We need answers on domestic spying

Opinion, March 31.

Warren Allmand's article betrays fearmongering at its worst, a deliberate effort to cause Canadians to distrust their national security institutions. Surely, as a former Solicitor-General of Canada, Allmand must be aware intelligence services must operate on the basis of "reasonable grounds to suspect" that terrorist activity is taking place, and not the ``probable cause" standard applied to policing. For, if the intelligence services waited for a "probable cause" to be discerned, they will be cleaning up the blood and debris after a terror attack, rather than acting on ``reasonable grounds" to prevent attacks from happening.

Curiously, Allmand's plea for oversight of Canada's signal intelligence agency, the Communcations Security Establishment, seems to be blithely ignorant of the existence of the CSE Commissioner, whose office exercises exactly that responsibility for ensuring that CSE operations comply with the law and policy. The CSE Commissioner is the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Justice Antonio Lamar. The annual reports of the CSE Commissisoner are in the public domain.

Allmand professes to be concerned about civil liberties in the context of our national security efforts. It would behoove him to also acknowledge that Canada's national security and intelligence community is indeed accountable under law and serves to protect all of our civil liberties against the avowed adversaries.

Professor Martin Rudner, Director of the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa