Airport WiFi was used to track users, according to a top secret document retrieved by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden and obtained by CBC News.
It shows that Canada’s electronic spy agency, the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) used information from the free internet service at a major Canadian airport to track the wireless devices of thousands of ordinary airline passengers for days after they left the terminal.
After reviewing the document, one of Canada’s foremost authorities on cyber-security says the clandestine operation was almost certainly illegal.
The spy agency is supposed to be collecting primarily foreign intelligence by intercepting overseas phone and internet traffic, and is prohibited by law from targeting Canadians or anyone in Canada without a judicial warrant.
The N.S.A.’s programs have been attacked by civil libertarians and Silicon Valley companies that say their business is being undercut and denounced by American allies.
In nominating Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers as the new director of the National Security Agency on Thursday, President Obama picked a military officer, rather than a civilian versed in civil liberties issues, rejecting his own advisory panel’s recommendation, notes the NY Times.