International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
July - December 2021
NEW Canada: Protect Encryption

Canada, with other G7 nations, continues to push to weaken our access to strong, reliable encryption, after decades of being supportive of strong encryption.

We need encryption to safeguard our data, our online transactions, our communications, and to protect the lives of journalists and human rights activists.

In order to fight the Canadian government's attempts to weaken encryption, we have created a video explaining the importance of encryption, how it does not hinder police work, and how any backdoor or mechanism to access encrypted content renders encryption completely obsolete.

We have also created a letter-writing campaign for Canadians to urge the Prime Minister, the Public Safety Minister and their local MP to recommit to protect and strengthen encryption, and pressure Canada's allies to do the same.
NEW 20 years of "War on Terror"

2021 marks 20 years since the start of the "War on Terror" following the Sept 11, 2001 attacks in the USA, and the rushed adoption of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act on Dec 18, 2001. To highlight the profound legacy of the "War on Terror" in Canada:

- We organized a panel on "20 years of the Anti-terrorism Act: The Legacy of Canada's War on Terror", with Azeezah Kanji, Alex Neve and Pam Palmater. Watch it here.

- We participated in "Countering Islamophobia In Canada", a conversation with Azeezah Kanji organized by the Centre for Free Expression. Watch it here.

- We published an op-ed in titled 5 Reasons to Ditch National Security & Anti-Terrorism. L'éditorial a aussi été publié dans Les Nouveaux Cahiers du Socialisme.

- Nous avons participé à "20 ans depuis les attentats du 11 sept. 2001: Quels impacts sur l'état de droit?" organisé par la Ligue des droits et libertés. Visionnez ici.
Federal Elections 2021

As we have done for past federal elections, we put together an info card detailing the positions the five main political parties have taken on national security since the last election.

We also analyzed the various parties’ platform promises around national security to help people make an informed decision.

After the election:
  • We wrote to Prime Minister Trudeau outlining seven urgent issues the government must act on and the need for their inclusion in upcoming mandate letters

  • We wrote to the new Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino introducing the coalition and requesting a meeting on key issues

  • And we wrote to opposition critics to discuss key issues, and met with the NDP's Public Safety Critic.
Our parliamentary work

We submitted a brief to the government's "online harms" legislation consultation, specifically regarding new “terrorist content” provisions. We also signed two civil society open letters denouncing the consultation process as well as the proposed legislation in general.

We met with officials at the offices of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Minister of Public Safety, and the Minister of Justice to discuss key issues.

We met with officials at Finance Canada, Canada Revenue, the Office of the Minister of National Revenue, the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson, various MPs and Senators and the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency to discuss the CRA’s Prejudiced Audits.

We submitted a brief to and met with the Privacy Commissioner about his draft guidance to law enforcement on facial recognition technology.
National Action Summit on Islamophobia

We submitted a brief to the National Action Summit on Islamophobia on fighting Islamophobia in national security and concerns around the expansion of the use of anti-terrorism laws to fight white supremacist violence.

We co-wrote a joint submission to the National Action Summit on Islamophobia with Azeezah Kanji from the Noor Cultural Centre, endorsed by more than 130 organizations and individuals.

We attended the National Action Summit on Islamophobia in July 2021.
Justice for Dr Hassan Diab & reform extradition now!

NEW We hosted a media briefing on the Halifax Proposals, a series of recommendations to reform Canada's extradition laws written by a group of legal and human rights experts. Watch it here.

We created a new letter-writing campaign to call for the reform of extradition laws following the Halifax Proposals.

We released an open letter from 118 Canadian jurists expressing concerns with Justice Minister David Lametti’s statements regarding Hassan Diab’s case and urging action on extradition reform.
... and more!

We signed the NCCM letter calling on Canada to denounce the terror designation of Palestinian human rights groups

Nous avons signé la lettre d'Échec à la guerre opposant les exportations d’armes du Canada vers l’Arabie saoudite.

We wrote to the Minister of Public Safety and opposition critics, and updated the letter-writing campaign to stop the deportation of Mohamed Harkat to torture.

We continue our advocacy for Canada to repatriate Canadian citizens currently detained in North Eastern Syria.

We participated in Big Data Surveillance project meetings and helped plan a major conference marking the end of the project, to be held in Ottawa in Spring 2022.

We participated in the Centre for International Governance Innovation’s Expert Working Group on Re-Imagining a Canadian National Security Strategy for the 21st Century.

Our social media accounts continue to increase in size and reach tens of thousands, and we added more than 400 new contacts to our emailing list.
What we have planned for 2022!

Your support will allow us to continue our work on these issues over the coming months:

  • The Canadian government's concerning "online harms" legislative proposal, including its approach on "terrorist content," mandatory reporting to law enforcement and new powers for CSIS;

  • Protecting our privacy from government surveillance, including facial recognition, and from attempts to weaken encryption, along with advocating for privacy law reform;

  • Justice for Mohamed Harkat, an end to security certificates, addressing problems in security inadmissibility and establishing a long overdue independent review and complaint body for the CBSA;

  • Justice for Hassan Diab and launching a video on extradition law reform;

  • Greater transparency and accountability for CSIS;

  • The return of the 40+ Canadian citizens indefinitely detained in Syrian camps, including 26 children;

  • The end to the CRA's prejudiced audits of Muslim-led charities, revealed in our June 2021 report;

  • Greater accountability and transparency for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), including the establishment of a strong, effective and independent review mechanism;

  • Monitoring the implementation of the National Security Act, 2017 (Bill C-59);

  • 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;

  • Pressuring 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 member organizations informed via the News Digest;

  • And much more!
If you think our work is important, please support the ICLMG!

We do not receive any funding from any federal, provincial or municipal governments or political parties so your support is essential to our work.

We are counting on people like you.
Thank you for your support in protecting civil liberties!

— Anne & Tim

PS: For what we were up to in the first half of 2021, click here!

PPS: For what we’ve been up to since ICLMG was created in 2002, check out our Achievements page!