International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
September 4, 2020
ICLMG: New revelations of spy agency misleading the courts shows need for concrete action and accountability
ICLMG 02/09/2020 - “In less than two months, we have two court decisions revealing CSIS engaged in potentially illegal activities and withheld information from the courts,” said Tim McSorley, national coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG). “This is utterly unacceptable. Government agencies cannot be allowed to lie to the courts time and again. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and CSIS Director David Vigneault must take immediate action to put an end to this abuse of power.”

The coalition is calling on Public Safety Minister Bill Blair to immediately determine whether those who were involved in illegal activity or misleading the courts are still employed by either CSIS or the Department of Justice, and to publicly state the repercussions they have faced in light of their actions, up to and including termination of employment and judicial proceedings. [...] The July federal court decision called for a comprehensive external review “to fully identify systemic, governance and cultural shortcomings and failures that resulted in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service engaging in operational activity that it has conceded was illegal and the resultant breach of candour.”

The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) has since been tasked by the federal government to undertake this review. [...] “We trust that the forthcoming report from the NSIRA will help shine a light on the depth of these issues, and present solutions for moving forward, including addressing the lack of opposing counsel during ex parte hearings. However, the fact remains that the courts have identified instances where it is already clear that federal officers went too far and undermined both the justice system and threatened the rights of Canadians. There must be accountability and repercussions for those actions to ensure they do not occur again,” said McSorley. Read more - Lire plus
CSIS used intel gathered illegally, withheld evidence favourable to accused Ottawa ISIS recruiter
Ottawa Citizen 27/08/2020 - In another blow to the years-long prosecution of reputed ISIS recruiter Awso Peshdary, Canada’s spy agency has admitted it failed to disclose evidence favourable to the accused and that some of its intelligence used to support warrants may have been gathered illegally. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service made the striking admissions in federal court proceedings about the validity of a 2012 wiretap warrant targeting Ottawa’s Peshdary. “The new evidence suggested that some of the information contained in the affidavit supporting the 2012 warrant, and in previous affidavits, may have resulted from unlawful activity that was not brought to the Court’s attention,” Federal Court Justice James W. O’Reilly noted in a decision released this week.

The new evidence that CSIS finally disclosed includes affidavits in support of warrants issued in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Those affidavits show there was misleading information in the key 2012 CSIS affidavit used to secure a wiretap warrant. The agency also failed to disclose evidence that was favourable to the defence. So the judge who issued the 2012 warrant was not only relying on misleading information, but had far from a complete record — notably the exculpatory evidence. The 2012 CSIS affidavit used to secure the warrant made it sound like Peshdary was plotting an attack on Parliament Hill and the U.S. Embassy, but the 2010 affidavit — secret until now — contains a much longer passage from an intercept in which he appears to discount such a plan. In the 2012 affidavit, CSIS also said Peshdary had engaged in jihadist training in Gatineau Park back in 2010. But, according to the new evidence, that information actually came from an old warrant application authored by the RCMP, which merely said Peshdary was one of a number of young men who were shooting pellet guns.

The 2012 CSIS affidavit also noted that Peshdary had radicalized a Muslim convert, but the information in the 2010 affidavit casts doubt on his alleged recruitment efforts.
Another affidavit, drafted in 2011 and not previously disclosed until now, in fact refers to a wiretap intercept in which Peshdary says he’s no longer down with jihad, and merely wants to get a good job and take care of his family. The reputed ISIS recruiter and financier’s top lawyer Solomon Friedman has been leading a tough, years-long defence and has successfully extracted a pile of previously-secret information, notably details about the key witness, an informant who was teetering on bankruptcy with four children, seven ex-wives, and trying to make an honest living on minimum wage before the authorities came calling with a bag, literally, full of tax-free cash. [...] In light of the new evidence, extracted by amicus lawyer Ian Carter — assigned to privately review the secret national-security files — O’Reilly is reconsidering the motion by defence lawyer Solomon Friedman to quash the key 2012 wiretap warrant. Read more - Lire plus
Update: ICLMG's Analysis of the COVID Alert App
ICLMG 27/08/2020 - After speaking with Health Canada and Canadian Digital Service officials, some of our concerns have been clarified and/or addressed:

