[11/3/16] Edward Snowden has called for Quebec’s police chief to resign following reports that the police secretly monitored journalists’ phone calls.
Speaking via video link to students at McGill University in Montreal on Wednesday, the NSA whistleblower described the news as a “radical attack on the operations of the free press.”
On Monday it was revealed that the police had been secretly monitoring journalist Patrick Lagacé’s phone calls in an effort to identify his sources. On Wednesday, the police admitting they had done the same to six other journalists in 2013.
“This inverts the traditional dynamic of private citizen and public officials into this brave new world we’re facing of private officials and public citizens,” Snowden said.
“We are all being watched, regardless of whether we are doing anything right or wrong, and this is what drove me forward,” he said. “Now surveillance technologies have outpaced the growth of democratic control.”
The police claim these were exceptional cases, and that they were investigating police officers accused of fabricating evidence. Canadian police secured at least 24 surveillance warrants to track Lagacé’s phone, which included monitoring his whereabouts through his GPS.