In one of my early columns, I made the point in that FrontLine needs to look at keeping the general population safe and secure more broadly than we had in the past. Food safety, for example, is important and not just from the perspective of bio-terrorism threats. The animal connection to safety and security was addressed in a prior issue. Manufacturers of safety and security equipment also play an important role through their equipment research and development. Future issues of FrontLine will look at aviation safety and more.
House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence hears from Communications Security Establishment (19 May 2016)
(FrontLine-edited and officially-translated transcript)
The Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Michel Coulombe, appeared this week before the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence to discuss the current security environment, and the evolving threat to Canada posed by terrorism.
Following his appearance, he issued the following statement:
Does the anti-terrorism legislation turn CSIS into a secret police force, free to break laws and violate Canadians' rights as it sees fit?
The Government of Canada is inviting Canadians to participate in a constructive dialogue on our national security framework. This broad consultation is intensifying today with the publication of a discussion paper to prompt debate and input.
Experts are meeting today and tomorrow at Carleton University to discuss “the challenges of dealing with natural resource development projects and activism" - or, in the words of one participant, how to protect Canada's infrastructure from "domestic extremists".
In 2012, CSIS knew exactly where John Maguire was before he left Canada to join ISIS in Syria, where he reportedly died fighting in 2015. Six months later, the RCMP was still trying to trace his movements.
Security Review issues are in the news… and that's a good thing.
The issue of the conduct of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Canadian Security Establishment (CSE), and the effectiveness of the independent review agencies overseeing them, was front and centre in the news last week. The reason was the curiously concurrent tabling of the Annual Reports by Public Safety Minister Goodale, from the CSE Commissioner, and from the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) which oversees CSIS.
Why are conference events so good for intelligence? Because they bring the experts together customers, competitors, government regulators, suppliers, academics and so forth – experts with information. From a collection perspective, people attend events with the objective of exchanging information, so they are keen to talk.
(July 2009) This article presents insight to the realistic possibilities of mass Internet surveillance by refuting the common argument is that there is too much traffic to be able to "listen" to all chatter.
(May 2009) The new report details the future Technology and market trends of major HLS-HLD market sectors including: Biometrics, Aviation security, Maritime security, Information. Technology and Cyber terror security, CBRN security, Infrastructure security, Counter terror intelligence, the private sector HLS, RFID based systems, Border security, Perimeter security, First responders, HLS-HLD C3I systems, Nuclear-Radiological screening systems, and more.
(March 2006) On the morning of 7 July 2005, three explosions rocked the London transit system. This Report examines intelligence and security matters relevant to those terrorist attacks, and focuses in particular on: whether any intelligence which may have helped prevent the attacks was missed or overlooked; why the threat level to the UK was lowered prior to the attacks (and what impact this had); what lessons were learned on the back of the attacks; and how these are being applied.
Larry and his company were the victims of aggressive competitive intelligence collection utilizing social engineering (including social hacking and escalated recruitment). He needed to identify the leaks and any third parties involved, and prevent further loss of proprietary intelligence.
Since 2006, FrontLine Security magazine has promoted the concept of intelligence-led enforcement in a variety of operational applications including matters related to border security. The success of that approach is detailed in this edition with the article regarding the deployment of the Accipiter Radar automated, analytical surveillance systems in the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes.
“The nature of strategy is paradoxical and does not follow a linear pattern.”
– Edward N. Luttwak
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) House of Assembly passed the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act on 13 March 2014. This Bill stiffens penalties for crimes related to both the distribution of child pornography and also the publication of confidential data. The Bill was deemed necessary after an embarrassing incident last year in which 2.5 million confidential files were leaked from two national trust companies.
Perimeter security at airports had been of growing concern to the policing community before a program called Airport Watch (AW) was created in 1999. In partnership with the RCMP and the Ottawa Police Service as a crime prevention tool for the Ottawa International Airport, it took about 36 months of dedication – by officers and dozens of volunteers – to develop effective protocols and to standardize regulations.
Human rights and liberal values are under threat in a small, little-known country most people would be hard-pressed to find on a map. Following the radical vision of Usama bin Laden and his followers, Brunei Darussalam became an Islamic state under strict Sharia law this past week, with punishments of death by stoning for adulterers and severing of limbs for thieves.
The path to a truly coordinated transatlantic defence and security policy is littered with challenges. Despite a perception that North American security interests are shifting increasingly to the Pacific Rim, there was evident agreement among attendees of an inaugural symposium on European Union-Canada Cooperation in Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) that preserving the long-standing transatlantic accord should remain a priority to like-minded nations.
As anyone not living in a cave can attest, literally a day does not go by without some new revelation of cyber hacking, cyber attacking, cyber vulnerabilities or some new cyber surveillance scheme being perpetrated against ‘we the people’ by murky corporate interests – or our own, possibly murkier, governments.
