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Why intelligence services need access to your phone

By Phil Gurski      

Our society has to decide what the balance is between giving our security intelligence and law enforcement agencies the tools they need and safeguard the privacy and the immunity from eavesdropping we crave. I happen to think we can achieve both through the courts.

The Senate's National Security Committee, pictured in this file photograph. If CSIS or the RCMP can make a case that an ongoing investigation into a serious threat can only go forward with access to data they cannot currently read, they can go before a Federal Court judge and make that case, much as they currently do for other intercept warrants, writes Phil Gurski. The Hill Times file photograph

OTTAWA—How many of you recall the terrorist attack in San Bernardino back in December 2015? An Islamist terrorist couple went into a California health sector office’s Christmas party and opened fire, killing 14 and wounding 22. The two were later killed in a hail of police gunfire, but that is where the controversy over the incident really started. In an attempt to find out the motivation behind the attack, U.S. law enforcement tried to get into Syed Rizwan Farook’s cellphone only to find they could not as it was password protected.

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