The Federal Court and the Clash of the Titans: Balancing Human Rights and National Security

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A significant aspect of how countries pursue their obligation to protect their citizens and national interests is to obtain information and derive intelligence from it. The goal, of course, is to prevent terrorist and other hostile acts.

As Ms. Gendron explains in her article, most information referred to as “intelligence” is obtained from open sources (for example web sites and newspaper reports). Some information, however, is obtained by covert means. The covert acquisition of information is necessary in order to assess threats posed by regimes and groups that are hostile and clandestine in their operations, often engaging in deception and operating in closed groups. Put simply, secrecy is required in order to counter the activities of those who operate in secret.

Ms. Gendron notes that the covert means used to gather secret intelligence include signals intelligence, the placement and tasking of human sources, satellite imagery, listening devices, the interception of cyber and other communications and covert searches.

With this background about national security, the post 9-11 threat to national security, and CSIS, I turn to where the Federal Court fits in the context of national security.

This content has been updated on 29 October 2015 at 15 h 12 min.