Thursday, June 20, 2013
Did Harper Deal BlackBerry a Body Blow?
Is there anything Stephen Harper won't do to degrade his office and our country? Time and again Harper reveals his chronic dark, gutter side. The man has the integrity and instincts of a pimp.
I don't know where Harper's bottom line is. I don't even know that he has such a thing. Perhaps the floor for this character is his sense of plausible deniability. If his base, his core of supporters, are willing to believe him or even just give him the benefit of the doubt, it's a green light for Steve to indulge his instincts.
At times Harper's misfits, or in Tory lexicon his "cabinet", behave like frat boys on a bender. It's as though they just can't wait to get in with the Big Boys, especially the Americans and the Brits. Now there are indications we did just that in 2009 when it was decided to spy on delegates to the G20 summit.
Leaked documents suggest Canada helped the United States and Britain spy on participants at the London G20 summit four years ago.
Britain's Guardian newspaper says spies monitored the computers and intercepted the phone calls of foreign politicians and officials at two G20 meetings in London in 2009.
The newspaper says the effort included penetration of delegates' BlackBerry smartphones to monitor their email messages and calls.
The Guardian published PowerPoint slides describing the operation, including one featuring the emblem of the Communications Security Establishment, Canada's electronic eavesdropping agency, known as CSEC.
It appears alongside the logos of key allies — the U.S. National Security Agency and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters — as well as an icon labelled Joint Apps.
The Guardian says special Internet cafes were set up in 2009, allowing authorities to install an email interception program and key-logging software to spy on delegates' computer use. In addition, a team of analysts had access to summaries of phone calls.
The Turkish finance minister and Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev were singled out for special attention, the paper reported, and it appears information was passed to British cabinet ministers.
"Delivered messages to analysts during the G20 in near real-time," reads the slide with the CSEC logo.
"Provided timely information to UK ministers."
A CSEC spokesman had no immediate comment Tuesday.
There was a long time, pre-Harper, when Canada enjoyed - and reaped the rewards of - a hard-earned reputation for independence and fair play on the world stage. That's over and what have we gained for becoming the American's underling? Apparently less than nothing.
Did we go to this G20 summit ready to deliver up the secrets to Blackberry's vaunted encryption technology, its last remaining key selling point?