  • Regarding the retention period of three months for all IP addresses, we were informed this time frame was reached after deep deliberation among staff involved both in cybersecurity and in privacy issues. In fact, the original proposal was to possibly keep IP addresses for a longer time period. We were told that the retention of IP addresses over a three-month time frame is to ensure the application is functioning normally and to ensure that activity can be properly tracked in order to monitor for patterns that demonstrate suspicious activity. Officials have also committed to reviewing and potentially reducing this retention period if it becomes clear that a shorter time frame is adequate to ensure the security of the system. This is also explained online here, including the commitment to reviewing the retention period.
  • In our conversation, officials also reaffirmed that they are monitoring for suspicious activity that would undermine the security or integrity of the system and users. The activity considered suspicious, and the steps to be taken, are laid out in the Government of Canada Cyber Security Event Management Plan (GC CSEMP), including under what circumstances activity must be reported to either the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security or to law enforcement. More details are found in sections 5.2.3 and 5.2.4 of the GC CSEMP. While we would still prefer to see specific legislation regarding the handling of information related to COVID Alert, this provides clear, written guidelines regarding potential cyber-security incidents.

  • We have also re-confirmed that IP addresses are kept on a separate server than that which handles one-time codes and keys. This is positive. However, we agree with the OPC and maintain our concern that IP addresses still presents a risk of re-identification. This is particularly true since the IP server also maintains logs of the activity associated to that IP address. Therefore, when the activity of uploading a one-time code to the application is associated with an IP address, it can be inferred that the owner of that IP address has tested positive for COVID-19. We recognize that important and significant steps have been taken to protect this information, including strict limits on access and strong cybersecurity protections. However, we have also asked whether there has been consideration of further limiting the kind of information stored alongside IP addresses by, for example, not associating a type of activity (such as uploading a one-time code or downloading keys) with an IP address, and solely noting if there was an attempt to upload a fraudulent code from an IP address (or if everything is normal). We will update when we have a response (see below).

  • Finally, we were also informed that officials are in the process of putting together documentation to add to the government’s COVID Alert page that would further explain security and privacy measures. This is positive for transparency and accountability, and we will link to it once it has been published.

We have received further clarifications and information from Health Canada on September 3, 2020 regarding our concerns:

  • They have confirmed that sharing information with law enforcement “would be specifically in the event of a cybersecurity attack on the exposure notification system (e.g. enlisting law enforcement to help respond), rather than situations where law enforcement is looking for some kind of information from Canada Digital Service/Health Canada to pursue some other investigation.”

  • Also confirmed is that any disclosed information – including IP addresses – would be considered “personal information” and they would therefore act in accordance with the Privacy Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

  • Finally, they are open to reducing the amount and kind of information retained on the IP server, but do not have plans to make any changes. There may also be limitations to what can be modified on the system where the IP addresses and logs are stored. While these systems have strong security measures in place, this still leaves room for some privacy concerns. We will look to follow-up again with officials in the coming months to ascertain whether they are open to further minimizing the amount of information retained. Read more

ICLMG's Tim McSorley on Bill C-3 and Parliament prorogation on Unpublished TV
Unpublished TV 27/08/2020 - Our National Coordinator Tim McSorley had the chance to speak with Ed Hand and Lori Turnbull on Unpublished TV last night about prorogation, including the need to bring back (a better) bill to create independent review of the Canada Border Services Agency.
Wrongful Extradition: Reforming the Committal Phase of Canada's Extradition Law
SSRN 31/07/2020 - There has recently been an upswing in interest around extradition in Canada, particularly in light of the high-profile and troubling case of Hassan Diab, who was extradited to France on the basis of what turned out to be an ill-founded case. Diab’s case highlights some of the problems with Canada’s Extradition Act and proceedings thereunder.

This paper argues that: the “committal stage” of extradition proceedings, involving a judicial hearing into the basis of the requesting state’s case, is unfair and may not be compliant with the Charter; and that the manner in which the Crown conducts these proceedings contributes to this unfairness. It also argues that regardless of the Act’s constitutionality, in light of Diab and other disturbing cases the time is ripe for law reform, to ensure that extradition proceedings are carried out in a way that is consistent with Canadian public policy. Some suggestions for reform are made, as well as a proposal for a serious Parliamentary effort. Read more - Lire plus
Bringing Abolition to National Security
Just Security 27/08/2020 - Though far less explored, abolition may also be the most promising option for dealing with discriminatory national security laws and policies. Without understanding the historical, material, and ideological roots of these practices, it is impossible to effectively deal with their discriminatory outcomes. More generally, an abolitionist framing draws attention to how the U.S. approach to national security is rooted less in the public’s welfare and more in the demonization of racial and other out-groups, support for U.S. imperialism, and sustenance of what Aslı Bâli refers to as the “military-industrial-policing complex.” It suggests the need to think differently about national security and to dismantle the American national security state as we know it. Indeed, the broader abolitionist project cannot be fully realized without these efforts.

