2011 issue [current-page:url:args:value:2]


Centre for Social Cohesion: UK Terror convictions
Published by by the Henry Jackson Society and tThe Centre for Social Cohesion

(July 2011) Islamic extremism is not the only terrorist threat to the United Kingdom, but it remains far and away the greatest, and the least predictable. This report provides insight into the background and history of Islamism-related terrorism in the UK over the past 20 years. Its research means that even more can be understood about the dangers Islamic terrorism and extremism have brought and still threaten British citizens and UK government assets, at home and abroad.



Editor's Corner
"The Times They Are A Changin!"
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

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?”

In addition, we have new challenges to Arctic sovereignty and economic security, major threats in cyber space, and requirements for better coordination of intelligence and emergency response. This year has indeed heralded a strategic shift in the winds of change. In this issue, we offer a wide variety of topics that we hope will help to guide the discussion to a safer world and focus our direction on needed improvements at many levels.

Learning from, coordinating and cooperating with others at the local, business, municipal, provincial, national and international levels are broad themes in many of our articles. They go beyond mere rhetoric and actually provide concrete domains in which to coordinate our limited resources for better security. Be it the allocation of the soon to be released 700 MHz band for emergency responders as espoused by Rear Admiral (ret) James Arden Barnett of the U.S. Bureau of Public Safety and Homeland Security, or mutual border security initiatives as explained by OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis, the need for cooperation is paramount. The OPP have four officers working full time in the United States, as part of Border Enforcement Security Task Force teams, run by the U.S. Federal Law Enforce­ment and the Department of Homeland Security, and sworn in as peace officers in the United States. They also have officers assigned to the RCMP on the Shiprider Program patrolling the Great Lakes.

The security and well-being of our ­citizens is too important a trust, given to leaders and governments at all levels, to be risked by wasting time on preserving­ ­prerogatives, disregarding innovation or engaging in ivory tower debates. The technology urges, and allows us to be better informed, cooperative and prepared – the public will not tolerate incompetence if we are otherwise. We need better and effective coordination of intelligence processes and means to respond to foreseeable and other threats to our safety.

We urge the Canadian government to review its views and appoint a National Security Coordinator as espoused by Scott Newark’s article and by the March report of the past Senate Special Committee on Anti-Terrorism. We applaud the promised leadership changes at the RCMP and encourage the joint border initiatives between Canada/U.S. and other potential partners. We encourage all governments to do the same and we salute the local emergency responders and Canadian Forces assistance in recent events. It is reassuring to see clear evidence that the CF is ready and able to assist during emergencies on the home front.

Crises are increasing around the globe, but technological and cooperative human solutions are out there with responders in place. The key is to utilize all resources efficiently to achieve the safest environment possible. The public demands and deserves no less than our best efforts.  

Clive Addy, Executive Editor
[email protected]
© FrontLine Security 2011



Editor's Corner
Sound Leadership Breeds Civility, & Civility Saves Lives
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

On 15 November 2006, headlines read “Small tsunami waves hit Northern Japan after earthquake.” Not five years later, on 11 March 2011, the world received news of another earthquake in that same area. The 2011 T–ohoku earthquake was the most powerful known earthquake to have hit Japan, and one of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world overall since modern record-keeping began in 1900. It ravaged the Fukushima nuclear plant, shifted the earth on its axis, and destroyed the livelihood of so many Japanese citizens that one wonders how they will recover. Nevertheless, the world watched as the resolute citizenry, in what can only be described as absolute civic discipline, went about the difficult tasks of grieving, life saving, repair and recovery. It was irritating for me to listen to some of our commentators criticize the Japanese preparedness and actions, not knowing what our own were and remain.

I was soon to see some fine examples of response capabilities here in Canada. Admittedly, these were certainly not on the scale of devastation with which Mother Nature lashed Japan, but they did prove heartening in their civility and are very much worth saluting.

First, the Town of Souris (approximately 1,770 people), south west of Brandon Manitoba, had been battling flooding banks for two and a half months when Mayor Darryl Jackson was forced to declare a state of emergency. Known for Canada’s longest historic suspension bridge, this too had fallen victim to the rising waters. The town’s 65 workers and 250 volunteers have been assisted by the province and some 375 soldiers in these latter days. This is deemed by some be the greatest flood ever in the region – nearly three months of wet weather and flooding for these families. The regional Health Authority was forced to suspend acute care services at the Souris Hospital. The population has been kept apprised of events throughout by Sven Kreush and his Emergency management staff on both local radio and the town web site. On the 5th of July, as the river was expected to peak and protection had reached its highest, Mayor Jackson posted the following on the Town web site: “The Mayor and Council of the Town of Souris are extremely pleased with the co-operation and effort of all involved including Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation, Emergency Measures Organization, Office of Fire Commissioner, the Forces from CFB Shilo, Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Telecom Services, Manitoba Conservation, Manitoba Water Stewardship, Manitoba Workplace Health and Safety, RCMP, and all the Volunteers from near and far.”

Some 40 kms away, on the Assiniboine River, lies the city of Brandon, the second largest city in Manitoba at 44,000 people. Mayor Shari Decter Hirst posted this message on their web site: “Brandon has been through an incredible experience. Our city was tested as never before. The Assiniboine River rose to its highest levels in 300 years and we rose to the challenge. On behalf of the entire community, I’d like to thank the thousands of volunteers, City staff, Manitoba Highways staff, 26th Field reservists, the inmates at BCI, the staff at Cannexus and Manitoba Hydro, the City hotels, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the Chamber of Commerce. Together we kept our city safe and dry. Well done. You were an inspiration to us all. The City of Brandon now turns its attention to rebuilding our dike system so that it benefits the community throughout the year [...] Our riverbank corridor is the pride of our city and will be restored.”

Maire Gilles Dolbec, of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, 20 minutes from Montreal, saw his beautiful city of 92,350 ravaged by flooding as well. He was enthusiastic to report that it was “the solidarity of all citizens in helping those affected by the water damage, some 100 families without homes from a week to a month, that I remember best of this spring 2011 natural disaster.” He wanted to ensure that we mentioned the work of Michel Fecteau, who coordinated thousands of volunteers with all types of tasks from the usual filling sand bags to helping with housing and transport of the less fortunate. As well, the city Emergency services people led by Daniel Desroches and his coordinator Michel Larivière were models of calm and prompt assistance due to wise preparedness. He also pointed out the superb help from 800 soldiers from Valcartier Quebec “who were there for the peak of the flood and, of which, 600 remained to assist with every and any thing until the end of the emergency.” As well, he was grateful to the provincial authorities and the neighbouring municipalities and service clubs for their help and generosity. One need only look at the city web site to see the support measures afforded to those affected such as clean-up help and guidance, tax exemptions, help with financial claims and medical assistance and more.

I salute all the people involved in leading these successful emergency response events to a safe and mitigated conclusion, and all their citizens for maintaining their composure and respect for each other through these difficult times.

Work to be done
However, when I see access to downtown Vancouver, not far from a seismic fault similar to the Ring of Fire, blocked by a single hydro tower, I wonder about building standards, access, egress and evacuation routes, and medical services. If these are not available, what is our expectation of civility with our present levels of preparedness? I was part of a review of earthquake preparedness for the BC Auditor in 1997 and ponder if much has changed since then. If not, it should. That is the leadership expected.  

Clive Addy, Executive Editor
[email protected]
© FrontLine Security 2011



Spy vs Spy
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

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!

