State Surveillance

The Issue

Documents released by Edward Snowden have revealed a degree of state surveillance that exceeds almost everyone’s worst fears.  What is unknown are the full effects pervasive surveillance is having on individual action and decision-making and the viability of our democratic institutions.

Why It Matters

Intellectual privacy is essential for free expression. It is the privacy that shields us from surveillance as we generate and explore ideas, discuss them with confidants, and prepare to express our thoughts and engage in action in our everyday lives and in the public domain.

Our Work

The Centre for Free Expression explores the extent, nature and effects of surveillance. Our focus is to create greater public awareness and understanding of these issues and to promote discussion of laws, policies and practices that ensure democratic and human rights are not compromised


BPC Bulletins

BPC Bulletin: Internet Freedom Around the World in 2020

October 19, 2020 - Governments around the world are using the COVID-19 pandemic to justify greater censorship and surveillance on the Internet, says a report published by Freedom House in the United States.

BPC Bulletins

BPC Bulletin: Canada's Eskimo Correspondence Records

July 09, 2020 - In the 1950s and 1960s, Inuit patients who were being treated for tuberculosis in the south of Canada wrote letters to their families in the Arctic. Canadian government officials had these private letters translated from Inuktitut into English and kept them on file. Some letters were never sent to their destinations in the Arctic.