OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – Canada’s parliament should consider regulating the use of spyware by authorities as a result of a recent scandal highlighting how the country’s top police force was turning people’s phone cameras and microphones on and off at will.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Canada’s House of Commons ethics committee was told by a group of academics that spyware used by police is “cloaked in secrecy” and regulation is needed.
“There is very little regulation of the mercenary spyware industry at domestic or international levels allowing this sector to operate largely without scrutiny,” the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab in a submission it made to the ethics committee.
The Citizen Lab said regulations are needed to set “a high level of transparency in government use of spyware.”
“Almost every aspect of this industry is cloaked in secrecy from who buys and sells the products to the secret trade shows which promote the spyware to the names of spyware companies,” the Citizen Lab noted.
“Companies that sell spyware tend to operate using complex sales structures, including multiple corporate entities operating from a range of countries making it difficult to monitor and report on their activities.”
Canadian MPs recently sounded the alarm regarding one’s privacy after they learned that the country’s top police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), has been using spyware, potentially on politicians without their knowledge.
As reported last month by LifeSiteNews, MPs of the House of Commons ethics committee raised the issue regarding personal privacy at the same time RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki would not disclose whether the spyware was used to target politicians.
The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) failed spectacularly at resisting the initial COVID lockdowns and vaccine mandates that were imposed by the government on freedom-loving Canadians.
Most CPC MPs subserviently complied with Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party in creating a police-state where our Charter Rights were regularly violated, but now Pierre Poilievre would have us believe they have turned a corner and nothing like it will ever happen again.
How can they rebuild our trust? Well, they can start by owning up to their terrible mistakes.
SIGN: The CPC must apologize for abandoning Canadians to Trudeau's COVID regime.
You will remember how freedom-loving Canadians were abandoned by the CPC, with Erin O'Toole calling for vaccine passports and most CPC MPs pearl-clutching about "vaccine hesitancy".
That was until the party realized how popular the Truckers' Convoy had become and got behind the movement.
It's quite possible the CPC would still be mute on vaccine mandates and lockdowns were it not for the heroic Freedom Convoy that converged on Ottawa.
Let's not forget the businesses, churches, schools and universities that were shuttered for months on end because of the COVID hysteria generated by politicians in Ottawa, and the CPC did nothing.
They did nothing when people started losing their livelihoods (with some Canadians even losing their lives to suicide) because of the government's deranged policy of locking people down.
The CPC must show they have learned a lesson from the COVID tyranny Canadians needlessly suffered and that they contributed to.
SIGN: Demand the CPC apologize for abandoning Canadians to Trudeau's COVID tyranny.
In yet another reminder of how disconnected from reality the CPC were, MPs like Leslyn Lewis, Marilyn Gladu and Rosemarie Falk were omitted from their "Shadow Cabinet" in November 2021 because they dared to question the COVID shots.
Canadians must still contend with vaccine mandates in some settings and the intrusive ArriveCAN system in order to re-enter the country, while we are among the last three countries in the world to continue discriminating against unvaccinated visitors who remain barred from entering.
As Pierre Poilievre takes the reigns of the CPC, conservative voters must demand an apology from the party that abandoned them during the COVID-hysteria of the past two years.
SIGN: The CPC can rebuild trust by apologizing for capitulating to Trudeau's COVID tyranny.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, members of the House of Commons ethics committee were rightly concerned after learning the RCMP had been spying on people via their phones.
In a June 22 Inquiry of Ministry, the RCMP said the spyware could be used to “covertly and remotely obtain data from targeted computing devices.”
In June, the RCMP acknowledged it used special spyware to hack into a suspect’s phone without them even knowing it.
However, Lucki did not say if the spyware was used to monitor MPs.
The House of Commons ethics committee last month in a 6-5 vote passed a motion that mandated that the RCMP disclose any records available on the surveillance of MPs.
As noted by Blacklock’s Reporter, Privacy and Access Council of Canada president Sharon Polsky said to the ethics committee that versions of the same spyware used by the RCMP have been sold commercially.
“Nobody is talking about preventing the spyware from being used in the first place and nobody is talking about how the spyware is able to take advantage of the shortcomings, the deficiencies, in so many software programs,” Polsky said.
During the COVID crisis, it came to light that the government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was secretly spying on 33 million cell phone users without their consent.
The secret tracking program was done under the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), which claimed the tracking was done to understand the “public’s responsiveness during lockdown measures.”
It was also recently disclosed that Canadian Special Forces conducted surveillance flights over the Freedom Convoy in February in a spy plane capable of eavesdropping on cell phone calls and tracking small movements, contrary to a military directive banning such flights.