Karl Payeur looks at the reasons ­people may reveal secrets. Spies excel in exploiting different scenarios that are conducive to “involuntary disclosures.” Ever resourceful, the successful spy may be a cunningly manipulative woman who can gain access to powerful men through their sexuality – recent events have shown that this ‘honey trap’ tactic remains as prevalent today as it has been in the past.

Corporate Espionage represents a modern threat that will require a new set of tools and processes to combat the perpetrators – many of whom come from overseas and represent decades of experience in the murky world of political espionage.

The key strategic importance of the global military industrial community has provided fertile ground to attract investment in espionage by foreign competitors who wish to gain economic and political advantages. Easily portrayed as “corporate competition,” the spy of today practices such ­espionage in a tailored suit with a ­briefcase full of electronic listening devices. J. Michael Cole’s article, Friend or Foe, focuses on the extent of corporate espionage being practiced today by China.

Today’s governmental reactions to the threat of theft of national secrets provide well-meaning, but mostly ineffective, protection of national interests. In this issue, we explore the ­connection between corporate and national security. Advice from the world’s experts on these subjects talk about solutions and approaches that will make organizations and critical infrastructure resilient to outside – and perhaps more importantly, to inside – threats to IP and trade secrets. Most of the solutions involve cultural changes, such as developing an attitude of diligence and awareness. Others are more structural, with advice on developing an intelligence hub to drive security decisions.

When it comes to national security – including both military and public safety applications – both intelligence and education/training services are vital for success. In corporate security, effective protection of intellectual property is directly dependent upon the level of support exhibited at executive levels for in-depth technological solutions, plus the ability to access trusted intelligence.

In Document Security, Guy Chamberlain highlights the imperative of protecting physical documents from the prying eyes of even the most friendly corporate visitor, and advises that previous document drafts should be utterly destroyed.

Other than rare ‘lone wolf’ scenarios, most espionage efforts today involve a complex web of collaborations and conspiracies. To pull off the sophisticated theft of valuable, developmental IP, a thief needs to know the characteristics and proclivities of management and selected employees within the target organization. Minimal ­levels of ­protection such as locking and password systems are insufficient in the face of determined corporate spies. Smart technologies like bio-credentialing systems ­provide an additional level of security, but do they ­simply delay the inevitable – leading the sophisticated adversary to yet another challenge in the pursuit of the IP or IT booty – and adding another cost line on the North American business ledger?

Both Canada and the United States have lost billions of dollars to organizational espionage. It’s time to make security a strategic part of the business process.

Government spy agencies can provide defense against political espionage, but they are ill-equipped to help industry protect their privately-held secrets to success. Michel Juneau-Katsuya’s article provides insight on what executives should focus on and what government can do to help. One of Juneau-Katsuya’s solutions – the sharing intelligence – is also taken up by Steve Moore in his article on setting up an Intelligence Hub. Moore states that “the value of your own information can increase ­exponentially when combined with open source research and information from other entities with whom you are willing to share.” This is an idea whose time has come and FrontLine Security will be pursuing this topic further in the near future.

Corporate associations like ASIS and ISACA organize forums where security professionals can discuss the latest in threats and possible solutions to security problems. We present ISACA as a Solutions Showcase feature in the article “IT Resilience.” Chapter President Robert Venczel presents ideas that will help companies prepare for possible penetration attempts by unscrupulous intelligence raiders.

Some of the expert contributors to this ­edition will be proposing solutions at the Canadian Industrial Security Conference (CISC2011) in November. They recommend that organizations must go a step further to design a ­customized and comprehensive security program. CEOs are advised to take the best of what the security generalists have to offer and then add layers based on the ­peculiarities of their individual business – what threats are likely to come, why, and from what source. With that intelligence, a CSO can then combine shared resources with specialized investigative services to obtain a more complete understanding of the nature of the threat, and develop sound methods to defeat it. A company-wide awareness program – made mandatory from the top down – will make sure everyone in the organization is committed and on the same page. Understanding the nature of the threat and what is at stake (often the very survival of the organization) is the key to success but, make no mistake, it is only the beginning of this never-ending vigil.

Edward R Myers, Editor
[email protected]
© FrontLine Security 2011



Editor's Corner
Keeping Citizens Safe?
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

We are closing in on 15 years since the infamous Ice Storm crippled much of Eastern Ontario, Western ­Quebec, and the Northeastern States. Many remember the feeble briefings provided by authorities during the first few days – when power pole numbers, rather than geographical locations, were used to describe power outages to a troubled and doubly confused public. The worrying was shared by citizens unable to heat, cook, travel, wash or get medical treatment... or even get the flawed information. Are we better prepared now than we were then?

Counting down some other milestones, it has been 12 years since the serendipitous capture of the centennial bomber at the British Columbia border; 11 years since the tragedies of 9/11;  and 7 years since the creation of Canada’s federal Department of Public Safety.

It has been 6 years since the launch edition of FrontLine Security in which we outlined the following vulnerabilities that must be mitigated to ensure our security:

“Canada’s vulnerability is quite obvious to most. All of these are integral to the secure Canada of today:

  • our reliance on external sources for energy;
  • the interconnected nature of our electrical grid;
  • the ease and importance of unfettered travel to both our lives and economy;
  • the international make-up of our day-to-day food sources and other products;
  • the increasing violence of Mother Nature in our vast land and varied climate;
  • our increased reliance on immigration for continued prosperity and development;
  • the security, dependence upon, general availability of, and access to information technology for our security, governance and financial prosperity.”

This issue’s theme of earth, wind, fire and ice attempts to address our preparedness to handle the Mother Nature concerns, but, as will become apparent to you, there remains major work to be done still.

The recent agreement with the U.S. on borders will facilitate much, as far as mutual coordination and cooperation in these times of natural disaster. On the other hand, “dilly dallying” over the very critical decision to dedicate the 700MHz band to Emergency Management is not a good sign. Lance Valcour points out why decisions are soon needed from Industry Canada to get on with development of this dedicated ­Emergency Band and benefit from efficient communications that are urgently required by first responders across North America.

Likewise, Ed Myers’ examination of the Slave Lake fire of 2011 points to the need for Community  based  Protection Programs and strongly suggests that we adapt much of the U.S. NFPA standards and procedures, rather than reinventing the wheel. At any rate, congratulations to all who worked to limit the damage of this ­disaster to one life and $1.8 billion – with a special “thank you” to Deputy Chief Tom Sampson and his crews of the Calgary Fire Service for their selfless dedication in the face of danger.

Reflections in subsequent articles, relate directly and exemplify the urgent demand for “Situational Awareness” that my friend Ernie MacGillivray, Director of Emergency Services in New Brunswick so clearly and succinctly defines as “knowing what is happening around you so you can make decisions and influence events.”

We need the shared process and communication protocols to paint a common picture, speak a common language, share common equipment and execute a timely response... and we must practice these.

Our need for a National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System (NAADS ) examined by Richard Bray in his article on alerting systems, and a National Situational Awareness ­Capability such as MASAS, as expounded upon by Jeff Brooks, the Acting EMS Chief in Lambton County, must indeed form an important part of this process. Additionally, these must be aligned as best we can with those of our international partners, as explained in J. Linley Biblow’s article on Societal Security urging participation in the international development ISO/TC 223 standards through our own Canadian Standards Association’s CSA Z1600 Emergency management business continuity standard.

Two key and somewhat separate concerns are exposed in this issue. The first is the study on First Responders facing Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) by Dr. Richard Ogle and Sarah Henry which provides real guidance to responders, their families and employers.  

Finally, Burn Macdonald offers some advice to industry and government on cyber resilience security strategies that is well worth heeding.

We have come a long way since the 2005 creation of the federal department dedicated to Public Safety.

