Protecting Our Infrastructure
Mar 15, 2008

Our main theme for this edition is on Critical Infrastructure Protection. The protection of these essential assets (80% of which are privately owned) is a major government responsibility that requires proper legislation and ­coordination. It is saddening how little progress and attention seems to have been brought to this real safety concern for all Canadians. The pleas go ­unanswered, but we continue – it is that important!

We received much positive feedback on our 2010 Olympic edition and I thank all for their comments. We are pleased, in this light, to bring you another round of related ­articles. First, is the promised interview with Ward Elcock on his role as Coordinator at the Privy Council Office responsible for G8 and Olympic Security.

Josué Kibambe Muaka Bambi ­provides us another follow-up on Olympic security preparations in his interview of RCMP Assistant Commis­sioner Bud Mercer on the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit.

Doug Harrison has added to this issue his knowledgeable analysis of the new CSA National Standard for Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs, Z1600-08, released this last Fall.

This Spring 2008 edition, however, we focus on the issues of Critical ­Infra­structure Protection and the threat of Terrorism.

Though the Federal Government in November 2002 produced a Discussion Paper on a National Critical Infrastructure Assurance Program, followed in Nov 2004 with a Position Paper on a National Critical Infrastructure Protection Strategy (now believed to be somewhere in its 16th draft), private industry and government departments across Canada feel that not enough effective coordination has been achieved between the private owners of 80% of this infrastructure and governments at all levels. Innovations as the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre and the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre are most welcome additions to our Critical Infrastructure threat awareness, but the private sector needs more. FrontLine Security offers you four articles in support of this.

Following his report to the Conference Board Transportation Security Conference last Fall, Scott Newark states that national and local law enforcement and threat awareness remains uncoordinated, insofar as local transit operator information sharing is concerned.

Stuart Brindley from the Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), outlines similar information ­challenges in his sector when he titles his contribution: “Do Government and Critical Infra­structure Sectors communicate?”

Giulio Maffini adds to the dialogue by examining how new technology applications for securing Critical Infrastructure are evolving.

Dave McMahon from Bell Canada will, I am sure, open the eyes of many to a real – and very dangerous – threat. He proposes a national proactive cyber defence strategy to deal with this evolving issue. I am led to remind our readers that many of these same reflections were highlighted in the lead article of our November 2005 launch edition, entitled a “Better coordination is vital to better security for Canadians,” thus, we can extrapolate that little progress has been made. The urgency seems to be lost but it remains vital.

From the outset of our publication, we have maintained an avid interest in providing current information on the threat of terrorism to Canada from experts with access to much current intelligence. This has been done to apprise our readers of a balanced and realistic state of the “War on Terror” for which Canada is presently providing soldiers and resources at home and abroad. In this issue, Tom Quiggin addresses the issue of the information dimension of this war at the strategic level wherein he postulates that the struggle is: “clearly ideological and an asymmetric one… the key is not the need to know; it is the imperative to share.” Sound familiar?

Howie Marsh, on another plane, gives a parallel projection wherein he postulates on the “Fear of Freedom” that motivates those in power behind the terrorist threat.

Joe Varner provides a synopsis on the murder of Benazhir Bhutto and the consequent anointing of a new chief assassin in the terrorist Al Qaeda. Enough input, we hope, to at least stimulate more urgency within the towers of government to address meaningfully the threat of terrorism to our Security and Critical Infrastructure.

 Lest you still believe the West is secure, a U.S. Justice Depart­ment news release “Former Boeing Engineer Charged with Economic Espionage in Theft of Space Shuttle Secrets for China,” highlights the need for security measures. Mr. Chi Mak had allegedly been providing defense articles to handlers in the People’s Republic of China, and it appears that he had a Canadian link. Chi was convicted of taking discs from his employer, Power Paragon, a division of New York’s L-3 Com­muni­cations that acquired the Edmonton-based Spar Aerospace in 2001. Spar’s major customers include the Canadian and U.S. militaries, the Royal Malaysian Air Force and a number of North American commercial airlines and international military air forces. The FBI says this is the type of technology that Chi and his family of spies were siphoning off to China. A U.S. federal jury found him guilty of ­conspiracy on two counts of attempting to violate export control laws, failing to register as an agent of a foreign government, and making false statements to federal investigators. On 24 March 2008, Chi was sentenced to over 24 years in prison for exporting U.S. defense articles to China.

I wish you a good read and good reflection on these issues. Please let us know what you think.

Clive Addy, Executive Editor
© FrontLine Security 2008