 after the CSIS ruling did not disclose reliance on information that may have been illegally collected to uphold a warrant investigating radicalism. ..

Judge Patrick Gleason of the Federal Court found that espionage services violated a candid obligation to the court, which has been part of a long-standing pattern.

Examining agencies, including federal courts, describe intelligence agencies and their lawyers who are struggling to find ways to fulfill their legal obligations.

“It is in the urgent public interest to tackle these challenges,” the report said. “CSIS and justice have made improvements, but the difficulties are still clear.”

Canadian press

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