Myriad national security policies and facilities have contributed to improved ­preparedness, and FrontLine is proud of its continuing efforts in facilitating discussion and dialogue on all these matters. Improvements in legislation and the border agreements are to be applauded and will make Canadians and our American neighbours more secure without impeding our basic freedoms… but…   


Clive Addy, Executive Editor
[email protected]
© FrontLine Security 2011



Saving the Public Safety Trust
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

The face of public safety is changing because information and ­communications technologies are permitting First Responders to understand the environment facing them on a mission. For example, if firefighters or police had a complete picture of the event as they were about to respond, they would be better able to deal with the challenges once they arrive on scene. An EMS call could potentially save more lives, for instance, if the paramedics could send high resolution images of the injury to an attending but remote medical specialist.

First Responder Chiefs unanimously support preserving communications spectrum for technologies that will enhance the ability of responders to perform during these critical situations.

Do we trust our governments to work things out so that when there is a need to protect, respond, or recover from an emergency, the resources will meet modern expectations of technological efficiency?

With an issue like reserving communications spectrum for public safety, this trust issue arises: there is a limit to the available communications space that can be used for high bandwidth applications for public safety. Should public safety get the dedicated space or should the telecommunications companies have it to re-sell as profit motives dictate and competition allows? This issue is with us today, brought about by the recent availability of the 700 Megahertz broadband spectrum for mission critical public safety data.

Government allocates the limited spectrum of available communications space, or bandwidth, based on a balance of public policy versus tax revenue opportunities. With the introduction of digital ­television in the U.S. and Canada, the old analog spectrum has become available. This space has the ability to carry signals and applications that are key to an effective First Responder force that needs to communicate with video, voice and data programs that greatly enhance capacity such as interoperability and situational awareness.

Spectrum is a limited resource of which public safety professionals and volunteers from coast to coast deserve a slice. As suggested by many experts – 20 MHz of the total 700 MHz band should be dedicated exclusively for police, fire, EMS and civilian response force elements, to increase operational capability for numerous public safety needs. This indeed is a case of public trust – do we trust that the government will place our need for safety above the revenue base that big ­Internet suppliers could provide, based on their profit orientation?

FrontLine Security supports the notion that, where there is an opportunity for elements of society to contribute to public safety, that opportunity should be seized. The government can facilitate that effort, and it must.

The people who have been entrusted with ensuring our safety are using their expertise and experience to design solutions to do their jobs better. When it comes to technology, the leadership of First Responders’ associations unanimously endorse the development of broadband data highways that will allow technology solutions to improve operational capacity.

By achieving broadband data interoperability for the public safety community, many of the challenges we have seen in the past with failed interconnections in times of a crisis will be alleviated. Moreover, the 700 MHz spectrum allocation to public safety will allow for such things as high speed communications, data rich transmissions, and heretofore unrealized potential for search and rescue inside buildings and over long distances.

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stated, “This is crucial to allow responders from varying jurisdictions and disciplines to communicate with one another when they converge at an emergency, or when incidents span several jurisdictions.” First responders must have access to common applications in any situation or location.

In the United States, the FCC regulates the airwaves and allocates spectrum. In Canada, that function is performed by Industry Canada. What happens in one country affects the other and will continue to do so in the future. As bilateral security and trade arrangements currently under negotiation between Canada and the United States get ironed out, cross border security will be decided on an interoperable basis. Sharing a common spectrum would indeed accommodate public safety interests on a continental basis.

Edward R. Myers is the Editor of FrontLine Security magazine.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Canada/U.S. Port Security
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

Similar to most threats to our public safety and national security, port security involves fundamental principles for staying safe from either natural disruptions or actions by criminals and terrorists. Response, Recovery and Resilience are well known common principles upon which to structure the security of ports, build programs and develop systems to suit the ­specific environment. The United States and Canada share a continental concern with port security – which calls for harmonization of approaches (policy), surveillance and detection systems, and standard operating procedures for agencies and frontline personnel on both sides of the border.

Key surveillance and other remote ­sensing systems must interconnect with the various government agencies that deal with ports. Hence cooperation is vital – all silos that hinder it must be discredited and those that encourage it must be supported. For instance, the training and education of front line personnel must include how to interact with all other agencies “in the loop.”

North America presents a continental dimension within which cooperation must flourish if we are to establish truly successful perimeter security. The multi jurisdictional coordination required poses significant challenges to all authorities, yet international rules exist to guide necessary procedures. These come from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in the form of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS).

Each port is certified by its respective federal authority – the Department of Homeland Security or Transport Canada. As the U.S. and Canadian economies are closely linked, it behooves economic interests on both sides of the border to ensure shipping ports comply with ISPS requirements. Regular inspections determine if the port authorities are conducting appropriate training, maintaining and conducting peri­meter surveillance (cameras and fencing), and assessing security guard performance. The port facility security officer and ship security officers all need to comply with ISPS Marsat levels 1, 2, and 3 which determine security threat levels. All elements must be in place in order for the port to ­conduct international business.

The ISPS sets a standard of security that means, for example, that an ISPS Certificate-bearing facility security officer can manage any port anywhere within the ­network of ISPS-certified ports.

With the ISPS structure in place, there is still a need for a large dose of common sense in protecting our ports. Even with the best of protection systems in play, it is still necessary to understand, for example, human motivation and the lure of proceeds of crime. Suspicious activity must be reported to police or harbor authorities.

One of the best mechanisms we have to combat threats is the proper dissemination and use of intelligence.

Intelligence, the gathering and analysis of information, patterns and human factors, allows enforcement organizations to make informed judgments on how to proceed. If the intelligence is solid, security personnel and systems can keep a port – or any facility for that matter – safe from criminal or terrorist behaviour. If the intelligence is absent or, worse, poorly disseminated or ignored, it is at our peril.

If acted upon appropriately, intelligence provides the means of ensuring safety and security at the ports as well as along shipping routes between ports. Timely intelligence sharing and use can provide the basis for proper Response, Recovery and Resiliency at any and all ports around the continent or around the world.

Ed Myers, Editor
© FrontLine Security 2011



Protecting the Protectors (CFNCIU)
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

As the Canadian government’s largest employer – with a man- date for the Defence of Canada and possessing a wide array of high-technology equipment, weapons and sensitive information holdings – the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Forces (CF) are prime targets for espionage and other ­hostile activities from individuals, groups and organizations.

The Canadian Forces National Counter-Intelligence Unit (CFNCIU) exists to help protect the DND/CF from terrorism, espionage, sabotage, subversion and other security threats. Because the unit’s mandate requires a low profile, the ­CFNCIU is not always well known to companies and other ­organizations working with the Canadian defence community. Prior to 1997, security threat information collection, and counter-intelligence activities in support of defence organizations, were ­conducted by the Canadian Forces Special Investigation Unit (SIU) and controlled through military police channels.

From the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, a series of internal and external reviews looked at the SIU mandate with its mix of counter-intelligence and criminal ­investigative duties. As result, in 1997 the SIU was replaced with two new units: a criminal investigative service reporting through military police channels; and the CFNCIU reporting to the Chief of Defence Intelligence. A similar evolution took place within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the 1980s when its Security ­Service was disbanded and replaced by the newly created Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Since 1997, the dedicated military counter-intelligence professionals of the CFNCIU have operated around the clock to detect, investigate and counter a variety of contemporary security threats at home and abroad.

Espionage, sometime referred to as the world’s “second oldest profession,” has ­traditionally been a favoured method by which ­governments and other orga­nizations obtain military, diplomatic, scientific, econo­mic and other sensitive information, to gain an advantage over peers and competitors.

