Secret U.S. security contract puts Canada at risk: NDP

Conservatives must assure Canadians they are being protected

OTTAWA — A secret $10 million contract between the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and computer security firm RSA raises serious questions for Canada’s Public Safety Minister, according to New Democrats.

Several reports suggest the contract was designed to provide the NSA with a “back door” in encryptions that would allow it to crack into computer systems around the world.

“Minister Blaney needs to tell us if sensitive information from government, businesses and ordinary Canadians is at risk,” said NDP Deputy Public Safety Critic, Rosane Doré Lefebvre (Alfred—Pellan). “Such a break in security would have wide-ranging implications, so Conservatives need to assure Canadians they are being protected.”

While New Democrats are concerned about the extent to which the federal government relies on RSA for the security of its computer systems, they are also questioning what is being done to protect businesses and individuals who may have put their faith in the firm.

“Unfortunately, this government has a dismal record when it comes to protecting privacy,” said Doré Lefebvre. “From the data breaches involving the personal information of thousands of Canadians to their online snooping bill, these Conservatives just don’t seem to get it.”

The NDP has also sent a letter outlining concerns that this contract may allow a foreign government to monitor communications between MPs and their staff to Speaker Scheer—noting that RSA provides encryption for the House of Commons.