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Offline GAP

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Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« on: December 23, 2010, 09:59:54 »
Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
Colin Freeze Globe and Mail Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010
Article Link

At a time when most government agencies are cutting and slashing, a little-known spy agency led by a Rhodes Scholar is the envy of Ottawa for its planned billion-dollar headquarters.

A rising force in the national-security apparatus, the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) is an electronic-eavesdropping agency that gathers intelligence from abroad. Led by 68-year-old military veteran John Adams, the agency keeps its operations quiet, reporting only to Canada’s military and civilian leadership.

For the first time since he took over the agency in 2005, Mr. Adams has discussed CSEC’s mission and future, which includes plans for an $880-million headquarters housing hundreds of mathematicians, engineers and computer scientists by 2015.

News of the planned 72,000 square-metre compound is raising eyebrows around the national capital, given few people outside of government know what CSEC is or what it does.

But “if you were to ask the Canadian Forces if there is anyone that has saved Canadian lives in Afghanistan, they would point to us,” Mr. Adams told The Globe and Mail. He said that well over half of the “actionable intelligence” that soldiers use in Afghanistan comes from his agency.

This work is distinct from that done by a far better known spy agency –the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

The difference between the two boils down to tradecraft and jurisdiction.

CSIS – Canada’s human-intelligence, or “HumInt” agency – has its people and agents train their actual eyes and ears on security threats inside the country.

CSEC – the “signals-intelligence” or “SigInt” counterpart – relies almost wholly on technology to hear what people are saying abroad (spying on Canadians is illegal). Since being formed in the 1940s, this agency has rarely told anyone the fruits of its findings, save for its two masters – the Department of National Defence and the Privy Council Office.

On paper, the two agencies’ mandates don’t overlap, but in practise their operations are running together more than ever. That’s why the new CSEC complex is being built next to CSIS’ current headquarters – and why architects are planning to install a glass bridge connecting the two.

As envisioned, the seven-building CSEC complex will be the equivalent of a 90-storey skyscraper turned on its side – a highly secure compound outfitted with the latest high-tech gear. Two nearby electrical generating stations will power the agency’s computers, which suck in millions of conversations from around the world each day and scour them for intelligence information.
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Offline 57Chevy

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2010, 11:09:41 »
Quote:
"millions of conversations from around the world each day"

but that doesn't include any Canadians........ yeah right

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2010, 11:18:28 »
It doesn't... listening to Canadians foreign or domestically without a wiretap warrant is extremely illegal. They have 500 page documents outlining what you can and can't do.

Offline 57Chevy

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2010, 11:33:15 »
I agree that specifically wiring someone is illegal.
But how would they distinguish a Canadian conversation from the millions that are scoured each day ?

Offline garb811

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2010, 13:03:19 »
But how would they distinguish a Canadian conversation from the millions that are scoured each day ?
As soon as you hit the first, "Eh?".

I seem to recall a similar article in the Citizen about 20 years ago that "shone the light onto CSE for the first time" as well, so I don't think this is a first.

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2010, 14:45:03 »
I agree that specifically wiring someone is illegal.
But how would they distinguish a Canadian conversation from the millions that are scoured each day ?

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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2010, 17:28:40 »
"Little-known" my...Our journalists just cannot resist mouldy clichés--and know almost nothing about more specialized subjects.

A 1993 Library of Parliament paper:
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/content/lop/researchpublications/bp343-e.htm

A 1996 Auditor General report (see 27.21 down):
http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_199611_27_e_5058.html#0.2.Q3O5J2.O25UY6.UDTLQE.GT

Then just flipping Google.

