#CyberFLASH: ‘Orwellian’ surveillance system monitors all phones on prison grounds

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Cristina Howorun, the reporter who broke the story, told the Star that Correctional Services Canada (CSC) had installed high-tech mobile surveillance at Warkworth Institution as part of an investigation into contraband at the federal prison.

The technology, which is similar to “stingrays” used by police in the United States, intercepts calls and texts coming from inside the prison, its parking lot, grounds and possibly even the surrounding area, Howorun reported.

“It’s very Orwellian, it really does give the sense that Big Brother is listening, if not watching,” she said.

In a memo obtained by CityNews, Warkworth’s warden Scott Thompson wrote after a number of deaths and overdoses, he asked Correctional Services Canada to install the technology to help catch contraband.

“Unfortunately, I knew that by trying to intercept what the inmates were doing, I would also be provided with information about cellular devices being used in noninmate areas,” Thompson wrote.

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