CBC News recently reported on documents provided to them by Edward Snowden, touching upon Canadian Airport public Wi-Fi being used in a complex spy operation to gather information on all traveling users. The report by CBC News states that one of Canada’s leading authorities on cyber-security advised that Canada’s Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) was conducting an “almost certainly illegal” clandestine operation.
The top secret document retrieved by Edward Snowden, explained how the spy agency used free Wi-Fi at the Canadian airport to track thousands of unsuspecting users for a period of two weeks. Many unsuspecting Canadians using smartphones, laptops or any wireless devices set to automatically look for any available Wi-Fi networks, would also most likely have been affected.
For the following week or two, the agency was able to track the passengers as their devices connected onto other Wi-Fi “hot spots” across Canadian cities, airports, coffee shops and anywhere else offering public wireless access including U.S. airports. Expert analysts claim CSEC was even able to track back into the user’s data days ahead of their arrival at the Canadian airport.
As if it couldn’t get any worse, the report also stated this operation as being a Beta Test for a newly developed software program in a joint venture with its U.S. Counterpart, the National Security Agency (NSA). In the document, The CSEC describes the software as “game-changing”.
The CSEC has been strongly defending itself, claiming they have not traced any Canadian or non-Canadian traveler and that no Canadian communications were targeted, collected or used. This contradicts what all the expert analysts have claimed in CBC’s report. CBC also reported on John Forster, chief of CSEC, saying the agency was acting within the law, as he appeared before the Senate national defense committee days after the CBC News report.
How much spying and tracking does the government really need to be doing? These matters of national security are becoming a big public issue. Reform may be the only answer, we can see these powerful agencies defending their actions with technicalities and play of definitions. In the meantime, we highly suggest you protect your privacy with VPN services, check out our reviews and make the right choice to safely browse for you and your family. The risks of private agencies handling our personal data down to our everyday and social activities is too large a risk to ignore.
If you don’t know where to start, why not check out our review for the best free VPN, just to test the waters.