One might think that the end of the Cold War had significantly eased the threat to DND/CF from spying, but that is not the case. In the current global environment, espionage continues to be viewed by many countries and organizations as a relatively low-risk and low-cost way to broaden its technological base, improve its economic power and posture its security/military forces. Methodologies have evolved, with cyber-based espionage tactics increasingly being used alongside traditional “human intelligence” methods. As a high technology knowledge-based country with a military that is closely aligned to other western nations through bilateral and multilateral defence arrangements such as NORAD and NATO, Canada remains a prime target of foreign intelligence service collection efforts.

The CFNCIU works closely with other federal, provincial and municipal security and police agencies to identify, counter and ­mitigate hostile espionage activities against DND/CF interests and personnel. This includes a formal liaison program to exchange security threat information with its partners; a program that is aided by the unit’s designation as a federal “investigative body” pursuant to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The unit conducts investigations whenever there is reason to believe that a threat to defence security exists, such as when highly classified information may have been compromised or in response to an attempt to ­penetrate CF/DND security measures. Such investigations are ­subject to rigorous oversight to ensure the techniques used are legal and proportional to the suspected threat. Since the unit has no law enforcement mandate, any criminal activity uncovered during a CFNCIU security investigation is shared with the appropriate police force of jurisdiction for follow-up in relation to evidence gathering and charges. CFNCIU investigations remain focused on determining if, and to what extent, a security threat is directed toward defence interests.

The unit also actively seeks to detect and counter the threat from foreign intelligence services, organizations or individuals who may be planning or engaged in sabotage, subversion or terrorist activities. In addition to its investigative activities, the unit provides specialized advice and counter-intelligence support to local military commanders and DND managers to help them carry out their Force Protection (FP) and Operational Security (OPSEC) responsibilities. For example, the CFNCIU provides supported commanders with task-tailored security vulnerability assessments to assist them in developing robust FP and OPSEC programs. Similarly, the unit ­collects information in support of security threat assessments which are used by commanders to plan and adjust their security posture.

The Canadian Forces National Counter-Intelligence Unit provides a critical capability in helping to safeguard the security of Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces personnel, material and information. Through their daily efforts in countering foreign interference and detecting threats that may endanger the defence community, unit members are very proud of the important role they play in protecting the organization and people entrusted with the defence of Canada.

A 26 veteran of the Canadian Forces Military Police Branch, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul M. Thobo-Carlsen assumed command of the CFNCIU in July 2010. He experience includes command of three different air base Security and Military Police units and a UN Military Police unit. He has worked at National Defence Headquarters and the Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security, and served on exchange duties with the United States Air Force. He previously served in the counter-intelligence field with the Canadian Forces Special Investigation Unit (SIU), the predecessor of the CFNCIU.
© FrontLine Security 2011



700 MHz Broadband for Mission Critical Data
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

A recent workshop on Canadian Public Safety Interoperability held true to its theme “From Results to Success” with numerous speakers explaining to the over 300 ­delegates how their interoperability efforts are now bearing fruit. However, one major issue that remains to be resolved is that of 700 MHz Broadband for Mission Critical Data. The entire country awaits Industry Canada’s decision on what to do with this “beachfront property.”

The annual workshop is hosted by CITIG, the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group. Its founding members include the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and the Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada, along with the Canadian Police Research Centre.

A major focus of the workshop was to explain the 700 MHz issue. A wide range of speakers, from Minister of Public Safety Canada Vic Toews, to Deputy Chief Charles Dowd from NYPD, clearly articulated just why the proper allocation of this spectrum is a “once in a lifetime opportunity for public safety practitioners in Canada and along the border.”

The reason, as they explained, is that if Industry Canada agrees to “set aside” this spectrum for public safety, it will mean that emergency responders – supported by all three Chief’s Associations, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, all Provinces & Territories and most Federal government departments engaged in public safety – will have the same 20 MHz of broadband spectrum available from coast to coast to coast and along its Southern border.

In almost every major incident in recent history, when first responders attempted to use mobile devices, those systems were blocked due to congestion. This is because everyone – from the teenager uploading videos to YouTube, to the lifesaving responder trying to share information with the police or hospital – is using the SAME spectrum.

One incredibly supportive partner to public safety during this effort has been CATA, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance. CATA attended all five of the CITIG National Workshops, provided key support and expertise, and made this ­particular issue a priority for its members.

This issue is so important to Canada that the senior officials responsible for Emergency Management joined with the Tri-Service Chiefs Associations and CITIG to include a specific Action Plan on 700 MHz in the Communications Interoperability Strategy for Canada (CISC). This Strategy, formally adopted by all Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments in January 2011, is designed to be the roadmap for public safety interoperability In Canada.

Readers may find more information about 700 MHz at Action700.ca, a website created by the Chiefs’ Associations and CITIG. It provides briefing notes, sample presentations and general information about this critical issue. Interested parties should also mark their calendars for the next Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop, where CITIG will again focus on this, and other critical interoperability issues. It is scheduled for December 2012 in Toronto. Details will soon be on the CITIG website at www.citig.ca.

A massive amount of work is going on behind the scenes to prepare for the Industry Canada decision (for which no release date has yet been set). If this ­spectrum is set aside for public safety, issues around governance, business models, standards and a wide range of related issues will need to be resolved as quickly as possible. Let’s do it right.  

© FrontLine Security 2011



James Arden Barnett
Broadband Shoulders
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

An interview with Rear Admiral (Ret) James Arden Barnett, Chief, Federal Communications Commission,U.S. Bureau of Public Safety and Homeland Security,discussing the 700MHz bandwidth situation in the USA.

For first responders in North America, the capacity for full situational awareness for all public safety practitioners is indeed the holy grail. Technology holds the promise of bringing such total interoperative capability to police, fire, ambulance and other public safety responders.

The planning, development and governance of a nationwide mobile broadband network in the 700 MHz spectrum for ­public safety is being considered by regulators in both USA and Canada. In the U.S., coordination of the technical requirements to accommodate the needs of first and ­second responders within this communications spectrum has been the responsibility of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, led by James Arden Barnett, Jr., a retired Rear-Admiral of the U.S. Navy. Admiral Barnett had just finished a round of consultations with his Interoperability Forum of experts from government, industry, and responders in Washington before speaking with FrontLine about his views on the development of a nationwide inter­operable public safety mobile broadband network. Kevin Wennekes, Research VP at Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, also took part in the discussion.

Admiral Barnett described his mandate over the 700 MHz spectrum in the following way: “Our purpose is to have a network that will put all of the information that the police, fire, and emergency medical worker needs, in their hands when they need it. That’s what broadband really offers. The FCC did an analysis and found the current allocation of 10 MHz, that has been allocated to public safety from Congress already, is sufficient for the use of the responders today.” The real question, which Congress will have to consider, is the expense. “In essence, if you get a network of 70 million commercial users in the D block portion, that would support the economies of scale that would benefit the public safety side. For devices alone, [prices of] commercially manufactured devices would come down, from what is currently $5,000 per device, to something like $500 per device.”

The allocation of spectrum is now before the U.S. Congress, and Industry Canada is making recommendations for the allocations in Canada. For the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, the “key focus is to ensure that the network is both nationwide and interoperable. An Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC) was established in the spring of 2010 “to set out the technical framework to ensure interoperability from day one. In furtherance of that, we established a Technical Advisory Committee of public safety users. Using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology as a technical baseline is a first step in interoperability. We are actively soliciting more input into interoperability and on a Notice of Proposed Rule Change that was issued on January 25th.”

