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Watchdog cites need for stricter oversight to keep pace with spy services

November 08, 2013 - 5:00 AM

OTTAWA - The head of Canada's main spy watchdog says new rules — and possibly legislation — are needed to help keep an eye on federal intelligence agencies.

Chuck Strahl, chairman of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, says that as spy services work ever more closely together, there must be ways for watchdogs to do the same.

Strahl says he has no complaints about the review committee's ability to get information from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the agency he and fellow committee members monitor.

But he says it's a different matter when other spy agencies and government departments enter the picture.

Strahl flags the concern amid increasing calls for more comprehensive oversight of Canada's spy community, particularly in light of allegations about Communications Security Establishment Canada, the national eavesdropping agency.

Liberal public safety critic Wayne Easter tabled a private member's bill in the House of Commons on Thursday to create a national security committee of parliamentarians that would have access to top-secret information.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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