Canada could be drawn into U.S. spying controversy

Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament...

Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa October 23, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Jessica Murphy, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:41 PM ET

OTTAWA - If the U.S. was monitoring Prime Minister Stephen Harper's phone calls, they may have overheard a few choice words about the Senate.

But it's highly unlikely Harper was the target of National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance because Canada is a member of the so-called Five Eyes, says Roland Paris, University of Ottawa research chair in International Security and Governance.

The Five Eyes group -- Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand -- have shared intelligence resources for decades.

"Canada benefits in that it apparently shares some of the intelligence that it's collecting with its Five Eyes partners and it receives, from what I can understand, plenty in return," he said.

"It gives us an awareness of what's happening in the world we might not otherwise have."

But that doesn't mean Canada can't be drawn in to the growing controversy about the breadth of American surveillance.


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