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Government went too far in surveillance of First Nations advocate: report

OTTAWA - The federal privacy commissioner says two government departments went too far in their monitoring of a First Nations children's advocate and her personal Facebook page.

Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart was looking into a complaint from activist Cindy Blackstock, executive director of an organization fighting the federal government in court over First Nations child welfare programs.

Stoddart says the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the Department of Justice violated the spirit, if not the intent, of the Privacy Act by compiling information from Blackstock's personal Facebook page.

Both departments have agreed to cease and desist their monitoring, destroy personal information not directly linked to federal policy, and set up a new system to make sure such surveillance does not happen again.

The privacy commissioner found no merit to two other privacy complaints from Blackstock. In a press release, Blackstock says the report proves the government will go to great lengths to quash dissent, and she wonders who else federal departments are spying on.

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