The FCC envisions a partnership with the commercial sector – with incentives to keep prices down. Part of the Bureau’s plan includes ensuring that public safety has a dedicated network so the general public cannot unintentionally disrupt or impede critical communications.

Economic Realities
"If we can catch the 4 G build out, we can in essence have the public safety agencies choose whatever carrier they would like to help with their network, then we can really bring these prices down."

The numbers are high. “It will take about $6.5 Billion to build out the network across the nation to make sure that you [can reach] the most rural areas. We would like to see 99% population coverage and that goes into some pretty rural areas. We also think some $8 to $10 Billion needs to go to the public safety agencies to help them operate. We know that LTE is not going to accommodate voice communications – especially mission critical voice communications – for several years. These public safety agencies will need to operate a separate, narrow band voice system as they bring the broadband system into being.”

The business model that will best prepare the public safety network for user capability and cost effectiveness is one that combines user features plus network owner financial incentives. “An additional 10 MHz (the D Block), will change the financial equation,” Admiral Barnett reiterates.

The Human Factor
Returning to the FCC mandate, interoperability is a key goal for the new public safety network. However, as Admiral ­Barnett says; “interoperability is not a ­naturally occurring state. We have made it our top priority.” Making sure it is both nationwide and interoperable is critical. “What we need to do at the FCC,” he says, “is continue to build the technical framework and make sure we [advance] the ­standards so they can support voice.”

The overall issue of interoperability is a complex one that involves many moving components. Much of it involves human interactions that do not impact the FCC. “Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are something that the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice must deal with,” says the Admiral. “The baseline for us is the technical framework for the communications network and that is going to be our highest priority for the foreseeable future.”

Cross jurisdiction and multi-level cooperation is a big part of any equation for success. “We see a need for the FCC, DHS and DOJ to work together now, and that in fact is what’s happening. We coordinate very closely with them to see that it is a team effort. We are also in constant communication with the public safety community to make sure that we understand the requirements. We don’t always agree but, in this network proposal, we have seen [overall] agreement on what’s required. Quite frankly, last year people were telling me I was crazy to propose something that would cost billions of dollars with this kind of economy. This year, because of the strength of the data behind our proposal, Congress is considering several bills […] for the network. There is a real chance for this network to become a reality.”

Admiral Barnett is committed to making sure that people understand the needs of frontline responders as the key to designing the user parts of the network. He stresses that the role of the FCC is to make sure that the network gets established, the features can then be incorporated into it. From the outset, all the players must have the same vision in mind. For the FCC PS/HS Bureau, that means “knowing that First responders have access to critical data during an emergency, which is key to ensuring that we save lives. The interoperability piece cannot be overemphasized.”

Admiral Barnett looks at the vision through the eyes of a firefighter. “Imagine a fire alarm goes out and a firefighter is on the way to a high rise building. On the way he downloads the blueprints which can immediately show where the entry points are, where the hazardous materials are located, so they can rescue people and stay safe – that real-time capability is so important.”

Cross Border Solutions
Interoperability and cooperation needs to progress across the country and across national borders as well. Admiral Barnett comments on the presence of Canadian officials and experts at many of the major public safety meetings held in the USA. Key issues are similar on both sides of the border. Barnett agrees. “In terms of interoperability across borders, I am sure there will be opportunities for us to continue to work together. I know that Canada is looking at frequency issues as well, and we are looking forward to more dialogue. I am sure there are important synergies to be gained by our two countries working together.”

As to the overall sustaining business model for the nationwide public safety broadband network, Admiral Barnett believes, “a lot is yet to be decided, but we see that this spectrum will be held by a private organization that serves public safety interests to ensure that the network is built out. There may be some advantages to national RFPs, as there may be some efficiencies that can be achieved there, but there will still be an interplay with the state and local users.”

Useful input was gleaned from the recent Interoperability Forum. Yet questions remain, and the answers will bring network requirements into focus. What components are critical to an effective nationwide architecture? What are the specific performance requirements? Will they meet enough of the public safety needs? All these and other inputs can be addressed in the RFPs, planning and governance of the network.

“In terms of procurement and international procurement specifically,” says Chief Barnett, “we always look for innovative solutions wherever we can find them, especially those coming from our friends to the north. The FCC doesn’t get into the procurement process, but we do like to spur innovation. We believe that several billion dollars, to actually get the network and technology out there, will cause an explosion of innovation like what happened around smart phones and applications that have come to the populace generally. I predict this phenomenon will also be repeated around public safety.”

Ed Myers is the Editor of FrontLine Security.
© FrontLine Security 2011



CJIS Group: Linking industry to Funding
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

When it comes to providing the public safety system with all the resources it needs to protect the public and provide a secure and resilient community, all hands must be on deck to help. For all levels of government, this means creating policy that balances risk and public cost. For industries that have capabilities relating to public safety, this means being able to provide solutions that balance profitability and competitiveness. Somewhere, a bridge must span government requirements to access state-of-the-art solutions that include know-how and technology.

Fourteen years ago, a Florida-based law enforcement professional saw the need to connect the two worlds of requirement and integrated solutions. P.J. Doyle had more than 27 years of practical experience in criminal justice information and in various law enforcement fields. Starting his career as a highway patrol officer, he moved through undercover work and on to management where he headed an organized crime bureau. At the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Doyle created the third largest criminal justice information system in the nation. Gaining proficiency at the bits and bytes did not distract him from staying plugged into the major national law enforcement groups for he remains active in all these groups today – 17 years after his “retirement” from active duty.

His expertise with technology and his previous public safety involvement has allowed Doyle to create a unique and valuable national service that links public safety and criminal justice requirements with industry solutions. He established the CJIS Group, a company that succeeds in linking industry solutions suppliers with State and Local (S&L) public safety and criminal justice agencies. “We went where nobody had gone before,” says Doyle. “We established the link between distributed S&L needs and the capabilities that industry providers could uniquely supply.”

The CJIS Group tackles this challenging mission head on with a service called CJIS Premier. With this program, research is gathered by speaking directly with key decision makers from Justice and Public Safety agencies including Courts, Corrections, Fire, Emergency Management, Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Health and Human Services. CJIS Premier provides the most detailed, comprehensive Information Technology research available within this arena; and again, it’s done at the all important S&L levels as well as the federal level. The program currently contains over 14,000 reports, including over 1,800 Pre-RFP opportunities; 2,300 Agency profiles, and over 3,000 Awarded Reports.

Another service, CJIS Lite, provides research results from over 80,000 pages of government, mayoral, procurement and newspaper sites on a 24-hour basis. Leads are then filtered by the research team and e-mailed to clients based on specific needs and interests. CJIS Lite currently contains over 6,000 lead opportunities.

Overall, CJIS has managed to provide services to public safety agencies as well as its industry clients. For the S&L agencies nation-wide, the CJIS Group monitors federal grant programs that can be used by state public safety government agencies for planning, procurement and implementation of systems and technologies. The S&L agency maps its needs to available federal grant money through webinars and newsletters. CJIS Group fulfills a critical need by linking local agency requirements to federal financial support.

© FrontLine Security 2011



Why do People Reveal Secrets?
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

First, it assumes that the person holding a secret voluntarily wants to reveal it. While this happens very often, it ignores cases where secrets are revealed involuntarily. The latter can be of particular concern to the business community, where ­personnel are not always trained in the best practices of confidentiality. Second, that explanation has limited value as a vulnerability assessment tool. “MICE” offers some specific and useful indicators to watch for, but by focusing on a few of them, it misses other factors and most importantly the bigger picture. Thus, to understand why people reveal secrets, it is necessary to first look at general cognitive and decision-making processes, and then at how specific factors fit in that picture.

