The Liberal government introduced long-anticipated security legislation Tuesday following consultations that drew comments from tens of thousands of Canadians. The wide-ranging package of measures would:
— Limit, but not scrap, a measure from the Harper Conservatives allowing the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to disrupt terror plots, not just gather information about them.
— Amend other contentious provisions of existing legislation that deal with information sharing, terrorist propaganda and promotion of terrorism.
— Roll the functions of existing watchdogs into a super-agency known as the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency.
— Empower the new watchdog to ensure more than a dozen federal security organizations are complying with the law.
— Create an intelligence commissioner, an independent agent who would authorize certain intelligence and cybersecurity activities — a measure intended to boost public confidence.
— Allow the public safety minister to assure parents their child is not on the no-fly list when confusion arises at the airport.
— Modernize the CSIS Act, establishing in law a regime authorizing activities — such as infiltration of a terrorist cell — that might otherwise break the law.
— Require CSIS to seek a judge’s permission to keep datasets primarily containing personal information about Canadians.
— Give the Communications Security Establishment’s cyberspies the power to take action against online threats to Canadian interests.
— Repeal a provision first passed following the 9/11 terrorist attacks that required a person to appear before a judge and answer questions.