The ars technica article points out that for all its technological beauty, the system being pushed is not one likely to notice only criminals. It is very likely that a machine-driven system will end up flagging lots and lots of non-criminals as potential terrorists or drug dealers or whatever. Once flagged by a beaurocracy, especially one that loathes oversight and transparency, one is always suspect. We seem to be swimming farther and farther into dangerous waters with very little thought to the implications of our actions. The love of technology instead of thoughtful human insight is not only an American problem. Perhaps they are the early adopters. Perhaps Canada's spies are even less accountable than ours. Perhaps the US system is more leaky or more transparent. The point is that as long as we undervalue human judgement and insight and the checks and balances that keep us free from tyrrany and overvalue technology, we are at risk.
Update: Josh Marshall comments on this as well
From a technological point of view there's not really much outlandish about this at all. This is just the sort of thing the NSA is in the business of doing overseas. But you can see how this would just be a non-starter for getting a warrant. It is the definition of a fishing expedition.May I submit that wholesale eavesdropping on people around the world is outlandish, especially if it's done with minimal oversight. The bigger the machine the bigger its appetite and the more likely it will turn on its creators.