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

Resources

Blog Post

The “Consultation” Racket: A Report on the National Islamophobia Summit

In the aftermath of the latest mass killing of Muslims in Canada, Muslim communities were subjected to yet another specious “anti-Islamophobia” consultation by the federal government; this one cond

By Azeezah Kanji

Blog Post

Commercial DNA Technologies, Algorithmic Tools, & Secrecy Threaten Fairness in Trials

The increasingly rapid rate of technological innovation has disrupted many spheres of life, but few with higher stakes than forensic evidence.

By Tamir Israel

Blog Post

New Hotline to Assist Students Approached by CSIS Addresses a Problem Neither New nor Unprecedented

Co-Authored by Nader Hasan

On November 12, 2018, the University of Toronto’s student newspaper, The Varsity, reported that Muslim Student Association executives had been regularly receiving surprise visits from RCMP and CSIS agents regularly since 2016. Since the events of 9/11 in the United States, security and intelligence officials have taken an interest in Muslim Students Associations (MSAs) across universities in both Canada and the United States.

By Anver M. Emon

Blog Post

Terrorism Speech Offences Will Undermine Radicalization Prevention Efforts

Many countries are stressing the importance of measures to counter radicalization to violence.  Unfortunately, we really don’t know, at this point, what measures are effective.  So far, the limited research and the experience of other countries have mostly served to show us what is not effective.

By Micheal Vonn