By The Canadian Press on December 20, 2023.
OTTAWA – Canada’s intelligence watchdog says a program that has diplomats collecting sensitive information abroad runs the risk of blowback from foreign states.
The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency released a report this afternoon that it wrote three years ago, urging Ottawa to set protocols in place around the Global Security Reporting Program.
Global Affairs Canada runs that program by posting roughly 30 diplomats abroad to interview people such as activists, journalists and armed opposition groups, and their information is often shared with Canada’s spy agency.
The report is dated December 2020, and it says that diplomats undertaking this work aren’t adequately informed on how to avoid breaking international rules that forbid diplomats from spying.
The review agency also said the program lacked co-ordination.
The report said policies were communicated by e-mail and some of the information diplomats collected stayed within embassies instead of being logged in Ottawa.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2023.