First and foremost, an abolitionist framework takes seriously the deep relationship between discriminatory national security programs and racial and religious prejudices. More generally, it underscores how the entire American security apparatus, from local police to federal law enforcement, is grounded in racism and disproportionately targets racial minorities, as well as the poor and working class. In the national security sector, this includes the racist and xenophobic origins of the U.S. Border Patrol as well as the FBI’s long track-record of targeting and pursuing labor movements and persecuting minority communities. Reform alone cannot hope to address these longstanding, deeply entrenched discriminatory legacies.

An abolitionist lens also sheds light on the ways in which the government’s discriminatory national security programs as well as the security state more generally are part and parcel of U.S. imperialism. For decades, U.S. foreign policy in the Muslim world has propped up authoritarian governments, promoted instability and war, and filled the coffers of local elites, all while ensuring the poor and middle class have few economic and political opportunities. Indeed, many of the groups targeted by the U.S. government’s War on Terror, both abroad and domestically, are a byproduct of those circumstances. While post-9/11 jingoism has long prevented these facts from entering mainstream discourse, they are critical to any effort to “fix” the national security sector.

Importantly, an abolitionist lens emphasizes the role of the military-industrial-policing complex in sustaining the American national security state. In a world of deep budget cuts to welfare programs and other social services, the national security sector remains funded to the gills. While the precise figure is unavailable, a recent report found that, between 2002 and 2020, Congress appropriated over $6 trillion dollars for post-9/11 war and counterterrorism efforts. Private contractors have profited handsomely from this arrangement. In 2019 alone, the Pentagon spent $370 billion on defense contractors, a 164 percent increase from 2001. This corporate investment in sustaining and expanding the national security state raises serious questions about who benefits from the United States’ sprawling and expensive national security regime.

Finally, thinking about national security from an abolitionist perspective is essential to the abolitionist project itself. Most obviously, national security has increasingly become an important component of policing and vice versa. [...] As in the policing context, bringing abolition to national security will likely be dismissed or seen as too radical, naïve, or utopian. But, to paraphrase Monica Bell, it is far more unrealistic to believe individual programs, and indeed the entire national security state, which are so deeply entangled in the systematic discrimination and persecution of vulnerable minority groups, the pursuit of imperialism, and corporate imperatives, can be meaningfully reformed. It’s time to consider other options. Abolition ought to be one of them. Read more - Lire plus

Civil Liberties and Indigenous Rights Groups Call on CRCC to Immediately Take Conduct of Investigation into Wet’suwet’en Land Defender’s Police Complaint
UBCIC 27/08/2020 - BC Civil Liberties Association and Union of BC Indian Chiefs are calling on the Chairperson of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC) to immediately take charge of the investigation of a Wet’suwet’en land defender’s police complaint.

According to Mr. Cody Merriman (Wedlidi), “I made a police complaint to the CRCC because I was expecting an independent and civilian investigation into the illegal RCMP exclusion zone on Wet’suwet’en territories as part of the militarized raids on the yintah in January 2020. Instead, I have had the very same RCMP officers who were involved in leading the police operations show up unannounced to my home, claim they are the ones ‘informally resolving’ my police complaint against other officers, and try to intimidate me to drop the complaint.”

“Indigenous peoples have always asserted our laws and presence on our territories, but I was denied access to my wife and family’s territories, Gidimt’en yintah, which was subjected to militarized police operations and an exclusion zone earlier this year. Now, we can’t even get a proper and independent investigation into the illegal police misconduct and criminalization of Indigenous people. This is outrageous,” further states Mr. Merriman.
On January 15 2020, Mr. Cody Merriman filed a police complaint with the CRCC. Mr. Merriman was bringing food and emergency supplies to the Gidimt’en Checkpoint on Wet’suwet’en territories but was denied entry and access at the RCMP exclusion zone, in contravention of the RCMP’s own statements and Merriman’s inherent Indigenous and Charter-protected rights.

In May 2020, two RCMP officers arrived unannounced at Mr. Merriman’s home. The officers were unclear about the nature of their visit, and proceeded to interrogate and intimidate Mr. Merriman about his police complaint. In a subsequent letter in June 2020, the RCMP argued that two of the officers in Mr. Merriman’s complaint were Reserve Constables and would not be included in the complaint investigation, even though Reservists are appointed under the RCMP Act and fall der the jurisdiction of the CRCC. On August 26, 2020, Mr. Merriman filed a second complaint with the CRCC, highlighting the fundamental flaws in the RCMP investigation into his initial police complaint.

According to Carly Teillet, BCCLA Community Lawyer, “Individual RCMP officers and the Smithers RCMP Detachment involved in leading RCMP militarized actions on Wet’suwet’en territories and subject to a policy complaint to the CRCC should not be investigating Mr. Merriman’s complaint. This is a clear conflict of interest. We call on the CRCC Chairperson to immediately take conduct of the complaint investigation from the RCMP. We further call on the CRCC to include the conduct of the two reserve constables in the complaint investigation.” Read more - Lire plus

To Surveil and Predict: A Human Rights Analysis of Algorithmic Policing in Canada
The Citizen Lab 01/09/2020 - This report examines algorithmic technologies that are designed for use in criminal law enforcement systems. Algorithmic policing is an area of technological development that, in theory, is designed to enable law enforcement agencies to either automate surveillance or to draw inferences through the use of mass data processing in the hopes of predicting potential criminal activity. The latter type of technology and the policing methods built upon it are often referred to as predictive policing. Algorithmic policing methods often rely on the aggregation and analysis of massive volumes of data, such as personal information, communications data, biometric data, geolocation data, images, social media content, and policing data (such as statistics based on police arrests or criminal records).
In order to guide public dialogue and the development of law and policy in Canada, the report focuses on the human rights and constitutional law implications of the use of algorithmic policing technologies by law enforcement authorities. [...]

The primary research findings of this report show that technologies have been procured, developed, or used in Canada in all three categories. For example, at least two agencies, the Vancouver Police Department and the Saskatoon Police Service, have confirmed that they are using or are developing ‘predictive’ algorithmic technologies for the purposes of guiding police action and intervention. Other police services, such as in Calgary and Toronto, have acquired technologies that include algorithmic policing capabilities or that jurisdictions outside of Canada have leveraged to build predictive policing systems. The Calgary Police Service engages in algorithmic social network analysis, which is a form of technology that may also be deployed by law enforcement to engage in person-focused algorithmic policing. Numerous law enforcement agencies across the country also now rely on a range of other algorithmic surveillance technologies (e.g., automated licence plate readers, facial recognition, and social media surveillance algorithms), or they are developing or considering adopting such technologies. This report also uncovers information suggesting that the Ontario Provincial Police and Waterloo Regional Police Service may be unlawfully intercepting private communications in online private chat rooms through reliance on an algorithmic social media surveillance technology known as the ICAC Child On-line Protection System (ICACCOPS). Other police services throughout Canada may also be using or developing additional predictive policing or algorithmic surveillance technologies outside of public awareness. Many of the freedom of information (FOI) requests submitted for this report were met with responses from law enforcement authorities that claimed privilege as justification for non-disclosure; in other cases, law enforcement agencies did not provide any records in response to the submitted FOI request, or requested exorbitant fees in order to process the request.

Priority recommendations for governments and law enforcement authorities that must be acted upon urgently in order to mitigate the likelihood of human rights and Charter violations associated with the use of algorithmic policing technology in Canada:
  1. Governments must place moratoriums on law enforcement agencies’ use of technology that relies on algorithmic processing of historic mass police data sets, pending completion of a comprehensive review through a judicial inquiry, and on use of algorithmic policing technology that does not meet prerequisite conditions of reliability, necessity, and proportionality.
  2. The federal government should convene a judicial inquiry to conduct a comprehensive review regarding law enforcement agencies’ potential repurposing of historic police data sets for use in algorithmic policing technologies.
  3. Governments must make reliability, necessity, and proportionality prerequisite conditions for the use of algorithmic policing technologies, and moratoriums should be placed on every algorithmic policing technology that does not meet these established prerequisites.
  4. Law enforcement agencies must be fully transparent with the public and with privacy commissioners, immediately disclosing whether and what algorithmic policing technologies are currently being used, developed, or procured, to enable democratic dialogue and meaningful accountability and oversight. Read more - Lire plus
Court rules NSA phone snooping illegal — after 7-year delay
Politico 02/09/2020 - The National Security Agency program that swept up details on billions of Americans' phone calls was illegal and possibly unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. However, the unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the role the so-called telephone metadata program played in a criminal terror-fundraising case against four Somali immigrants was so minor that it did not undermine their convictions.