To understand the problem of disclosure of secrets in a way that makes it easier to identify vulnerabilities of personnel holding ­sensitive information, we can divide wrongful disclosures into three categories: involuntary, purely voluntary and “cost-benefit” voluntary. This model will help organizations develop indicators and solutions that will make them more efficient against industrial and economic espionage.

Involuntary disclosures
Wrongful disclosures are involuntary when an employee does not measure the consequences of revealing a certain piece of information to someone else, or when the employee has not been made aware of the value of the information he knows. Organizations can easily reduce this vulnerability.

Careless employees are a weak link. Competitors can track employees who discuss work-related matters in public settings to gather valuable information. Employees speaking freely may not know that others are listening. A spy may build a rapport with his target to facilitate information gathering. A target may be invited to a conference, which may seem like a “safe” environment, yet can represent excellent opportunities for a spy. Networking at such events may make the employee overly trust that his counter-part only has positive intentions when making conversation. Another example of a careless employee is one who may leave valuable data on social media about their work or themselves. When used effectively, ­personal data eventually becomes the source of phishing attacks against other employees.

The second type of involuntary disclosure can occur when employees do not know that the information they hold is sensitive. When told that they revealed a secret to a competitor, they reply that they thought it belonged to the public domain. A related scenario would be for an employee to divulge a piece of information that seems benign in and of itself, without knowing that this is the missing part of a larger puzzle for the competitor.

Indicators to monitor in order to limit the risk of involuntary ­disclosures are straightforward, and solutions relatively easy to implement. Examples of indicators include:

  • Do employees know what information is sensitive and why?
  • Do employees know what work-related matters must not be ­discussed outside of the workplace and why?
  • Does the organization have a culture of awareness and ­common sense?

As long as an organization establishes and maintains proper awareness, the risk of involuntary disclosures will decrease significantly.

Pure voluntary disclosures
Pure voluntary disclosures happen when an employee knowingly gives a competitor valuable information for free and often without calculating the consequences of doing so. Those who hold grudges and those who are at odds with the organization’s values represent a higher risk to the organization.

There is a multitude of reasons why employees become ­disgruntled (fired from job, poor work environment, not getting due credit and respect for work done, the list is endless), but they all share one thing in common: revenge. Revealing secrets is one sure way “to get even.” Competitors who are aware of disgruntled employees may attempt to exploit their perception of unfairness by offering them a chance to meet this goal.

Strong ideological values and beliefs can also drive someone to share secrets with competitors if the latter are perceived as defending the “right” or “just” cause.

The common theme motivating ­individuals in this situation is a feeling of injustice. For example, left-wing radicals working in firms that thrive in a free market are more likely to leak sensitive information if it advances their cause. There is an irreconcilable difference between the employee’s mind set and the organization’s mission statement and values. Employees with grievances about the way an organization conducts its business also represent a higher risk. If the employee believes there has been a breach of trust that upsets his or her core values, he/she may feel compelled to tell others about it to relieve themselves of the mental load.

Indicators of this are moderately difficult to monitor because employees will often hold back on their true feelings. Examples of indicators include:

  • Was the employee leaving the organization dealt with in a respectful manner? Did the employee have access to sensitive information? If so, has the access been removed immediately?
  • Are employees resentful of the work environment?
  • Does the organization encourage loyalty?
  • Are the employee’s beliefs in accordance with the ­organization’s mission statement and values?

Dealing effectively with grudges will depend on the relationship managers have with their employees. One solution is to assess an employee’s set of values through background checks and regular security reviews.

“Cost-benefit” voluntary disclosures
The last category represents the toughest challenge to any organization. These disclosures are often difficult to detect and prevent because often they will be planned and covert. The employee knows not to reveal secrets, but weighs the gains of doing so against the risks and consequences of detection. “Cost-benefit” voluntary disclosures can result from external or internal pressures.

External pressure also refers to coercion in “MICE” and is frequently characterized by a “lose-lose” situation. For example, the competitor may blackmail his target with embarrassing revelations (extra-marital affair, secret homosexuality, gambling problems…), threaten his security or the security of friends and family, or capture him with the intent of extracting sensitive information by force. The only gain achieved by the target when giving in is the cessation of negative consequences.

Internal pressure is associated with positive gains by the person revealing a secret. These gains can be material or social. First, ­material gains include secrets exchanged for things such as money, sex or gifts. Potential material gains will pressure the ­target into thinking how his personal life could benefit from these gains. The target will be vulnerable to revealing secrets if he places high value in material gains, places low value in ­loyalty, and believes the ramifications of detection are low.

Second, increased social status and improved bonding experience enhance perceived social gains. A target may share secrets to impress and seduce a potential partner, not realizing that ­person was sent to exploit that vulnerability. The target may also be asked to prove his worth in order to belong to group by sharing what he knows. With improved bonding, the competitor can exploit close relationships of his target. The target may let his guard down and disclose information to a friend or a partner with no need to know, or after an intense personal moment such as sex.

Indicators here are difficult to monitor because they entail ­having a good knowledge of an employee’s personality and personal life. Background checks and periodic security reviews are ­important, but this does not imply that intrusive investigations are always needed. Rather, good managers can build rapport with employees and achieve the same result in a more efficient, trustful manner. Examples of indicators include:

  • Is the employee’s life in order?
  • Is the employee trained in protecting himself and in ­maintaining situational awareness of his surroundings?
  • Is the employee’s personality likely to make him vulnerable to material or social gains? If so, how?

Organizations must develop a case-by-case plan to mitigate risks from these types of disclosures. However, as a baseline, organizations should strongly consider developing a trustful ­system for employees to come forward when pressured by competitors, building contingency plans against external ­pressures, and developing risk profiles.

Karl Payeur is an intelligence analyst at The Northgate Group and an M.A. candidate at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Maritime Air: Guardians of the Coast
Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

Canada takes a risk-based management approach to ship-source pollution response, and seeks to prevent marine pollution ­incidents. This prevention and response ­capability to deal with marine pollution incidents arising from ships is buttressed by the National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP). Administered by the Canadian Coast Guard from its inception in 1991 until 2003 when Transport Canada took on the responsibility, the NASP is an integral element of Canada’s ocean management.

Bombardier Dash 8 is utilized for surveillance by Transport Canada.

The use of space-based and air assets are a central capability of a little-known element of Canada’s ocean management regime – the concept of Maritime Air. This concept seeks to include all the ocean management functions provided by air assets. Maritime Air provides government departments tasked with an ocean management responsibility, with a flexible and rapid response sensor platform (depending on the particular ocean management function required). The concept of Maritime Air was first used in the defence context as an important element of anti-submarine warfare during the Cold War.

Today, the concept of Maritime Air embraces surveillance, law enforcement, marine domain awareness, fisheries and antipollution and scientific patrols – it is a critical element of marine security and at the forefront of technology and data fusion. Combining the powerful ocean management tool of Maritime Air capabilities with space based assets is clearly the only way to provide cost effective service delivery throughout Canada’s massive ocean space. The key is data fusion and real-time downloading of data collected from the sensors. The NASP delivered by Transport Canada is an important pillar of Maritime Air.

Prevention of ship source marine ­pollution in west coast waters will be the subject of heightened media and public scrutiny, especially in light of the recently commenced National Energy Board hearings that will review, over the next 18 months, the Northern Gateway pipeline project that will transport Alberta oil sands bitumen to tidewater at Kitimat, British Columbia and then on to Indo-Pacific ­markets by large tankers transitting the Pacific Ocean. While a review of tanker traffic is outside the National Energy Board mandate, such movement is an integral part of this proposed massive infrastructure project. Prevention of ship-source pollution has many elements but we will focus here on Canada’s pioneering detection of marine pollution in ocean space.

