ontario news watch

Spy watchdog warns of ‘significant legal risks’ if cyberops breach international law

OTTAWA — A new watchdog report says Canada’s electronic spy agency needs to clearly spell out how its cyberoperations comply with international law.

The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency report delves into the Communications Security Establishment’s defensive and active cyberoperations.

Defensive cyberoperations aim to derail foreign online threats before they reach vital federal government systems or networks.

Active cyberops could allow the government to use the CSE’s sophisticated technical know-how to disable communication devices used by a foreign terrorist network to plan attacks.

The report says the CSE and Global Affairs Canada should provide an assessment of the international legal regime applicable to such operations.

In addition, the cyberspy agency should require Global Affairs to conduct and document a thorough legal assessment of each operation’s compliance with international law.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 30, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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