The long-awaited decision is a victory for prosecutors, but some language in the court's opinion could be viewed as a rebuke of sorts to officials who defended the snooping by pointing to the case involving Basaaly Moalin and three other men found guilty by a San Diego jury in 2013 on charges of fundraising for Al-Shabaab. Judge Marsha Berzon's opinion, which contains a half-dozen references to the role of former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden in disclosing the NSA metadata program, concludes that the "bulk collection" of such data violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The call-tracking effort began without court authorization under President George W. Bush following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A similar program was approved by the secretive FISA Court beginning in 2006 and renewed numerous times, but the 9th Circuit panel said those rulings were legally flawed. The appeals court stopped just short of saying that the snooping was definitely unconstitutional, but rejected the Justice Department's arguments that collecting the metadata did not amount to a search under a 40-year-old legal precedent because customers voluntarily share such info with telephone providers. Read more - Lire plus

Our Post-Privacy World: Total information awareness may make us feel safe, but will we regret living in a surveillance state?
The American Scholar 01/09/2020 - In 2002, the United States began a mass detection program based on the concept of predictive policing. Called Total Information Awareness (TIA), it was the “biggest surveillance program in the history of the United States,” said Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), whose Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had nominal oversight. Although TIA surveillance supposedly ended in 2003, after predictive policing had been discredited as little more than racial profiling, The New York Times reported in 2012 that a variant of the program was still “quietly thriving” at the National Security Agency.

Proposed in 2002, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, TIA was the brainchild of Rear Admiral John Poindexter, a former national security adviser to Ronald Reagan and a major player in the Iran-Contra scandal. Poindexter had been banished to a K Street consultancy until he managed to get back into the Pentagon as director of the newly created Information Awareness Office. From there, he launched a raft of surveillance programs and set about developing online futures markets that could be used to predict terrorist attacks by monitoring betting pools on future events. This “terrorism futures market,” along with the divine overreach of his ambitions, forced Poindexter’s resignation in 2003. But we know from Edward Snowden’s revelations that mass surveillance continued unabated.

The Information Surveillance Center along the Ho Chi Minh Trail has been resurrected as the Utah Data Center built along the Mormon Trail in Bluffdale, Utah. This is where the NSA, in a $2 billion facility opened in 2019, is gathering the data used by “people sniffers” to monitor everything from computer keystrokes to eyeball iris scans. A program called mystic records and archives phone calls around the world. prism collects Internet communications. stingray tracks text messages. As its computers scroll through yottabytes of data, the NSA is trying to interdict enemy forces moving along the world’s electronic trails. “The U.S. government,” Snowden warned, “in conspiracy with client states, chiefest among them [co-members of the Five Eyes alliance]—the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—have inflicted upon the world a system of secret, pervasive surveillance from which there is no refuge.” [...]

In 2018, a columnist for The Guardian asked Google to give him all the data it had collected on him. The company turned over 5.5 gigabytes of information—the equivalent of three million Word documents. When I repeated this experiment in March 2020, Google informed me that I was being “tracked across fifty-one products” and that I should be patient while my data were being assembled. “This process can take a long time (possibly hours or days) to complete,” the company wrote. “You’ll receive an email when your export is done.”

Ten hours later, Google emailed to say that my “archive” was complete. When I unzipped the files, they contained 214.47 gigabytes of data, roughly equal to streaming 214 hours of movies on Netflix. As a book printed in 10-point Arial, it would be 13,893,796 pages long. The archive included all my contacts, photos, search history, purchases, call logs, and correspondence—pretty much everything I had done on the Internet from its origins to the present. Like everyone else, I had agreed to this surveillance by clicking “yes” to unread agreements that promised to “enhance your user experience.” Apart from Google, I am being tracked by a host of other companies. They scrape data from my financial transactions and then sell it back to me as my credit rating or pass it on to Bluffdale, Utah, as part of the NSA’s effort to comprehend information in its totality. Read more - Lire plus

US Sanctions International Criminal Court Prosecutor
Human Rights Watch 02/09/2020 - The Trump administration’s unprecedented imposition of asset freezes on prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) shows an egregious disregard for victims of the world’s worst crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 2, 2020, the administration announced that the United States had designated the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, and the head of the Office of the Prosecutor’s Jurisdiction, Complementarity, and Cooperation Division, Phakiso Mochochoko, for sanctions.