The formidable array of speakers included; Stephen Rigby, the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister; Richard Fadden, the Deputy Minister of National Defence; and Major-General Christian Rousseau, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, and Commander of Canadian Forces Intelligence Command. In addition, panels of eminent practitioners and trainers from the intelligence community provided other expert views.
The United Kingdom’s response to terrorism has been shaped by the various terrorist threats it has faced during the 20th century; from Russian anarchists, Irish republicans, Middle Eastern groups, to the supporters of causes such as animal rights. While the threat from Irish terrorism has diminished, an ongoing and serious terrorist threat to Northern Ireland remains. Currently, the UK assesses its most significant risk to national security as that from terrorism associated with and influenced by al-Qaeda.
We have dedicated this issue to Border Security. It is both timely and important that we do so, for we North American neighbours find ourselves at a critical juncture in this more globally accessible and competitive world where we benefit from reasonably stable governments, are blessed by vast territory, rich resources, significantly intertwined economies and secular institutions open to all members of our society.
He was an award-winning horticulturalist successfully growing the rarest of orchids. He was an expert fly fisher and a documenter of river systems. He was a poet and publisher, as well as a long time correspondent of T.S. Eliot. He was schooled in the art of New Criticism while attending Yale, and later studied law at Harvard. But more than anything, he was the unrelenting hunter of “moles” within the CIA and, by extension, many governments and agencies of the Western world during the height of the Cold War.
Cyberspace - The Fifth Strategic Domain
Canada's largest law firm, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), has long recognized that businesses operating in the defence and security industry sectors routinely encounter complex issues that require a specialized type of legal expertise. For this reason, it created a Defence and Security Industry Group comprised of lawyers, patent agents and other professionals who have sectoral experience working with industry clients in a wide range of areas.
National security is threatened where political spies operate. Threats from political espionage have plagued sovereign nations from the beginning and over time have generated a class of foreign diplomacy where luxury lifestyles are filled with missions of intrigue and paid informants. As Lt.-Col. Paul M. Thobo-Carlsen reminds us, the spy game is the second oldest profession in the world!
The scandal surrounding the flirtatious e-mails from MP Bob Dechert, a parliamentary secretary to Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, to the Xinhua News Agency Toronto bureau chief appears to have awakened the Canadian public – and it is hoped, officials – to the risks of greater engagement with China. However...
Intelligence in some form is in use today across a broad spectrum. No longer just the purview of Government entities, business intelligence is a common term and practice among corporations. Today, in the internet age, there is an abundance of readily accessible information about any given topic, organization or person.
Tsunamis, earthquakes and nuclear crises in Japan, droughts in China, the “Arab Spring” upheavals, Osama dead, Ratko captured, tornadoes in southern U.S., floods in Australia and, at home, fires in Alberta, floods in Manitoba and Quebec ... These and other situations force us to focus on the question: “What is the state of our emergency preparedness and security?”
Canadians, generally, are concerned about the threat of terrorist activities. With the potential return of Omar Kadhr, the recent sentencing of a Toronto 18 member, and other events around the world, most realize that we are not immune to “home grown” terrorism.
Espionage has been described as “the second oldest profession, and just as honourable as the first.” The practice of intercepting wireless signals existed at the time of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. The disciplines of electronic warfare (EW) and signals intelligence (SIGINT) evolved over the years. The doctrine of Information Warfare (IW) reached its peak in 1994, and cyber espionage then emerged in nation states. China and Russia were quick to add the concepts to their arsenal, which evolved throughout the 20th century into “the last, best-kept secret of the state.”
Securing Canadian military installations is essential to fighting terrorism. However, base commanders understand that their force protection security system must also safeguard military personnel, their families, and civilian contractors from all types of hazards. To accomplish this, security planning must anticipate intelligent, adaptive adversaries and large-scale emergencies that create terror and confusion, and complicate response by causing multiple, simultaneous incidents.
Secrets may be meant to be kept, but when it comes to solving crimes, police organizations need to share information. When it comes to breaking organized crimes and destroying criminal networks, real “intelligence” needs to be shared securely.
(Sept 2010) This report, authored by Carl Ungerer, highlights the major changes to Australia?s national security institutions since 2008. The paper argues that despite several years of reform, the institutional design for national security policy-making as a whole remains dominated by centralisation and limited coordination.
In a way, the “Brampton 18” is also an indicator of the change we have seen since 9/11. In one corner, we have seen civil liberties be reaffirmed with the demise of the vague and damaging security certificate; in the other corner we see the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Anti-Terrorism Act in triumph with the pleas of guilty to terrorism charges that three of the 18 have made.
In July, two rookie police officers of the Edmonton Police Service spotted a car with stolen license plates and pulled it over. As they searched the vehicle, the officers found 80 illegal credit cards as well as drugs and fake driver licenses. The occupants, a man and woman, were arrested.
