Lawful access is a carefully calculated legislation to validate existing state surveillance. Drawing on internal government records obtained using Canada's federal Access to Information Act, this thesis examines the rise of proactive, intelligence-led policing practices and explores the discursive enactments that reified lawful access (Bill C-13). Based on an investigation of documentary data between 2008 and 2014, I argue lawful access came into force to retroactively legitimize policing aspects of surveillance, which previously contravened Canadian law. Analysis of official (front stage) and unofficial (backstage) data is juxtaposed to explicate rehearsals and performances that constituted the positions of proponents and opponents to lawful access. Unexpected findings of this study include the scope of electronic surveillance that has taken place against Canadian citizens for non-criminal purposes and the common purchasing of user metadata held in telecommunication carrier servers by law enforcement and intelligence communities.