Big Brother's Shadow: Historical Decline in Electronic Surveillance by Canadian Federal Law Enforcement
61 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2013 Last revised: 15 Mar 2013
Date Written: February 4, 2013
Despite popular perception of increased government surveillance, a longitudinal study of the Annual Reports on the Use of Electronic Surveillance published by Public Safety Canada between 1973 and 2011, demonstrates the opposite trend. This paper first outlines this decline to situate the use of electronic surveillance by federal law enforcement. The second section of the paper advances legal, political, and practical influences which are likely contributing to diminished use of wiretapping by police. The purpose of this paper is to present quantitative evidence to better inform the ongoing debate around extending “lawful access” regimes in Canada. By using official government statistics as a foundation, this paper provides a practical grounding to the theoretical academic and legal research which often informs law, legislation and public policy governing the use of surveillance technology.
Keywords: electronic, surveillance, Canada, Law Enforcement, Wiretapping, annual, report, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CSIS, Federal, Police, Privacy, Commissioner, Legislature, Protection of Privacy Act, Production Orders, Crime Rates, Duarte, Tse
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