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RSS FeedsCSIS ran `high risk´ spy operations without telling government
(The Star Golf)


16 november 2019 16:15:05

CSIS ran `high risk´ spy operations without telling government
(The Star Golf)

OTTAWA–Canada’s domestic intelligence agency repeatedly broke rules by authorizing “high risk” spy operations without the knowledge of its political masters.Documents obtained by the Star show then-public safety minister Ralph Goodale was informed in June 2018 that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service failed to inform him of “human source operations assessed as posing a high ... risk.”Details about those operations are censored from the documents, released under access to information law, due to national security concerns. A spokesperson for CSIS said the unredacted contents of the memo “would be injurious to national security if released.”Under long-standing rules known as “ministerial direction” on CSIS operations, the agency is required to inform the public safety minister before undertaking any operation that could risk human life, damage Canada’s international relations or discredit Ottawa if uncovered.“When CSIS became aware that some operational activities — carried out in support of its mandate — were non-compliant with the requirements to inform the minister, it took steps to rectify the situation,” John Townsend, the head of CSIS media relations, said in a written statement to the Star.It’s not clear how many high-risk operations were approved without Goodale’s knowledge, but CSIS said the operations in question were approved by the director.David Vigneault, who wrote to Goodale in June 2018 to inform him of the violations, was appointed director of CSIS in June 2017.It’s not clear when the operations in question were authorized.A request by the Star to interview Vigneault was turned down by CSIS.The fact that a CSIS director personally approved the operations suggests that the stakes were high; one of the core principles in the ministerial directive on operations is that the higher the risk associated with an operation, the higher authorit ...

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