A Brief History of CSIS - National Security in a Liberal Democracy

In the ever-changing world of digital society, national security apparatuses have continuously expanded their scope and capabilities. New ways of tracking and collecting information has pushed the legal limits of current legislation, while often ambiguous threats from home and abroad has forced our security agencies to use any means at their disposal. Though all in the attempt to keep Canadian citizens and values secure, the result has been a precarious mixture of surveillance of Canadians and inappropriate government oversight. Senator Hugh Segal (retiring this year) wrote an article in the National Post last week demanding that a commission be held to sort out these serious issues. His call for the “modernization of our national security culture” is timely and echoes some of the concerns that led to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's (CSIS) creation nearly thirty years ago.

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