Hackers affiliated with the Anonymous group leaked confidential Canadian intelligence documents Tuesday, revealing the country’s spying activities abroad. The documents exposed the widespread reach of the surveillance network operated by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).
Officially, CSIS only operates three foreign stations -- in Washington DC, London and Paris -- but the leaked document marked as “secret,” purportedly from the country’s Treasury Board, lists a total of 25 foreign stations, “many of which are located in developing countries and/or unstable environments.”
The stations handle about 22,500 messages a year, though that does not include “the high volume of extremely sensitive traffic from the Washington station,” the February 2014 document stated.
The classified document also includes a plan to expand CSIS’ intelligence network at a cost of approximately 3 million Canadian dollars ($2.3 million). The document criticizes the “inefficient and labor intensive data-processing and analysis systems [used] to process and report intelligence information obtained at it foreign stations. … These outdated processes result in delays that impact the Service’s operational effectiveness and jeopardizes the security of its personnel.”
The hacker group also posted a video alleging that the Canadian Communications Security Establishment (CSE) attempted to spy on U.S. President Barack Obama under the orders of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and, when caught, endangered the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Alberta in Canada through Illinois, Texas and Oklahoma. There was no proof posted for this claim.
The documents and the video were put up after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police failed to comply with a previous deadline issued by the group, calling for the arrest of one of its members purportedly involved in the shooting last week of a British Columbia man who was allegedly an Anonymous affiliate.
In the video, an Anonymous member said that the latest leaks were the first of many to come in the near future.
“There is info ... that’s explosive, we think, but we are not providing source documentation on that now or ever. If we did, someone would be in a police party van within 15 minutes,” the unnamed member says in the video.
“Canadian security forces and their Five Eyes partners in New Zealand, the U.K., Australia, and the U.S. have been extremely pro-active in developing and purchasing offensive hacking capabilities,” he adds.
“Fortunately for us, Canada has been far more lax in defending its own systems.”