OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s electronic spy agency has been intercepting and analyzing data on up to 15 million file downloads daily as part of a global surveillance program, according to a report published on Wednesday.
Critics said the revelations, made in 2012 documents obtained by former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden and leaked to journalists, showed much more oversight was needed over Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE).
The documents are the first indication from the Snowden files showing Canada had its own globe-spanning Internet surveillance in a bid to counter extremists. The covert dragnet, nicknamed Levitation, has covered allied countries and trading partners such as the United States, Britain, Brazil, Germany, Spain and Portugal, the report by CBC News and news website The Intercept said. The Intercept, which includes journalist Glenn Greenwald, obtained the documents from Snowden.
Brazil’s government, which fell out with Washington in 2013 over revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency, Snowden’s former employer, had eavesdropped on President Dilma Roussef, criticized the reported Canadian spying.