Cover: Big Data Surveillance and Security Intelligence: The Canadian Case, edited by David Lyon and David Murikami Wood. illustration: eight horizontal rows of five faceless digital sketches of busts, set against a multi-coloured static background.
304 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Aug 2021
Release Date:01 Dec 2020
Release Date:01 Dec 2020
Release Date:01 Dec 2020

Big Data Surveillance and Security Intelligence

The Canadian Case

UBC Press

Intelligence gathering is in a state of flux. Enabled by massive computing power, new modes of communications analysis now touch the lives of citizens around the globe – not just those conventionally thought of as suspicious or threatening. In this astute collection, leading academics, civil society experts, and regulators debate the pressing questions raised by current security intelligence and surveillance practices in Canada.

Big Data Surveillance and Security Intelligence reveals the profound shift to “big data” practices that security agencies have made in recent years, as the increasing volume of information from social media and open sources challenges traditional ways of gathering intelligence. Working together, the Five Eyes intelligence partners – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States – are using new methods of data analysis to identify and pre-empt risks to national security.

In Canada, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the RCMP, and the Communication Security Establishment face an uncertain regulatory environment and seemingly incompatible demands: to extend their surveillance, data gathering, and disruption/intervention powers while increasing accountability and transparency in the name of democratic values. But at what cost to civil liberties, human rights, and privacy protection?

This book will find an audience not only among academics in security studies, sociology, political science, computer science, military studies, and law but also among members of the civil liberties community, investigative journalists, and security intelligence workers.

A pdf version of this book is available from the Surveillance Studies Centre.

This is a dark book, but one which should be read. Kurt Jensen, FORUM
Big Data Surveillance and Security Intelligence: The Canadian Case tackles some of the most pressing issues of our time — issues that can only be expected to grow in size and complexity…[it] is an essential and revealing examination of the tug-of-war between civil liberties and national security in our fast-moving digital age. Scott Costen, The Sidebar
This wide-ranging collection interrogates the intelligence-gathering practices of Canadian security agencies in the shift to 'big data' surveillance methods. [This book] fills a need for literature on a topic where information about the Canadian context is relatively scarce. Erica Friesen, Queen's University, Canadian Law Library Review
Big Data Surveillance and Security Intelligence is a valuable, polished compilation with much to offer academics and policy makers interested in privacy, security, surveillance, and law – both within Canada and around the world. Bryce Clayton Newell, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon
The rise of big data surveillance has been rapid and secretive. This book, which collects the who’s who of the Canadian surveillance and civil liberties fields, addresses a gap in the scholarship on ‘high policing’ and security intelligence in Canada. Mike Larsen, Criminology Department, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

David Lyon is the director of the Surveillance Studies Centre and Queen’s Research Chair in Surveillance Studies at Queen’s University, Kingston, where he is also a professor of sociology and of law. He is the author of Surveillance after Snowden and The Culture of Surveillance: Watching as a Way of Life and co-author, with Zygmunt Bauman, of Liquid Surveillance: A Conversation, among other works, and has co-edited numerous other publications. He is the winner of a 2018 Outstanding Contribution Award from the Surveillance Studies Network and many other awards.

David Murakami Wood is  an associate professor of sociology and former Canada Research Chair in Surveillance Studies at Queen’s University, Kingston. He has worked mainly on global surveillance, urban surveillance, and smart cities in the UK, Canada, Brazil, and Japan, where he has held two major research fellowships. He is co-editor-in-chief of the journal Surveillance & Society, as well as a media commentator on surveillance issues.

Contributors: Anthony Amicelle, Janet Chan, Andrew Clement, Anne Dagenais Guertin, Craig Forcese, David Grondin, Jillian Harkness, Stéphane Leman-Langlois, Tim McSorley, Adam Molnar, Jeffrey Monaghan, Midori Ogasawara, Christopher Parsons, Holly Porteous, Christopher Prince, George Raine, Bill Robinson, Carrie B. Sanders, Valerie Steeves, Scott Thompson, and Micheal Vonn


Introduction / David Lyon and David Murakami Wood

Part 1: Understanding Surveillance, Security, and Big Data

1 Collaborative Surveillance with Big Data Corporations: Interviews with Edward Snowden and Mark Klein / Midori Ogasawara

2 On Denoting and Concealing in Surveillance Law / Christopher Prince

3 Big Data Against Terrorism / Stéphane Leman-Langlois

4 Algorithms as Suspecting Machines: Financial Surveillance for Security Intelligence / Anthony Amicelle and David Grondin

Part 2: Big Data Surveillance and Signals Intelligence in Canadian Security Organizations

5 From 1967 to 2017: The Communications Security Establishment’s Transition from the Industrial Age to the Information Age / Bill Robinson

6 Pixies, Pop-Out Intelligence, and Sandbox Play: The New Analytic Model and National Security Surveillance in Canada / Scott Thompson and David Lyon

7 Limits to Secrecy: What Are the Communications Security Establishment’s Capabilities for Intercepting Canadians’ Internet Communications? / Andrew Clement

Part 3: Legal Challenges to Big Data Surveillance in Canada

8 Gleanings from the Security Intelligence Review Committee about the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s  Bulk Data Holdings and the Bill C-59 “Solution” / Micheal Vonn

9 Bill C-59 and the Judicialization of Intelligence Collection / Craig Forcese

10 The Challenges Facing Canadian Police in Making Use of Big Data Analytics / Carrie B. Sanders and Janet Chan

Part 4: Resistance to Big Data Surveillance

11 Confronting Big Data: Popular Resistance to Government Surveillance in Canada since 2001 / Tim McSorley and Anne Dagenais Guertin

12 Protesting Bill C-51: Reflections on Connective Action against Big Data Surveillance / Jeffrey Monaghan and Valerie Steeves

Part 5: Policy and Technical Challenges of Big Data Surveillance

13 Horizontal Accountability and Signals Intelligence: Lessons Drawing from Annual Electronic Surveillance Reports / Christopher Parsons and Adam Molnar

14 Metadata – Both Shallow and Deep: The Fraught Key to Big Data Mass State Surveillance / Andrew Clement, Jillian Harkness, and George Raine

Afterword / Holly Porteous


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