In 1990, a public review panel, chaired by David Brander-Smith (a well respected Vancouver admiralty lawyer and Queen’s Counsel) examined all aspects of pollution in Canadian waters. The resulting report on Tanker Safety and Spills Response Capability – commonly referred to as the Brander Smith Report – made 107 recommendations, 51 of which focused on specific local regional concerns raised during the public hearing processes. Recommendation number 3-12 made specific reference to the need for aerial detection and pollution prevention:

“In order to deter polluters, the Canadian Coast Guard [should] carry out a continuous, coordinated and intensive aerial surveillance program over all Canadian waters. This will require deployment of three dedicated surveillance aircraft (East Coast, West Coast, Great Lakes – St. Lawrence) equipped with the latest spill-detection and evidence-gathering technology.”

The conclusion of the report noted that:

“[If] accepted and implemented, Canada will be able to solve its ship-source oil and chemical pollution problem in a ­relatively short time at a comparatively insignificant cost to industry ­gov­ern­ment and the public. With leadership and commitment from both government and industry, the frequency of marine spills can be greatly reduced and Canada’s capacity to respond effectively to them considerably enhanced.”

June 2010 (Orange Beach, Alabama)  Oil spill clean-up efforts could be seen from the shores of Perdido Pass as oil began to wash ashore.

Over 20 years has passed since the ­prevention recommendation was made, and Canada is at the forefront of a marine ­surveillance program that uses fixed wing aircraft and space-based assets that focus on prevention and detection of ship source ­pollution. In fiscal year 2005, a record number of pollution patrol hours (1,548) were flown, detecting 78 pollution incidents. As a measure of success, the number of marine pollution ­incidents in Canada has decreased, and the success of Transport Canada’s NASP, which partners with other federal government departments, is arguably the envy of the world. Let us examine this highly effective marine pollution and detection program that operates along the world’s longest coastline.

NASP Today
Transport Canada uses two dedicated Dash 8s and a Dash 7 aircraft for surveillance of vessels within waters under Canadian jurisdiction, to enforce pollution prevention regulations. These assets are strategically based in Moncton, New Brunswick and in Vancouver, British Columbia.

During maritime pollution patrols, the crew normally consists of two pilots, an equipment operator, an observer, and for overnight trips or other extended deployments, a flight engineer. The Moncton-based Dash 8 is used to conduct pollution surveillance, ice reconnaissance and maritime security surveillance in the Atlantic, Québec and Ontario Regions. The Vancouver-based Dash 8 is used for similar purposes in the Pacific Region, with the exception of ice reconnaissance due to the nature of the climate.

TC’s Dash 7 is based out of Ottawa, Ontario, and is used primarily for ice reconnaissance, pollution and maritime surveillance patrols in the Arctic. The aircraft also serves as a contingency aircraft when maintenance is being performed on either of the Dash 8s. It is specifically fitted with an all-round view dome in its fuselage for visual observations. It has undergone an avionics update and is fitted with the MSS6000 suite of sensors. Since 2004, each of the TC surveillance aircraft have also been modified to include a suite of remote sensors specifically designed for oil pollution detection. These sensors allow the surveillance aircraft – operating at sea on a 24 hour basis under demanding weather conditions – to track and identify polluting vessels. The aircraft work in concert with RADARSAT, a ­satellite imagery system that uses synthetic ­aperture radar developed by British Columbia-based MDA to detect oil on the ocean surface from space.

The key to the NASP system is integration of the various forms of data that allow high-technology aircraft and satellite systems to detect and prosecute marine pollution. NASP is designed to detect and document ship-related pollution in Canadian waters. Facts and information collected in real time by the system can be used in court as credible evidence for regulatory offences. Additionally, the data collected in real time can be forwarded to ground data centers. Canada is at the forefront of the integration of these sensor and data systems, and the evidence stands up to court scrutiny, allowing for successful prosecutions.

Credible Sensor Data
Sensors that make up Maritime Pollution Surveillance System Components include:

  • Side looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) is an all-weather radar that detects anomalies on the ocean surface in lowlight or cloudy conditions.
  • Ultraviolet infrared line scanner (UVIR) is used to analyze an oil slick; it can help prevent false positives.
  • Electro-optical infrared camera system (EOIR) is a camera that identifies vessels at long distances and low cloudy conditions; can be used in prosecutions.
  • Automatic identification system (AIS) transponder receiver – this radio system records a vessel’s particular identity and voyage information. The AIS is critical for accurate vessel identification.
  • A data uplink system – an air-to-ground communications system that maintains a real-time data stream.
  • Geocoded digital camera system – these video cameras can be used to document pollution incidents and confirm vessel identity and location.

The strength of such an integrated surveillance and sensor system allows Transport Canada to increase its 24/7 all-weather surveillance capability to cover broad sections of Canada waters. Vessels cannot hide when patrols do not follow a regular pattern.

Transport Canada works closely with Environment Canada through a memorandum of understanding in the surveillance of marine activities such as pollution, ice reconnaissance and marine security. Federal government departments believe that partnering and multitasking for the aircraft is a cost-effective way to deliver program services. This has led to the creation of the Marine Aerial Reconnaissance Team (MART) that integrates these different ­elements and expertise. The NASP provides an economical and operational advantage for Transport Canada and Environment Canada by providing timely and accurate information for their operations. It is important to note that this surveillance data can be used by other federal departments that have related mandates such as law enforcement or marine security. The goal is to make each aerial hour as productive possible in providing useful data. Private sector contractors, such as Newfoundland’s Prov­incial Aerospace Limited (PAL), which have been providing air services to the government of Canada, assist this federal requirement for ocean management.

This Dash 7, flown by a Transport Canada aircrew, is conducting aerial surveillance of shipping threats.

The use of aerial sensors can be very useful for the detection of pollution and its subsequent response and recovery, however, for any real preventative effect to be realized, such a mission must be enthusistically promoted to gain high visibility.

Most Canadians do not know that the Moncton-based Transport Canada Dash 8 aircraft was used in the Gulf of Mexico during the Deep Horizon oil spill in 2010. The aircraft provided situational awareness by monitoring the oil spill movement in the Gulf of Mexico. Transport Canada aircrews quickly responded to the first request in April 2010 and continued operations for four months. This “Made in Canada” solution has proved itself on the world stage and is a tribute to Canadian firms that developed some of the sensors and integration packages, as well as to the operational readiness of Transport Canada aircrews. Let us hope that this expertise is never needed in Canadian waters to respond to a major spill.

Supplementing accurate aerial sensor data is another valuable capability. Space-based assets such as RADARSAT combine with aerial data to provide the most accurate and comprehensive information package. The sensors on space assets cover very large areas quickly and cost-effectively and are not weather dependent. Satellite imagery is provided by Environment Canada’s Integrated Satellite Tracking Pollution Program (I-STOP). This essentially provides an early warning system to search for anomalies which may signify oil-like substances on the ocean surface. This allows aircraft to be tasked to locations of potential pollution incidents, to identify anomalies and a possible source, and to gather evidence for prosecution. The “mark one eyeball” of a member of the MART team is also a valuable asset.

Overall, this integration of data provides a cost effective aerial response and that, coupled with the MART’s expertise and vessel intelligence, combines to ensure that this element of maritime air deters and discourages illegal discharges of pollutants at sea and thus protects the marine environment. The system is truly world-class. Other countries with extensive ocean coastlines have examined alternatives. Australia, for example, uses outside contractors in their surveillance program and recently awarded Cobham a contract for marine air surveillance functions through to 2020.

