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Apr 24, 2018 122 tweets 32 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Good morning from the Public Safety Committee study of Bill #C59. Four hour marathon meeting. We'll see how much of the 90 pages or so left MPs get through today. #cdnpoli #hw #SECU
Conservative motion to remove the requirement that the Minister of National Defence must consult with the Minister of Foreign Affairs when the #CSE engages in active (offensive) cyber operations. Conservatives argue that this will hinder ability of Minister of Defence to act #C59
Motion is defeated.
NDP amendment on protecting the public's private information when #CSE engages in its cybersecurity and information assurance mandate. Concern that extra information will certainly be collected when carrying out this work, and needs protection.
Liberals are arguing that their upcoming amendment is stronger. NDP pushes back, saying that there should be explicit inclusion of protection for information where there is a "reasonable expectation of privacy" #c59 #SECU
Motion is defeated.
Green Party up with their own, similar amendment. Again, effort to increase limit #CSE's collection of incidental information from the limit of infringing an act of parliament, to including information with a "reasonable expectation of privacy"
Liberal motion up on the same topic. NDP and Greens argue that the Liberal amendment is weaker (hoping they read out more of the exact amendment). #C59 #secu
#CSE official is saying that the Liberal amendment would make explicit what is already an implicit way of working: that they would seek out a ministerial authorization if there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. #C59 #secu
The motion passes
(There will be more to say on this as we go on. There is real importance to integrating explicit limits on collection of information) #C59 #secu
Liberals move to withdraw a motion. NDP likes it, so moves it. Liberals vote down their own proposed motion. (never read out) #c59
NDP moving to rescind articles that would allow for the collection by CSE of Canadians' publicly available information, despite the CSE's explicit mandate not to target Canadians. #c59
And motion is defeated (without any debate) #c59
Oops, missed this next NDP motion (they're moving fast) #c59
Next NDP motion meant to limit how CSE can use and disclose information acquired during its cybersecurity and information assurance
activities. #CSE officials state they believe this would actually, accidentally, widen the scope of what they could do and isn't necessary
Motion is defeated.
Next NDP motion: mandating the #CSE to seek consent when they are conducting tests for weaknesses/backdoors in software, products and systems. Argues that these tests could be disruptive and should require consent
#CSE official, on question from Liberals, says this would be difficult, and that there are situations where they would want to test for backdoors without alerting a software producer (for example) #c59
On a side note, article from @JimBronskill on the committee hearings so far: "Liberal-dominated committee rejecting many proposed changes to security bill" toronto.citynews.ca/2018/04/23/lib… #c59 #cdnpoli
Interesting back and forth between NDP & CSE about what the testing of software, products and networks consists of. CSE official says that this work would not include stress tests on live networks, but would work in the lab. Stresses partnerships with telcos. #c59
Motion defeated
NDP motion on 24(4): information collected incidentally. Motion to ensure that while information may be collected incidentally, that it isn't retained. This would avoid interfering with their work, but ensure that information that isn't related is destroyed. #c59
Liberals arguing that information that is outside CSE's mandate is destroyed, and that it would also be impossible to implement this amendment. Motion defeated #c59 #cdnpoli
Next NDP motion is related to a previous motion that was defeated, and is also defeated. #c59
NDP motion that the prohibition on committing bodily harm and perverting justice be extended to apply to all aspects of the CSE's activities.
On question from Conservatives, CSE states that this was not included because these threats are not related to the other activities (ie, protecting Canada's cybersecurity, testing for weaknesses, etc) #c59
Motion defeated #c59
NDP is now proposing a motion the have a more precise definition of democracy, in the clause that forbids #CSE from perverting the course of democracy.
CSE, on questioning, says that the precision is unnecessary, because already captured by current wording in 33(1) b. #c59 #cse
CSE official says having the extra precision, while maybe not necessary, would not be harmful to their work. Conservatives ask whether this is present in other parts of law. CSE: no, these powers are new, so these prohibitions needed to be added. #c59 #cdnpoli
So, despite testimony that having a more precise definition of democracy would not hinder CSE's work, the motion is defeated. #C59
NDP motion to limit #IC approvals of CSE authorizations to 6 months, and that all renewals be made by the #IC. #c59 #cdnpoli
Liberals argue that this could undermine the CSE's work and doesn't reflect the operational needs
NDP argues this comes from current CSE commissioner who understands operational needs
Motion defeated
Liberal amendment that will add the need for the Minister to notify the #IC of any decision to extend the period of an authorization. #c59
Motion passes
NDP motion to have #IC review a minister's decision to extend the validity of an authorization #c59
Liberals argue this is not an authorization but extension and does not need review. CSE official: NSIRA will review. NDP points out diff of review vs oversight #c59
Motion defeated
Green party motion to simply strike the clause that stops IC from reviewing emergency authorizations
Liberals argue this will interfere with emergency authorizations. Greens point out that this is simply review after the fact to ensure that it was necessary/appropriate.
