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


Past Event

Can your face be your undoing: The perils of facial recognition

Facial Recognition is becoming overwhelmingly prevalent. Being rolled out faster than rules and regulations can possibly keep up, the stakes are very high.

Past Event

CFE Film Series: Citizenfour


United States – Laura Poitras

Past Event

Police Surveillance and Civil Liberties

Panelists: Bill Dunphy, Evan Light, Brenda McPhail

Moderator: James L. Turk

Past Event

You’re being watched: How we can expose the watchers and protect our rights

Speaker: Evan Light

Discussants: Andrew Clement and Brenda McPhail

Past Event

Is fear of terrorism jeopardizing your rights? Bill C-51 and National Security

Panelists: Faisal Bhabha, Tom Henheffer, Sukanya Pillay

Moderator: James L. Turk