Canadians can be forgiven for wondering which way is up when trying to decipher the flood of news recently surrounding the status of Canada’s actions in security related cases. One day we’re subjected to shrieking headlines announcing the judge ordered “end” of security certificates – complete with a grinning Adil Charkaoui cutting off his electronic monitoring ankle bracelet – and the next it’s confirmed one of the ringleaders from the 2006 Toronto terrorism plots has just plead guilty.
I think it was during Day Three of SARS Outbreak Two that the wisdom of what Dr Jim Young had been saying really struck me. “The best strategy to manage an emergency or mitigate a disaster is to prevent it from happening in the first place, beginning with understanding what causes it.” I couldn’t help but reflect on that as I read the intriguing article in this issue of FrontLine entitled. “When Faith Becomes a Political Force.”
(May 2009) Recent conflicts have featured innovative approaches to communications intelligence, which include utilizing civilian telephone networks to achieve tactical and psychological objectives. The 'cell war' between the IDF and Hamas is indicative of an ongoing global struggle between asymmetrical insurgents and state actors to control large-scale telecommunications structures.
From 1990, travel restrictions out of the post communist states almost evaporated. Simultaneously entry restrictions were significantly eased in the U.S., Canada and most western European countries.
Should we have been surprised by the terrorist siege of Mumbai? Probably not.
In a January 2005 article in The Atlantic, former White House security official Richard A. Clarke posited an “alternate future” for the post-9/11 decade. Clarke chronicled a series of terrorist attacks on the US homeland. The first wave consisted of simultaneous assaults on hotels and amusement parks; the second of a series of carefully planned shooting and bombing rampages in America’s largest shopping malls. In both scenarios, thousands died.
Many Canadians would be surprised to learn that in today’s heightened security world, Canada has not deployed some kind of mobile patrol capable of interdicting cross border illegal activity. A quick look at a map demonstrates both the challenge and the obvious need for such a capacity. This reality was brought home recently when, during a presentation on the U.S. Secure Border Initiative (SBI), a senior American representative from the SBI prime contractor (Boeing) remarked that, unlike Mexico, SBI Net North would be focused on surveillance, intelligence and mobile interdiction.
As our renewed government faces new and major economic readjustments on a global scale, I am pleased to present this issue on Cyber Security.
Constable Les Gramantik, of the Firearms Training Unit, demonstrates the new rifle power. (Photo courtesy of the Calgary Police Service)
The intelligence needed to support our national security interests, is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire. Today, national security intelligence has to be developed in a complex and uncertain world where the rate of change in the external environment makes past experience of increasingly questionable value.
The assumption stated above is misleading though many, including some intelligence producers and consumers, believe that is indeed the only true role of intelligence organizations.
Today, the threats to industry vary from those of a decade ago. The natural gas distribution industry has responded to the challenge – we have improved our understanding of new threats; and we have taken steps to ensure the continued reliability of the critical infrastructure that delivers 24% of Canada’s end-use energy to Canadian industry, businesses and homes, and exports half of our production over 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to the U.S.
In the Spring 2007 edition of FrontLine Security, I described the work underway to develop voluntary partnerships between those who own and operate our critical infrastructures and their U.S. and Canadian governments. These partnerships will help establish trusted mechanisms to share information between governments and the critical infrastructure (CI) sectors; information that is essential to address the threats and hazards that could disrupt the reliable delivery of basic services such as telecommunications, electricity, water, fuel, and natural gas.
The Network Centric War and Terrorism
On 3 September 2007, at about 6:40 p.m., officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the U.S. Coast Guard spotted an 18-foot boat transporting large green plastic bags on the St. Lawrence River. As the authorities approached, the driver abandoned the boat in the water, just off the eastern tip of Cornwall Island, Ontario, and fled on foot.
Despite the last six years of pressure, Al Qaeda and its inspired followers are still capable of taking the initiative in operations. Recent events in Pakistan, especially in the North West Frontier Province, demonstrate that Al Qaeda is rebuilding its core capabilities. Its highly successful propaganda and recruiting media machine, “As-Sahab,” also continues to function with a high degree of effectiveness.
In Malcom Gladwell’s book of the same name, “Tipping Point” is defined as “the magic moment when an idea, trend or social behaviour crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire.” It has also become a metaphor to describe the spread of a disease or the acceptance of a new technology.
It’s up to us to disrupt it
There is no more important role for government than the security of its homeland and the safety of its citizens.
While government is ultimately accountable for a nation’s safety, it is by no means exclusively responsible for it. The private sector shares this responsibility and must be an integral contributor to the government’s national security framework for the following three reasons:
Demands on information security are increasing due to complexities from regulatory change, such as the Privacy Act, and added requirements to share more information broadly and quickly, as brought on by recent threats to public safety. Organizations and information providers are faced with escalating demands to exchange information, sometimes across jurisdictions or to groups for whom the information was not originally intended.
(December 2006) This report uses the National Identity Scheme to strengthen borders of the United Kingdom and enforce compliance within the UK.