Source: CBC News
Date: September 7, 2012
The secretive, highly contentious security certificate process strikes a balance between upholding fundamental human rights and protecting society from security threats, says a former top official with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
In an exclusive interview with host Evan Solomon on CBC News Network's Power and Politics, Ray Boisvert, former assistant director of intelligence for CSIS, said intense scrutiny and various legal challenges have fine-tuned the rarely used process.
First established in 1978, security certificates have been used in fewer than 30 cases since 1991, according to Boisvert, who is now president of I-Sec Integrated Strategies. The threat environment has "transformed tremendously" and requires a delicate balance between enabling the state to protect its citizens as a fundamental obligation – and upholding individual freedoms protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he added.
Boisvert said intelligence gathered by spy agencies is not meant to be used in court like evidence gathered by law enforcement agencies, and is usually obtained and shared through a network of international partners.
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