Mark
Ottawa
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Offline wildman0101

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2010, 20:21:15 »
CSEC
Monitor's intel abroad. I:E
Communication reporting to
the Canadian military,,, thru
channels up to cds,,, Min of
national defense,,, possibly
the Prime Minister.
mandate intel gathered abroad..
CSIS (Mandate/Intel/National i:e
Canada.
Intel overlap CSEC/CSIS/RCMP
Sometime's it happen's.
We can only trust that the Intel
gathered  will reflect our good in-
tension's,,, be it here in Canada
and abroad. I can only assume
that the intel gathered is to our
good. Puck PVT PM those 500 page's
please. Thank's.
Scoty B
scoty b (aka the brat)
so my sister say's
she would know as she
pointed out ,,,, quote
my lil brother is one bad "mo-fo"
dont f*** with him you'll just get hurt.

Offline Spectrum

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2010, 21:04:31 »
I hear CSE are looking to hire anyone that can translate the language in the post above my own...

Offline Retired AF Guy

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2010, 23:43:34 »
"Little-known" my...Our journalists just cannot resist mouldy clichés--and know almost nothing about more specialized subjects.

A 1993 Library of Parliament paper:
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/content/lop/researchpublications/bp343-e.htm

A 1996 Auditor General report (see 27.21 down):
http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_199611_27_e_5058.html#0.2.Q3O5J2.O25UY6.UDTLQE.GT

Then just flipping Google.

Mark
Ottawa

So true.. Type in "Canadian Security Establishment " into Google and you get 15+ pages of hits.
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2010, 06:17:51 »
So true.. Type in "Canadian Security Establishment " into Google and you get 15+ pages of hits.


True enough, I suppose, but if you type the correct name - Communications Security Establishment Canada - into Google you will get 50+ pages pages of results.  ;)
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Offline Retired AF Guy

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2010, 20:43:38 »

True enough, I suppose, but if you type the correct name - Communications Security Establishment Canada - into Google you will get 50+ pages pages of results.  ;)

As I slowly bang my head against the wall!!  :oops:
Years ago, fairy tales all began with, "Once upon a time." Now we know they all began with, "If I'm elected."

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Offline Greymatters

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2010, 14:26:42 »
I find it quite surprising that in all this talk about intelligence organizations, no one mentions our own Int Branch and/or other CF members from other trades also contributing - apparently none of our people do anything except read CSE dispatches.   

 

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2010, 14:29:41 »
I find it quite surprising that in all this talk about intelligence organizations, no one mentions our own Int Branch and/or other CF members from other trades also contributing - apparently none of our people do anything except read CSE dispatches.   

There's always people trying to take credit for the work of others, specifically in the SigInt community. Since the sources are always classified, its hard to call them out on it.

Offline wildman0101

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2010, 17:54:26 »
Hope this clarifiy's  :stirpot:
This paper is about the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), one of a galaxy of agencies in Canada that fit most, if not all, the elements of these definitions of an intelligence organization with responsibility for foreign intelligence. The CSE is one of the most secret and secretive organizations in Canada. What is known about it - for example, what appears in this paper - must be pieced together from disparate sources. Unlike the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the RCMP, the CSE has no governing statute setting out its mandate, powers and control/accountability mechanisms. In general terms, the CSE has a dual mandate; one, Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), is offensive in nature; the other, Information or Communications Security (INFOSEC or COMSEC), is defensive.

The Communications Security Establishment advises on, and provides the means of ensuring the security of federal government communications. It also provides, with the support of the Canadian Forces Supplementary Radio System, a service of signals intelligence in support of Canada's foreign and defence policies. I should explain that "signals intelligence" is the term given to information gathered about foreign countries by intercepting and studying their radio, radar, and other electronic transmissions.(10)

 

One of those is sometimes known as the COMSEC role, which deals with the security of the communications of the Government of Canada. The second responsibility is the collection of signals intelligence, which is intended to provide the government with foreign intelligence on the diplomatic, military, economic, security, and commercial activities, intentions, and capabilities of foreign governments, individuals and corporations.

The government described the CSE's two-part mandate as follows in its 1991 Response to the 1990 Report of the House of Commons Special CSIS Review Committee:

The Establishment is responsible for two programs:

information technology security (INFOSEC); and

signals intelligence (SIGINT).

http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/BP/bp343-e.htm (more info here)

E R Thank's for the website.. Very informative.
All-disregard previous post.
Best Regard's,,
Scoty B
scoty b (aka the brat)
so my sister say's
she would know as she
pointed out ,,,, quote
my lil brother is one bad "mo-fo"
dont f*** with him you'll just get hurt.

Offline Nemo888

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2010, 20:03:05 »
It doesn't... listening to Canadians foreign or domestically without a wiretap warrant is extremely illegal. They have 500 page documents outlining what you can and can't do.

It wouldn't be illegal for Yanks to do it though. We can do the same for the USA. That is how I would get around all the red tape to keep people safe and I'm a closet libertarian. I would be happy with this for intelligence purposes. But once the infrastructure is in place and law enforcement gets a hold of it that is police state territory. This type of power needs serious behind the scenes oversight. I would guess that the new site will be filled with fancy US gear and well paid Canadian jobs.  Salute to the heroes whose names no one has ever heard  :salute:


Quote
Re: 'Taj Mahal' being built for DND spy agency, Dec. 18
John Adams,

Orleans, Chief, CSEC

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Mahal+being+built+agency/4006099/story.html#ixzz19Gn3Zh4L
There is an undisputed requirement for a new Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) facility: the organization doubled in size after 9-11. Its current facilities and severe lack of power are no longer adequate to fulfil our operational requirements and mandate of protecting the safety of Canadians. The basis of the technical requirements for a new facility is the protection of CSEC's information and the safety and well-being of its employees. The new facility is required to house a staff complement of almost 2,000 employees, highly sophisticated equipment, and classified information in a secure facility.

Security is the core of CSEC's business. I have mandated that the integrity of the Top Secret facility be maintained. As such, security levels will remain the same as CSEC standards. Similarly the data centre, conference rooms, and library are essential requirements because CSEC cannot rely on non-secure, outside services. Consistent with the government's sustainable approach, the facility encourages CSEC employees to adopt other means of transportation. The sustainable approach also calls for less concrete and more green spaces.

The renderings that were provided to news outlets were only a conceptual proposal by Plenary Properties. None of these proposals have yet been agreed to. There will be no hobby garden or hockey rink at the new facility. There is also no plan to include special events as part of the contract. A bank and daycare are not inside the CSEC secure perimeter. They are community facilities and will help CSEC to reduce its costs.

What went unreported in the article was that the consortium, led by Plenary and PCL, will create 4,000 to 5,000 jobs in the Ottawa area and it is estimated that 99 per cent of the jobs created will be Canadian. I am committed to obtaining a facility to protect the safety of Canadians and ensuring the highest value for taxpayer dollars. 


Maybe some decent paying jobs coming for Vets. Would CSE be part of the Federal Civil Service?
« Last Edit: December 26, 2010, 20:38:54 by Nemo888 »

Offline wildman0101

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2010, 21:09:51 »
Spectrum,,, Clarified????
For futher int into my
specialization's PVT PM
me in that regard. Or we
can go to different mean's
as i would so prefer... Your
call mate.
Scoty B
scoty b (aka the brat)
so my sister say's
she would know as she
pointed out ,,,, quote
my lil brother is one bad "mo-fo"
dont f*** with him you'll just get hurt.

Offline PanaEng

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2010, 17:35:22 »
It wouldn't be illegal for Yanks to do it though. We can do the same for the USA. That is how I would get around all the red tape to keep people safe and I'm a closet libertarian. I would be happy with this for intelligence purposes. But once the infrastructure is in place and law enforcement gets a hold of it that is police state territory. This type of power needs serious behind the scenes oversight. I would guess that the new site will be filled with fancy US gear and well paid Canadian jobs.  Salute to the heroes whose names no one has ever heard  :salute:



Maybe some decent paying jobs coming for Vets. Would CSE be part of the Federal Civil Service?
Unfortunately, for CSE you usually need to have at least a degree or a diploma and good experience in computers and communications/electronics or math and physics (post grad). Sure, there are other jobs but these are the ones with most demand. But, you never know until you research it and apply.

cheers,
Frank
Now I am SAS or SWAT dude ;-)
see:
Quote from: RHFC_piper ink=topic=51916.msg617784#msg617784 date=1190404708

The 'pana" is a play on the Greek 'pan' meaning 'all' or 'encompassing' - not quite but similar to UBIQUE
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2010, 18:20:04 »
...
Maybe some decent paying jobs coming for Vets. Would CSE be part of the Federal Civil Service?


You can see a bit about who CSEC hires here and by following the link to Current Opportunities. CSEC does, or at least did, like people with military experience but, as PanaEng said, that will be a help IF, and only IF, you meet all the other requirements - degree(s)/skills/knowledge and, above all "must be a Canadian citizen, and be eligible for a TOP SECRET security clearance conforming to CSEC standards." CSEC standards for a security clearance might be different (higher) than the CF standards - there are many, many clearances above SECRET, most with unique requirements.
 
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline easy2use22

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2010, 08:43:21 »
The legal logical course is that they listen to 'all' conversations (given that they cannot help it). They sort them out. Once they listen to 'illegal chatter' (terrorist talking to another terrorist), that is the time they give notice to CSIS. CSIS then takes hold of the responsibility to file warrant of surveillance. Once the judge approves of the warrant, that is the time that the 'conspiraccy or crime' commences. All past conversatons before the approval of the warrant are deemed inadmissible as evidence. That is how the law works....
« Last Edit: December 30, 2010, 08:49:25 by easy2use22 »

Offline GAP

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2010, 09:09:49 »
But not necessarily how intelligence works....
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2010, 09:22:09 »
It doesn't... listening to Canadians foreign or domestically without a wiretap warrant is extremely illegal. They have 500 page documents outlining what you can and can't do.

Not quite: Its "private communications" only that are protected. And Section 183 of the Criminal code defines it (for radio signals) as follows: "... and includes any radio-based telephone communication that is treated electronically or otherwise for the purpose of preventing intelligible reception by any person other than the person intended by the originator to receive it."

And wiretapping is for a single - specific - phone number to get all of its conversations, not for listening at random to all the radio signals out there in the aether.

Your cell-phones are all radio-based but the frequency lock on them - to prevent overlapping conversations - is not an "electronic treatment to prevent intelligible reception". Same applies BTW to short-wave and satellite transmission for long distance calls. In all these cases, unless you encrypt your signal, the communication is fair game.

Do we all remember our (supposed) first response to a work related call: "This is not a secure line!"

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2010, 09:24:33 »
I suspect that CSE, like CSIS, is pretty scrupulous about obeying at least the letter of the law. But there are ways to stretch the spirit of the law just a bit by using, inter alia, allied networks like Echelon (and yes, I think the Wikipedia is an OK source for this).
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2010, 09:28:29 »
It doesn't... listening to Canadians foreign or domestically without a wiretap warrant is extremely illegal. They have 500 page documents outlining what you can and can't do.

Actually, listening is NOT the part that is illegal.  It is what you do with what you listened to that could become illegal.  It is illegal to produce any "intelligence product" (ie. files, reports, etc.) on any material gathered through these means on Canadians domestically.   
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Re: Canada’s little-known spy agency comes out into the open
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2010, 09:48:11 »
I am NOT a lawyer but I did pick up a couple of bits of legalistic ufi over the years: see OFFENCES AND PUNISHMENTS, specifically Section 9 (Prohibitions) in the Radiocommunications Act. Generally, listening, for no purpose other than private interest, to any unencrypted signal is OK - sharing what one hears, for whatever purpose, no matter how noble, is less than OK.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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