Transparency and Accountability
Examinations of transparency and accountability mechanisms relevant to the relationship between corporations and state agencies regarding personal data and other surveillance activities.
By now, issues of digital surveillance, government interference online, and programmatic targeting by businesses are common parlour talk. From Snowden to the recent and ongoing cases of government spying in Mexico, these acts have become a reality of the digital age. But what ethical, legal, and political questions and consequences lie at the intersection of digital governance and big data?
This report investigates the surveillance capabilities of IMSI Catchers, efforts by states to prevent information relating to IMSI Catchers from entering the public record, and the legal and policy frameworks that govern the use of these devices. The report principally focuses on Canadian agencies but, to do so, draws comparative examples from other jurisdictions. The report concludes with a series of recommended transparency and control mechanisms that are designed to properly contain the use of the devices and temper their more intrusive features.
The DIY Transparency Report tool helps smaller organizations produce holistic transparency reports. Such reports comprehensively explain to customers, citizens, and government agencies alike how an organization can, and does, receive and respond to government requests. It does so by guiding organizational members through the process of developing a holistic report, while empowering them to customize their reports to reflect their organizational profile.
As the United Nations General Assembly begins its milestone 70th session, international digital security is high on the agenda. One starting point for discussion is likely to be the International Code of Conduct for Information Security (the “Code”). This analysis explores how the Code has developed over time, impetus behind the changes made, and the potential impact of the Code on international human rights law and its application. It is accompanied by an interactive comparison of the 2015 and 2011 versions of the Code.
This article, written by Postdoctoral Fellow Christopher Parsons and CIPPIC Staff lawyer Tamir Israel, analyzes how successive federal governments of Canada have actively sought to weaken the communications encryption available to Canadians. The article covers regulations imposed on mobile telecommunications providers, state authorities’ abilities to compel decryption keys from telecommunications providers writ large, and Canada’s signals intelligence agency’s deliberate propagation of flawed encryption protocols.
The report, authored by Postdoctoral Fellow Christopher Parsons, examines how contemporary telecommunications surveillance is governed in Canada. He concludes that serious failures in transparency and accountability indicate that corporations are failing to manage Canadians’ personal information responsibly and that government irresponsibility surrounding accountability strains its credibility and aggravates citizens’ cynicism about the political process.
In our blog post, we describe the results of tests we conducted to measure HTTPS support on the advertisers found on a sample of news websites as well as two sample lists of advertisers. We find a large disparity between our results and the the level of security support referred to in a recent post on the Internet Advertising Bureau’s website.