This morning the CBC reports that, during the G8 and G20 summits three years ago, the Harper government was a "partner" with the National Security Agency. Together, they spied on our allies. The American whistle blower Edward Snowden has released another batch of documents:
The briefing notes, stamped "Top Secret," show the U.S. turned its Ottawa embassy into a security command post during a six-day spying operation by the National Security Agency while U.S. President Barack Obama and 25 other foreign heads of government were on Canadian soil in June of 2010.
The covert U.S. operation was no secret to Canadian authorities.
An NSA briefing note describes the American agency's operational plans at the Toronto summit meeting and notes they were "closely co-ordinated with the Canadian partner."
The operation was not just about protecting foreign leaders from terrorist threats. Rather,
the spying at the Toronto summit in 2010 fits a pattern of economic and political espionage by the powerful U.S. intelligence agency and its partners such as Canada.
That espionage was conducted to secure meeting sites and protect leaders against terrorist threats posed by al-Qaeda but also to forward the policy goals of the United States and Canada.
The G20 summit in Toronto had a lot on its agenda that would have been of acute interest to the NSA and Canada.
The secret NSA documents list all the main agenda items for the G20 in Toronto — international development, banking reform, countering trade protectionism, and so on — with the U.S. snooping agency promising to support "U.S. policy goals."
Security experts warn that the espionage was very likely illegal. But, then, legalities have never impressed the Harperites -- perhaps because they have so much to hide.