Canada’s electronic spy agency snooped on travelers who used free airport Wi-Fi — and tracked them long after they left, according to newly released files provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
And while our northern neighbors squabble over the legality of Communications Security Establishment Canada’s data-collection program, it could have bigger ramifications in the U.S. The Snowden document shows the tracking was launched with the help of the National Security Agency, part of a trial run for a new software program. CBC reports the technology has become fully operational since the 2012 test.
Experts say the spying is illegal under Canadian law, which prohibits spy agencies from targeting Canadian citizens — or anyone in Canada — without a warrant. CSEC denied it collected content from people’s phones, but defended its tracing of metadata — which can be used to track location and see all incoming and outgoing calls.
After the agency picked up Wi-Fi devices at the as-yet-unidentified Canadian airport, it was able to track them for more than a week as they popped up at other Wi-Fi locations in Canada and at U.S. airports. Canadian cybersecurity expert Ronald Deibert told CBC the agency would have had no trouble identifying individuals based on the metadata it obtained.
The Snowden document indicated the Wi-Fi data was obtained through a “special source” — both the Toronto and Vancouver airports denied providing that information. Airport Wi-Fi provider Boingo also said it was not involved.
Not only was the NSA involved in the Canadian trial run — CSEC called the technology “game-changing” — but experts say the Canadians also planned to share the technology and the intelligence it produced with the U.S., Britain, New Zealand, and Australia. It’s unclear if the program has been deployed elsewhere.
Thanks to the TSA, Americans are used to privacy violations when they head to the airport. But it’s no sure bet the intrusions have ended once you get through the body scanner.
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Donald Trump's "transition team will meet next week with representatives of the tech industry, multiple sources confirmed, even as their candidate largely has been largely shunned by Silicon Valley. The meeting, scheduled for next Thursday at the offices of law and lobbying firm BakerHostetler, will include trade groups like the Information Technology Industry Council and the Internet Association that represent major Silicon Valley companies."
Today in bad news for Donald Trump:
- Newsweek found that a company he controlled did business with Cuba under Fidel Castro "despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings." In 1998, he spent at least $68,000 there, which was funneled through a consluting company "to make it appear legal."
- The Los Angeles Times reports that at a golf club he owns in California, Trump ordered that unattractive female staff be fired and replaced with prettier women.
In some of the first state-by-state surveys since Monday night's debate, Hillary Clinton has the edge in five battlegrounds, according to polls by Public Policy Polling. In four-way matchups, Clinton leads Donald Trump 46%-40% in Colorado, 45%-43% in Florida, 44%-42% in North Carolina, 45%-39% in Pennsylvania, and 46%-40% in Virginia. Gary Johnson doesn't top 7% in any state. Voters in all five states thought that Clinton decisively won the debate.