Inside Politics

For the Record: CSIS Director Richard Fadden's offer to help Vic Toews salvage his online surveillance bill

Well meant though it surely was, one suspects that CSIS Director Richard Fadden's offer to tweak the much-maligned warrant-free wiretapping bill might not entirely assuage the concerns of those who fear it represents an unprecedented incursion into the online private lives of Canadians.

One might also suspect that might be exactly why the memorandum in which he did so was designated top secret. 

Luckily, Canadian Press reporter Jim Bronskill was able to get his hands on a declassified version -- and was kind enough to pass along the complete text for our Friday reading pleasure:

ATIP CSIS FaddenOnlineSurveillance 270212Letter I
t's worth noting that CSIS does, at least, seem to be entirely cognizant that speaking out publicly in support of the bill might not be in the best interest of the minister, at least if he hopes to convince opponents of the bill that their apprehension is -- no pun intended -- unwarranted: 

CSIS spokeswoman Tahera Mufti said the spy service did provide advice to the minister but she declined to say more.

"I will not comment on the details of this exchange or further elaborate on our position with respect to this legislation."

Meanwhile, the ultimate fate of the bill itself is still uncertain. At last check, it was still languishing, seemingly forgotten, on the Order Paper, despite a commitment by the government to send it to committee before second reading. 


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