Canada’s cyber-spooks network CSEC is all grown up — but who watches the watchers?

OTTAWA — Following a decade of explosive growth, the super-secret Communications Security Establishment Canada has emerged from the Defence Department to become a stand-alone federal agency, a change that will force it, for the first time, to inform Canadians of at least some of its activities.

 CSEC, whose powers include the ability to sometimes eavesdrop on Canadians without their knowing, has largely escaped the axe as the federal government chops budgets. Where some departments face cuts of 10 per cent, CSEC will be pinched by just two per cent this year and the agency will see no layoffs.

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