Canadian Federal Court Exposes, Rules Illegal Database on Innocent Citizens

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The Canadian Security Intelligence Service program, which built a huge data base on citizens not suspected of crimes, has been publicly revealed for the first time and ruled illegal, according to a heavily redacted order from a court responsible for overseeing the agency.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — "The court concluded that the retention of associated data falls outside the CSIS’s legislatively defined jurisdiction… therefore the retention of associated data is illegal," a court-issued summary of the ruling stated.

The CSIS, Canada’s equivalent of the US Central Intelligence Agency, has maintained a database since 2006 containing information from everyone contacted during the course of a security-related investigation, regardless of whether the information was related to the probe, according to the court.

At a press conference in the nation's capital of Ottawa on Thursday afternoon, CSIS Director Michel Coulombe said the agency accepted the court's decision and had "taken immediate actions to respond," according to follow up reports in Canadian media.

By issuing the ruling, the public was informed for the first time of a program that had operated in secret for the past decade.

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