Impact of the National Security Act (2017)
Changes to CSIS investigatory powers, oversight and review under an Act Respecting National Security Matters, 2017 (Bill C-59)
CSIS is mandated to investigate threats to the security of Canada at home and abroad, to advise the government of Canada of these threats, and take measures to reduce such threats. An Act Respecting National Security Matters aims to clarify CSIS authorities, and introduce enhanced oversight and review institutions.
- Independent oversight, plays a quasi-judicial role in reviewing specific Ministerial decisions.
- Approves Minister’s decisions regarding classes of otherwise unlawful activities; classes of Canadian datasets; retention of foreign datasets; and exigent queries of datasets.
National Security and Intelligence Review Agency:
- Mandate to review security and intelligence activities of any federal department/agency.
- Mechanism to report non-compliance to the Minister (who may report to Attorney General) and refer unlawful dataset use to the Federal Court.
Justification: Creates a limited justification to commit (or direct) acts or omissions that would otherwise be unlawful to fulfill its mandate.
- Framework for otherwise illegal acts or omissions by designated employees and human sources.
- All acts or omissions reported to National Security and Intelligence Review Agency.
Datasets: Creates a clear new authority, with accountability and transparency, to collect, retain, and use datasets of non-threat-related, personal information to fulfill its mandate.
- Allows collection/retention/use of such datasets for CSIS duties and functions (s. 12, 12.1, 15, 16).
- Includes data incidentally collected under warrant.
Threat reduction: Specifies when a threat reduction measure warrant is required to comply with the Charter, and creates a list of measures permitted under warrant.
- Prohibition against torture, detention, and property damage causing injury.
- All authorized threat reduction measures reported to National Security and Intelligence Review Agency.
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