Spy watchdog’s relations with intelligence agencies ‘challenging’: memo

Logo Global NewsGlobal News
2023-06-05 11:48:43  • 5 mins

Newly released documents say the intelligence community’s relationship with its key watchdog has been particularly strained over the last year due to a “level of resistance” to scrutiny.

The assessment appears in briefing materials prepared for Canada’s top public servant in advance of a late January meeting with the chair of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency.

The notes were disclosed to The Canadian Press in response to a request to the Privy Council Office under the Access to Information Act.

This is just the latest indication of serious tensions between the spy watchdog and the federal intelligence agencies it monitors.

It follows the recent release of intelligence review agency records that lamented a culture within the Communications Security Establishment of “resisting and impeding” independent review, frustrating efforts to ensure the cyberspy service is obeying the law.

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The latest notes surface amid an RCMP investigation into leaks of classified information to the media – including details of Canadian Security Intelligence Service reports – concerning allegations of foreign interference by China in Canadian political affairs.

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