Surveillance practices in Canada, Facing Criticism

Zehra Ali Last updated: July 5, 2023 Reading time: 3 minutes

With the revelation that the Canadian Revenue Agency(CRA) regularly supervises social networking sites, Canadian headlines are flooded with privacy concerns. It monitors the Facebook, Twitter, and other social network posts of Canadian suspects cheating on their taxes. The disclosure has set off a debate on what makes ‘publicly available information and what kind of investigation is considered directly related to a government program.

“The CRA does practice risk-based compliance, so for taxpayers identified as high risk, any relevant, publicly available information relating to the specific risk-based factors for the taxpayer may be consulted as part of our fact-gathering processes,” said spokesperson David Walters.

However, compared to the powers given by Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 (also known as Bill-C51) to the government institutions, the CRA proceedings seem tame.

BILL-C51 given authority to CSIS and Police

 The prime minister gave police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) the following powers in the rule, Stephen Harper, who passed an act with this regard.