The memo, sent from CSIS chief Michel Coulombe, to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, has been made public through an Access to Information Act, an analog of the Freedom of Information Act used in the US.
“Information collected by [GAC] through the provision of consular services can be directly relevant to investigations of threats to the security of Canada,” the document reads.
According to the paper, the two agencies created the information-sharing deal earlier this year under the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act, a provision of Ottawa’s anti-terrorism legislation, known as the C-51 Act.
The controversial legislation has been under fire by activists and watchdogs for prohibiting citizens from protesting without official authorization.
The C-51 Act’s new data sharing arrangement has drawn criticism from rights groups and the administration's political opposition as well.
Alex Neve, the head of Amnesty International Canada, said that the arrangement is a threat to personal privacy, as it rests on the assumption that consular workers “can and will share [data received from Canadian detainees abroad] with CSIS when relevant to national security.”
Both GAC and CSIS have declined to comment on what kind of information they are collecting and sharing, stating only that they are acting in accordance with Canadian law.