Kinsman: Should the Canadian government spy on economic targets abroad and share that intelligence with Canadian corporations?

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October 11, 2013
Jeremy Kinsman
Former ambassador to the European Union and high commissioner to Britain

No. There is no legal mandate for electronic interception of messages except for national and international security. Canadian electronic security activities desperately need parliamentary oversight. The argument I have always heard from whiny Canadian companies is that the “other guys are getting contracts by bribery and we’re just being boy scouts.” In fact, in a typical example I learned that “the other guys” made the sale because they were selling aircraft that were cheaper, more fuel efficient, and way more passenger-pleasing. Canada should seek to strengthen international law against such spying. However, sadly, our international influence has dropped out of sight.