Even so, motion is defeated #C59
Similar NDP motion that would allow for IC to review emergency authorizations after the fact #C59
Arguments against this amendment is that emergency authorizations expire in five days, and would eventually be reviewed by NSIRA.
NDP argues that having IC review could have impact on future approvals of authorizations.
Motion is defeated #c59
Liberal motion to allow information that carries a privacy interest to be disclosed when carrying out infrastructure protection. Passes unanimously #c59
NDP amendment that would prohibit disclosure of information that could lead to, or is obtained, through mistreatment, including torture #c59
Goes further than previous Liberal amendment: actually puts prohibition into law, and not just that rules on this must be made public. #C59
Liberals argue that the preamble of Liberal amendment refers to the various conventions against torture that Canada has signed on to #c59
NDP disagrees, essentially because the Governor in Council may give directions, but does not say what those directions are. Also need to note that preamble does not actually direct or mandate any actions - just gives context #C59
CSE says that current ministerial directions & laws are sufficient. #c59
This response is especially frustrating. They state that the 2011 ministerial directions on torture prohibited use of info tied to torture, when they have been roundly denounced for not doing that
Liberals even agreed, and that's why they brought new (albeit still insufficient) directions last Fall
Disturbing that we would be told the CSE found those directions went far enough. Underlines why we need strong, clear, explicit ban on complicity to mistreatment and torture #C59
Next NDP motion (from what I understand) would grant IC approval over information sharing agreements in order to avoid complicity in mistreatment and torture #c59
Conservatives and Liberals are arguing that this will change nature of the #IC
Also need to point out that some committee members continue to confuse oversight and review roles of the Intelligence Commissioner (oversight) and NSIRA (review) #c59
NDP motion to have CSE include more specific statistics regarding number of cyber operations and other activities in their annual report. Defeated.
Conservative motion to have CSE report on the cost of complying with new review agency NSIRA. Argue that the resources needed to comply with review amounts to a "budget cut". #C59
This argument often came up during the study of C-59: that oversight and review will add red tape and drain resources of security agencies.
A few experts from the security side expressed this concern, but security agency officials stated repeatedly that this isn't a concern
Back and forth on whether new review bodies will be an administrative burden. Public Safety official says that NSICOP or NSIRA could review and report on this.
Motz jokes that we would only know if the government makes it public. Which is true, and is disappointing that Conservatives did not support greater independence for NSIRA and IC #c59
NDP argues that it is dangerous to be undermining accountability of national security agencies, and that review and oversight is an integral part of ensuring our national security
Liberals argue that this is "a bit rich" because Conservatives cut budgets of natsec agencies during the last government #C59
Things getting a little heated, with Conservatives arguing that of there is a need for greater funding for border security they should look at their Prime Minister's tweets.
Motion fails
Chair is asking committee members to avoid partisanship. Conservatives saying "they started it" #c59
NDP motion to limit the ability of the government to change definitions in the CSE Act by regulation, arguing changes should be made via legislation and vote in Parliament (Section 61 of the act) #c59
NDP and Conservatives both apparently agree on this amendment #c59
Liberal argument that this is to deal with "unknown unknowns". Rumsfeld's legacy lives on #C59
Also argue that regulations are public. However, need to note that a public regulation can be imposed all the same, without parliamentary debate or vote. #C59
Some very strong arguments to limit the powers of the government to make changes by regulation, but Liberals remaining steadfast. #C59
The clause of the #CSE Act in question #c59 #CDNpoli
Motion is defeated 5-4 #c59
And we're onto the #CSIS Act #c59
Liberal amendment to change the preamble to include more language on protection of rights. Passes. #c59
Remember that preambles give context but does not lay out how an agency acts
NDP motion to drop "lawful" from "lawful advocay" in the definition of a threat to national security in the CSIS Act, as well as add artistic expression and clarify that the action of an individual should not impact an entire group #C59
This would reflect a carve out that was put into SCISA. CSIS official states that current definition has stood over time and does not require change. #C59
Motion fails
NDP motion for all Ministerial Directions to CSIS be published. Motion fails #c59
NDP motion to rescind CSIS's threat reduction powers. Argue that the bill fails to correct this problem from #C51. These are police powers and should stay as such, and we shouldn't go back in time and grant them to CSIS. #c59
This is one of @ICLMG's major concerns with #C51 & #C59. CSIS was created to seperate law enforcement and intelligence activities (which were both wrapped up in the RCMP at the time). We shouldn't go back to that #c59
Liberals argue that their amendments improve threat reduction regime over what was in C-51
Motion is defeated #C59
Next up: group of Green Party motions addressing the problems with granting CSIS powers to disrupt plots. #C59
May makes argument that given problems of communication between CSIS and RCMP, powers to disrupt leads to further problems.
