VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — A civil liberties group is suing one of the country's spy agencies allegeding it intercepts the private communications of Canadians online and over the telephone in violation of laws making it illegal to spy on citizens.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association said it was suing the Communications Security Establishment Canada, this country's equivalent of the U. S. National Security Agency.

The suit alleges the CSEC has been reading Canadians' emails and text messages, and listening to their phone calls, when they communicate with people outside the country.

The CSEC found itself at the center of controversy two weeks ago amid allegations Canadian spies hacked phones and computers belonging to Brazil's Mines and Energy Ministry.

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