The US action gives effect to a sweeping executive order issued on June 11 by President Donald Trump, which declared a dubious national emergency and authorized asset freezes and family entry bans that could be imposed against certain ICC officials. The Trump administration had repeatedly threatened action to thwart ICC investigations in Afghanistan and Palestine into conduct by US and Israeli nationals, and revoked the ICC prosecutor’s US visa in 2019.

“The Trump administration’s perverse use of sanctions, devised for alleged terrorists and drug kingpins, against prosecutors seeking justice for grave international crimes, magnifies the failure of the US to prosecute torture,” said Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch. “The administration’s conjuring up a ‘national emergency’ to punish war crimes prosecutors shows utter disregard for the victims.” Read more - Lire plus
Appeals court rules due process rights don't apply to Guantanamo detainees
The Hill 28/08/2020 - A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that foreign detainees at Guantanamo Bay do not have the right to make due process claims in court. The decision from the three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Constitution does not apply to those held at the military base. Judge Neomi Rao, who was appointed to the court by President Trump, wrote in the decision that "the Due Process Clause may not be invoked by aliens without property or presence in the sovereign territory of the United States."

The decision rejects the appeal of Abdulsalam Ali Abdulrahman al Hela, a Yemeni citizen who has been detained at the U.S. military base in Cuba since 2004. A district judge last year denied al Hela's habeas corpus petition challenging his detention at the facility.
"We think the decision is incorrect and we're considering our options," David Remes, al Hela's attorney, told The Hill on Friday. "The fundamental injustice at Guantanamo is holding individuals indefinitely without a charge. That's the ultimate problem that needs to be addressed." Friday's decision would likely be the most categorical denial of legal rights for Guantanamo detainees in nearly two decades of court battles over the military prison.
The detention camp was established by former President George W. Bush in 2002 to house detainees who came into U.S. custody during the war on terrorism. It's been the subject of intense criticism from human rights advocates; many Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, have called for its closing. Read more - Lire plus

Counterterrorism Assistance to Chad for the Sahel: The Price the People Pay
Just Security 02/09/2020 - This apparent shared interest among international backers in security for Chad and the wider region, however, is not accompanied by a corresponding willingness or means to coordinate with each other. For instance, if “terrorism” is a common enemy to all of Chad’s partners, the existence of at least six separate counterterrorism agreements (France, US, Turkey, Israeli, Russia, Saudi Arabia) and three different operations (Operation Barkhane, the G5 Sahel, and the Multinational Joint Task Force) on Chadian territory is not justified.

The result is an incoherent approach, with donor “partners” competing for influence, and little collective vision of how the assistance will make Chadians – or the region — safer. In practice, this leads to needless confusion and waste. With so many international backers providing overlapping forms of support and with little understanding of who receives training and equipment from other donors, some soldiers end up being given the same incident briefings multiple times and happily attend the same training sessions they have attended several times before, receiving a per diem for the tedium. Able to secure the equipment and training it wants with no pressure from its backers to be held accountable, Chad’s government can easily fund its growing military and provide lucrative rewards to internal political allies without any need to reform or become more transparent. If one international supporter requires concessions that threaten the consolidation of the government’s power, Chad’s leaders can easily find what they need from another donor.

As a result, the Chadian government has been able to get away with refusing to carry out any assessment of its military and security sector. Such an assessment might highlight flaws in the government’s management of security policy, and illustrate how security assistance is exploited for personal and political gain. Corruption within the Chadian military is well-documented. Military officers have been caught misappropriating security assistance, including drugs, vehicles, and weapons that are then sold on the black market. Military leaders also have given training and jobs to political allies. These instances rarely result in any kind of investigation, let alone penalties for those involved. Chad’s security institutions are able to operate with impunity and have little incentive to change practices that have proven to be so lucrative.

Without pressure or oversight from its international allies, the country’s security institutions commit frequent human rights abuses across Chad with impunity, including excessive use of force, extrajudicial killings, and torture. At the same time, its ineffective police forces have struggled to contain growing intercommunal conflicts, while weapons smuggling and human trafficking across Chad’s porous borders occurs unchecked. Chad is the world’s third-most authoritarian regime, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Demonstrations against the government, for example, are prohibited in Chad in the name of the fight against terrorism, illustrating how international security assistance bars any progress toward democracy. Even protests in 2016 expressing outrage over the rape of an opposition electoral candidate’s daughter by sons of senior Chadian officials were lethally put down by security forces, with two students killed. Social media networks repeatedly (and currently) are blocked, hindering protesters and opposition movements at every turn. Read more - Lire plus
From January to July 2020
ICLMG - The first half of 2020 has been very difficult given the impact of the pandemic, but we continued working hard to protect our civil liberties. Below you can see what we have accomplished so far this year, but first here is a sneak-peek into what we plan to do for the rest of 2020:

  • We will continue to protect our civil liberties and human rights against the threat of digital surveillance in the response to COVID-19, as well as the growing dangers of facial recognition technology.

  • We will continue to monitor the implementation of the National Security Act, 2017 (formerly Bill C-59), especially around mass surveillance and immunity for CSIS employees.

  • We will continue to push for greater accountability and transparency for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), including the establishment of a strong, effective and independent review mechanism.

  • We will continue advocating for the repeal of the Canadian No Fly List, and for putting a stop to the use of the US No Fly List by air carriers in Canada for flights that do not land in or fly over the US.

  • We will continue to call for justice for Dr. Hassan Diab and for the reform of the Extradition Act.

  • We will continue to pressure lawmakers to protect our civil liberties from the negative impact of national security and the “war on terror”, as well as keeping you and our 47 member organizations, informed via the News Digest.

Join us for a Zoom evening dedicated to exploring security certificate legislation (including C-51, C-59, and more) that has plagued refugee, Mohamed (Moe) Harkat, and others. It will also explore the broader issue of how refugees, Indigenous people, and Black people are increasingly subjected to arbitrary and indefinite detention in Canada based on racial profiling and over-policing. Share Facebook event and invite friends.

Sponsored by the Global Justice Working group of the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa. Co-organized with ICLMG, Homes not Bombs, and Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee.
NEW Pardon Edward Snowden for exposing the government's illegal surveillance
Edward Snowden exposed the U.S. government’s illegal mass surveillance programs, along with shocking collusion between large technology companies and spy agencies. He risked everything to blow the whistle and help protect all of our basic human rights. He’s been in exile for long enough. It’s time to bring him home. Everyone from the ACLU to Senator Rand Paul has spoken out in support of the embattled whistleblower, and now even President Trump has indicated his potential support for a pardon. The administration is testing the waters. If we show overwhelming support to #PardonSnowden right now, we could finally get justice for him, and set a precedent that protects whistleblowers, journalists, and defenders of human rights in the future.
Reunite Ayub, Khalil, and Salahidin with their families
Ayub Mohammed, Salahidin Abdulahad, and Khalil Mamut are three Uyghur men who left China after childhoods of discrimination, persecution, and hopelessness.

They were sold by Pakistani bounty hunters to the US military in 2001 and taken with 19 other Uyghurs to Guantanamo Bay. Despite being exonerated as early as 2003, they were kept in Guantanamo for years.

Now in forced exile - Ayub in Albania, and Salahidin and Khalil in Bermuda - their families are here in Canada; and their kids growing up without their fathers.

Despite posing no threat to Canadian national security, these men have been waiting over five years to reunite with their families and find a safe place to live.
Ban Police Use of Facial Recognition in Canada
For years, Canadian law enforcement has been secretly using controversial facial recognition technology—that’s been shown to be discriminatory and biased—without any laws governing its use. Now, some of the very companies that make these tools are refusing to sell them to the police until the government creates laws that regulate their ethical use. It is absurd it has come to this. To protect the rights of everyone, we need our lawmakers to act now. Sign the petition to ban the police use of facial recognition technology in Canada!
All-in-one action page: Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
Call PM Trudeau, write a letter to Public Safety Minister & your MP, and sign Sophie Harkat's petition to stop the deportation of Moe Harkat.

If sent back to Algeria, Moe faces detention, torture and death.

No one should be deported to torture. Ever.
Defund the police & the RCMP
More and more people are calling on their city councils to reduce and eliminate budgets for policing. We are no longer going to pay for police to harm our communities. These funds can be re-directed to support the recovery and provide much need improvements to public housing, transit, and food security programs among other basic needs. Please use this e-mail tool to tell your City Councillor to act now to defund the police in your communities. Together we keep each other safe.