Also argues that we've never been given a clear public policy argument in support of giving CSIS "kinetic powers" #C59
Instead, should focus on improving CSIS transferring relevant information to RCMP so law enforcement can act #c59
Liberal Michel Picard says agrees that communication between agencies must be improved. But is confident that charter will defend from malfeasance. #C59
Motion defeated
NDP motion to limit definition of publicly available information in CSIS Act #C59
CSIS official says that by carving out information that has a reasonable expectation of privacy from publicly available information, then arguably, agency would not be able to collect any publicly available information #C59
Says that, in extreme example, if they needed the Saskatoon phone book, would need judicial approval
Motion defeated
Liberal motion to allow information from a judicially authorized Canadian dataset to a foreign information dataset. Passes #c59
Liberal motion to clarify the bill that Minister can designate an official to authorize a foreign information dataset. #c59
Motion carries
NDP motion to limit authorization of retention of a foreign dataset to 1 year (as opposed to 5 years). Defeated #C59
Motions not being completely read out, so hard to follow. Will need to follow up in Hansard. #c59
NDP motion to bring stronger language and remove language about taking action that would "limit a right or freedom". #c59
Liberals argue this would limit ability to seek out warrants. Motion is defeated #c59
Green party motion to add in that CSIS will obey international human rights law. Argument against that it is redundant. Motion defeated #C59
NDP motion regarding confidentiality of CSIS sources is defeated #C59
NDP and Greens bring motion to again add in explicit rules regarding CSIS use of information complicit in mistreatment and torture. #C59
Similar to motion regarding CSE Act, would go further than the Liberal amendment passed last week #c59
Liberals argue that once again it is unnecessary. Only NDP votes in favour (Greens do not have a vote). Defeated #C59
Liberal motion that would require CSIS to produce an annual report, no later than three months after the end of the calendar year. #c59
Amendment passes
NDP amendment that in list of CSIS disruption powers, that "limit movement" explicitly excludes a ban on detention. #c59
Liberal subamendment to clarify (which NDP is in favour of) #C59
For procedural reasons, NDP withdraws motion, Liberals introduce the clarified motion
CSIS official states that this will not have a negative impact on their work
Amendment passes. #C59
Greens propose an amendment to add a special advocate into the threat disruption warrant hearings. Motion fails. #c59
That's it for today's meeting. Resumes tomorrow (Wednesday) 5:30pm to 8:30pm and Thursday 9am to 1pm as needed #C59

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More from @timmcsorley

Jun 21, 2018
This response from the director of #CSIS to the latest review of its activities is mind-boggling: canada.ca/en/security-in… #SIRC #C59 #cdnpoli
He defends actions by CSIS that the review committee finds is at odds with current laws by saying the agency is preparing for Bill #C59... which isn't even a law yet. #cdnpoli
How can it be acceptable for the director of Canada's main intelligence agency to respond to "You're breaking the rules" by saying, "Don't worry new rules are coming, so we're just getting ready for those"? #C59 #cdnpoli
Read 6 tweets
Jun 21, 2018
I haven't had a chance to read the entire #SIRC report on #CSIS myself yet, but the issues revealed just in this CBC article from @cattunneycbc are highly concerning, to say the least: cbc.ca/news/politics/… #cdnpoli 1/12
First, timing: It's impossible not to note that this report, which could have had a direct impact on the debate on Bill #C59, was released the day after the bill passed 3rd reading and was sent to the Senate. It will remain important for the debates this Fall, though. 2/12
Second: #SIRC calls out #CSIS for its continued unlawful practice of collecting bulk datasets - including of people who are not considered direct threats to national security. CSIS claims it is dealing with these issues as part of their transition to the provisions in #C59 3/12
Read 12 tweets
Apr 25, 2018
10 minutes late to #SECU and it's moving fast. Catching up. For those following, clause 109 of #c59 #cdnpoli
Conservative motion, similar to with #CSE, asking #CSIS to report annually on the costs incurred due to oversight. Both #NDP & #Liberals argue that this creates a new administrative burden. #NDP argues could be used to try & undermine new review & oversight bodies
Motion fails
Read 118 tweets
Apr 23, 2018
Back at #SECU for the next round of votes on Bill #C59, in time to see the #NDP motion to give the Intelligence Commissioner powers to go beyond simply saying "yes" or "no" on authorizations be voted down. #cdnpoli
Next Liberal motion, also proposed by Greens, is to ask the #IC to publish decisions not only when rejecting an authorization, but also in approving it (something @ICLMG is in favour of). Passes.
NDP motion that would allow IC to ask for additional information, rather than saying "yes" or "no" to an authorization. Notes that the current #CSE commissioner suggested this amendment #C59 #secu
Read 61 tweets

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