#CyberFLASH: Ottawa knew in 2010 about scope of warrantless access


OTTAWA—The federal government has known since 2010 about the massive scope of warrantless disclosures of Canadians’ personal data, but searched for the details only after news stories broke this year, internal documents show.

Despite the Conservatives’ repeated attempts to expand warrantless access powers, emails show Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office did not have the full picture of how often these requests were made by federal authorities.

The office sent out a bulletin to all departments and agencies the day after the Toronto Star and Halifax Chronicle Herald reported in April that authorities asked nine companies to turn over customer data more than one million times in 2011.

“We are following up on an urgent request from PMO following the federal privacy commissioner’s statement of yesterday,” wrote a Competition Bureau staffer.

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