For comparison sake, I think it would be fair to characterize the Canadian Security Intelligence Service as a cross between the FBI and CIA, but not the NSA. That role in Canada would be more accurately compared to CSE.
The short version of this story is that Mohammad Mahjoub was detained in Canada under a Security Certificate and held without charge for 5 years or so. He was recently released on bail under some very stringent conditions, including monitoring of all his communications, which he agreed to.
The monitoring of these communications was obviously handed to CSIS. In what was likely a complete failure to communicate and understand, Mahjoub and his lawyers *assumed* their communications would be excepted from this monitoring due to their legal relationship. For obvious reasons, CSIS likely didn’t go out of their way to disabuse of them of this assumption. It’s an intelligence agency, it collects intelligence. When CSIS is ordered to monitor all communications, it’s going to.
It’s also worth noting that Mohammad Mahjoub, while identified as Egyptian-Canadian on wikipedia, obtained his refugee status fraudulently. I’m not as up on the legal implications of how this affects surveillance targeting as I should be, but I would be surprised if the rules weren’t a lot more lax when intercepting the communications
of someone who is not a Canadian citizen.
People who picnic along the public highway leaving a clutter of greasy paper and swill (not a pretty name, but neither is it a pretty object!) for other people to walk or drive past, and to make a breeding place for flies, and furnish nourishment for rats, choose a disgusting way to repay the land-owner for the liberty they took in temporarily occupying his property. – Emily Post