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CSIS, RCMP need more access to foil serious acts of violence

By Phil Gurski      

In the end, we have to decide as a society what is more important: universal privacy or universal safety. The two do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale is the federal political minister responsible for the RCMP and CSIS. When our spies and cops fail to stop violent acts from occurring, few are willing to cut them some slack and try to understand the challenges inherent in the work they do. One of the hardest challenges is the use of unbreakable encryption: it is very difficult to determine violent intent when you cannot read the communications sent between nefarious parties, writes Phil Gurski. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—There has been an awful lot of news lately on privacy in the digital space. Facebook, in particular, has been in the hot seat over what it does with our data—data that we willingly provide every time we post a photo or a “like.” As my mother always said, “nothing is ever really free in this life.” If it looks free that is because we are not looking hard enough. In effect, we are the product of sites like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and others.

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