The existence of Project Wide Awake has never been reported.
And The Tyee investigation revealed that the RCMP has moved from a “reactive” approach — analyzing specific social media accounts as part of a criminal investigation — to a “proactive approach,” which the RCMP said aims to “help detect and prevent a crime before it occurs.”
That involves ongoing wide-scale monitoring of individuals’ social media use and could pose a threat to Canadians’ privacy and charter rights, say experts.
In February 2018 the RCMP began using software provided by Carahsoft, which supplies governments, including intelligence and defence agencies. The contractor is located just west of Washington, D.C. in an area described by the Washington Post as “Top Secret America.”
“Ever wished you could be a fly on the wall in the homes of consumers? That’s kind of what social media monitoring is,” the company claims.
The Tyee learned of the monitoring after obtaining a non-public June 2017 letter from Gilles Michaud, RCMP deputy commissioner of federal policing, to the federal privacy commissioner.
‘Project Wide Awake’: How the RCMP Watches You on Social Media via @TheTyee https://thetyee.ca/News/2019/03/25/Project-Wide-Awake/