Philippines: Junk the terror bill and uphold human rights!
The Anti-Terrorism bill is a clear and direct attack against our academic freedom, right to organize, and freedom of expression to air out our grievances towards the inefficiencies and deficiencies of the government's mandate to serve its people through government services.This positions the government to silence the any dissenter or organizer and given the rich history of harassment of law enforcement agencies and military personnel, harassment and terror-tagging has been a step further for even more killings and silencing.
China: Free Canadian Huseyin Celil
The Chinese authorities accused Huseyin of offences related to his activities in support of Uighur rights. They held Huseyin in a secret place. They gave him no access to a lawyer, to his family, or to Canadian officials. They threatened him and forced him to sign a confession. They refused to recognize Huseyin’s status as a Canadian citizen, and they did not allow Canadian officials to attend his trial. It was not conducted fairly, and resulted in a sentence of life in prison in China. His life sentence was reduced to 20 years in February 2016. Huseyin has spent much of his time in solitary confinement. He lacks healthy food and is in poor health. Kamila needs her husband, and the boys need their father back.
Canada must act to end Islamophobia in Xinjiang, China
There is credible evidence that up to one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other mainly Muslim groups in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are being detained in secret internment camps. Detainees are brainwashed, tortured and are forced to renounce their religion and culture.

And send a message to Chrystia Freeland demanding that Canada actively support an independent and unrestricted international fact-finding initiative to Xinjiang.

Stop CSIS from targeting everyday citizens & community groups
A recent report revealed that CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, collected over 8,000 pages of documents, spying on citizens like you, people who exercise their democratic rights by attending a community meeting at a local church or taking peaceful action for what they believe in. And CSIS shared this info with Big Oil corporations.

Sign this petition to tell the govt to stop using taxpayer money to unconstitutionally spy on Canadians part of peaceful community groups.
Stop Facial Recognition in Canada
Facial recognition is invasive, biased and unreliable. But Canadian law enforcement and agencies have started using the tech despite its dangers. Canada’s out-of-date privacy laws don’t yet cover facial recognition tech, leaving our government free to experiment on us with no oversight or regulations. We need to slam the brakes on this dangerous technology before it’s too late. Demand a moratorium on the use of facial recognition technologies and a full review of our privacy laws now.

Five Eyes: Save encryption
Ministers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the U.S. have gone public with their plans for a huge attack on our personal security.

They want to force companies to crush the encryption that protects our private data and messages. But ordinary people need and use encryption every day, in everything from online banking to personal messaging in apps like WhatsApp.

Tell ministers to stop their attacks, and commit to protecting our privacy and security.
Your phone is not safe at the border
Canada’s border agents can search your phone and laptop at borders and airports, including looking through your private photos, personal messages, and call history.

These ‘digital strip searches’ are allowed because our laws are incredibly out of date. But politicians are refusing to update them for our digital age.

Fight back with us: demand updated laws, learn more about your rights, and make a complaint if your privacy has been violated at the border.
Call on Justin Trudeau to ensure justice for Abousfian Abdelrazik
In September 2003, Canadian citizen Abousfian Abdelrazik was arrested in Sudan, while he was back in the country visiting his ailing mother. Over the next three years he was imprisoned for nearly 20 months and was held under house arrest for 12 months. He was denied a lawyer, and was never charged or brought before a judge. During that time he was badly tortured in three different prisons. Not only did Canada fail to take steps to protect him, CSIS officials frequently obstructed efforts to secure his release.
Make January 29 a National Day
On Jan. 29, 2017, a lone gunman entered a mosque in Quebec City and opened fire on dozens of Muslim-Canadian worshipers. By the time the shooting had ended, six had been tragically killed, and 19 more injured. 

We, citizens and residents of Canada, call on the government of Canada to henceforth designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination or a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance.
Migrants and refugee rights
Droits des et des réfugié.es

Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement les positions de la CSILC - The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions of ICLMG.
to our amazing supporters!
We would like to thank all our member organizations, and the hundreds of people who have supported us over the years, including on Patreon! As a reward, we are listing below our patrons who give $10 or more per month (and wanted to be listed) directly in the News Digest. Without all of you, our work wouldn't be possible!

Kathryn Dingle
Mary Ann Higgs
Kevin Malseed
Brian Murphy
Karen Seabrooke
Colin Stuart
Bob Thomson
James Turk
Jo Wood
The late Bob Stevenson

Nous tenons à remercier nos organisations membres ainsi que les centaines de personnes qui ont soutenu notre travail à travers les années, y compris sur Patreon! En récompense, nous nommons ci-dessus nos mécènes qui donnent 10$ ou plus par mois et voulaient être mentionné.es directement dans la Revue de l'actualité. Sans vous tous et toutes, notre travail ne serait pas possible!