CSEC Using Airport Wi-Fi as the Spying Tool ! - BestCyberNews: Online News Presenter in the present world

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CSEC Using Airport Wi-Fi as the Spying Tool !

Whistleblower Edward Snowden recently revealed the top secret document via CBCNews that is Canada's electronic spy agency used information from the free internet service at a major Canadian airport to track the wireless devices of thousands of ordinary airline passengers for days after they left the terminal.

According to that document, one of Canada's foremost authorities on cyber-security says the clandestine operation by the Communications Security Establishment Canada ( CSEC) was almost certainly illegal.

The spy agency is supposed to be collecting primarily foreign intelligence by intercepting overseas phone and internet traffic, and is prohibited by law from targeting Canadians or anyone in Canada without a judicial warrant.

CSEC chief John Forster recently stated: "I can tell you that we do not target Canadians at home or abroad in our foreign intelligence activities, nor do we target anyone in Canada."

"In fact, it's prohibited by law. Protecting the privacy of Canadians is our most important principle."

The document shows the federal intelligence agency was then able to track the travelers for a week or more as they and their wireless devices showed up in other Wi-Fi "hot spots" in cities across Canada and even at U.S. airports.

That included people visiting other airports, hotels, coffee shops and restaurants, libraries, ground transportation hubs, and any number of places among the literally thousands with public wireless internet access.

The document shows CSEC had so much data it could even track the travelers back in time through the days leading up to their arrival at the airport, these experts say.

While the documents make no mention of specific individuals, Deibert and other cyber experts say it would be simple for the spy agency to have put names to all the Canadians swept up in the operation.

The document indicates the passenger tracking operation was a trial run of a powerful new software program CSEC was developing with help from its U.S. counterpart, the National Security Agency.

In the document, CSEC called the new technologies "game-changing," and said they could be used for tracking "any target that makes occasional forays into other cities/regions."

CSEC claims "no Canadian or foreign travellers' movements were 'tracked,'" although it does not explain why it put the word "tracked" in quotation marks.

The document does not say exactly how the Canadian spy service managed to get its hands on two weeks' of travellers' wireless data from the airport Wi-Fi system, although there are indications it was provided voluntarily by a "special source."

The documents also refer to a separate pilot project, in which CSEC “obtained access to two communications systems with more than 300,000 users, and was then able to ‘sweep’ an entire mid-sized Canadian city to pinpoint a specific imaginary target in a fictional kidnapping.”

Last week, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided to fast-track legal action waged against the British government by privacy campaigners, who see GCHQ’s indiscriminate tapping of the world’s internet arteries as perhaps not entirely legal.



Author Venkatesh Yalagandula Follow us Google + and Facebook and Twitter

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