Formerly known as “Coastwatch” under the Customs Service, the mandate is now part of Australia’s Border Protection Command, a joint civil/military organization responsible for civil maritime security, however, the Dash 8 craft are still called “Coastwatch” aircraft. This fleet of specialized fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft perform sensor and visual surveillance of Australia’s coastline and offshore maritime areas.

Ice Patrols
The Canadian Ice Service of Environment Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard are important partners for the safety of shipping in northern waters. Canada has a long history of working with the United States to defend the safety and security of North America. NORAD, the bilateral aerospace defence organization is over 50 years old and has been recently expanding into the maritime domain. The International Ice Patrol, set up in 1913 and led by the United States Coast Guard, is another element of international maritime air. The founding of the International Ice Patrol is an important element of the first International Convention of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS). Through it, the United States Government agreed to continue the overall management of the ice patrol service and the study and observation of ice conditions, including the dissemination of critical information.

Established after the 1912 Titanic tragedy, the International Ice Patrol has 17 member nations, including Canada, and today relies heavily on aircraft and satellite surveillance to track icebergs as they drift via the Labrador Current into North Atlantic shipping lanes off Newfoundland. The Ice Patrol has maintained an enviable safety record, with no reported loss of life or property due to collision with an iceberg outside the established Limits of All Known Ice in the vicinity of the Grand Banks. In fact, the creation of the International Ice Patrol was one factor leading to the creation of the USCG.  

The IIP relies heavily on USCG aircraft to track and identify icebergs, with the patrol running from March to, in some record years, September. After the second World War, the IIP shifted from surface ships to aircraft for ice reconnaissance. The USCG uses C-130H aircraft using Forward Looking Airborne Radar (FLAR) and Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR). These aircraft, based in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, fly out of St. John’s Newfoundland while engaged in IIP duties. Combining these two radar systems, SLAR for detection and FLAR for identification, provides an all-weather capability to detect and classify icebergs. There is a movement to also use space-based assets to provide an accurate picture of iceberg risk for commercial shipping.

Bilateral Cooperation
Canada and the United States have also had a long history of working together on Maritime Air in a non-defence context. The use of Transport Canada aircraft in Gulf of Mexico should not come as any surprise. Given successful bilateral cooperation we have seen on the Great Lakes with the Shiprider program (where joint Canadian and American law enforcement teams embark together on government vessels), the future will likely advance additional cooperative initiatives in the maritime air context. There is a solid foundation and longstanding neighbour relationship between these two countries, with a shared goal of safety and security derived from ocean management.

A 2007 statement from then Minister of Transport, Lawrence Cannon, summarizes the efforts of the NASP:

“We want to send a strong message to would-be polluters around the world that we will do whatever is necessary to protect the health of a marine environment. We are a world leader in using specialized technology to determining polluters and we are confident that our new equipment will act as a powerful deterrent to potential polluters with increased ability to track them.”

Domain Awareness
It is clear that, 20 years after the Brander Smith report recommendations, Transport Canada has developed a world-class watchful eye over waterways in its area of responsibility through the auspices of the NASP.

Aerial surveillance is widely considered the most effective method for detection of oil spills. The presence of these aircraft on a year-round all-weather basis is a serious deterrent discouraging illegal discharges of pollution at sea. Additionally, these air assets can be readily used in the event of a pollution incident. Marine information in real-time, and an understanding of Canada’s marine domain awareness is critically important for making proper ocean management decisions. Accurate maritime domain awareness will become increasingly important in the coming years as marine commerce increases in volume and complexity. Canada remains at the forefront of the Maritime Air concept, and Transport Canada’s NSAP is an integral cost-effective element of ocean stewardship. It is and will become an increasingly important pillar of Canada’s risk management approach to ship-source pollution in the coming years on the west coast. We will need more ­Maritime Air surveillance – early and often.

Looking Ahead
From a risk management standpoint, detecting pollution incidents offshore, far from land, buys time to mobilize a proper oil pollution response and salvage capability in a timely fashion and may prevent minor incidents from becoming major.

This will weigh heavily, I expect, in ­discussions and risk analyses of the Northern Gateway project and the growth in tanker traffic on the west coast of Canada. Canada is at the forefront when it comes to aerial surveillance, and the NASP is an integral part of ocean management and the stewardship of marine resources.

Joe Spears, the Principal of the Horseshoe Bay Marine Group, has worked with the Coast Guard in marine pollution response.
© FrontLine Security 2011



700 MHz for Mission Critical Data
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

While the phrase “a once in a lifetime opportunity” often makes us think of a marketing scam or timeshare pressure sales, in this case it is very true. Emergency responders have a once in a lifetime opportunity to obtain 700 MHz broadband spectrum from Industry Canada. This will allow responders the needed spectrum to transfer mission critical data to and from scenes. Once this spectrum is gone it will be gone forever.

Partnerships in the field of emergency response and management are critical – and never more than in today’s challenging ­economic times. With that in mind, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), the Canadian Fire Chiefs Association (CFCA) and the Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada (EMSCC) are leading the charge for a nation-wide public safety broadband system for mission critical data.

With advances in technology, responder agencies will have an increasing need to access data and video networks during all emergency incidents.

Law enforcement agencies will need access to streaming video, surveillance networks capable of identifying known terrorists through the use of video analytics, criminal records, automated license plate recognition and biometric technologies – including mobile fingerprint and iris identification – to prevent and respond to criminal activities.

In order to save more lives, fire services will need access to building blueprints, in-building 3D, personal health-monitoring sensors, and GPS tracking systems, to name a few of the key requirements.

Emergency medical services will need access to tele-medicine, high-resolution video and ultrasound, and patient records to reduce the time it takes to deliver medical services at the scene of an incident such as a car crash on a highway.

In addition to profession-specific technologies, these agencies will require information sharing capabilities in real-time for all unified responses.

And we must not forget that critical infrastructure service providers will need to be able to coordinate their responses to restore power and telecommunications services during large-scale incidents. Governments at all levels in Canada and the U.S. need access to situational awareness information, including from wireless sensors (i.e. flood data) during large-scale incidents to coordinate mitigation, response and recovery efforts. Obviously, the key here, as always, is the planning phase that we are just commencing now.

All of these applications and services depend greatly on the amount of spectrum that is available – the fact is, they require considerable bandwidth and speed that is currently not available. For the safety and security of our citizens, future networks must be built with public safety requirements in mind.

Tri-Services Committee
During a Public Safety Interoperability Workshop in December 2010, the presidents of Canada’s three major chiefs ­associations announced the creation of the Tri-Services Special Purpose Committee on 700 MHz Broadband for Mission Critical Public Safety Data. The creation of the committee is in direct response to Industry Canada’s recent announcement of public consultations on the use of the 700 MHz band by commercial mobile services.

Three representatives have been appointed to the committee. I am representing the EMSCC and am privileged to be working alongside two very experienced colleagues from partner agencies and associations, Superintendent Bill Moore, of the Halifax Regional Police and the CACP, and Division Chief Mike Sullivan, of the Ottawa Fire Service, and representing the CAFC. Together, the three of us have set in motion a mechanism to monitor and advise on the issue, inform stakeholders and identify responder spectrum needs and potential opportunities.

The issue is that Canada’s radio spectrum regulator, Industry Canada, has opened consultations on the 700 MHz broadband allocations (the result of spectrum availability due to the transition from analog television to digital) that will ultimately affect public safety agencies’ ability to deploy mission critical data well into the future. The chiefs’ associations developed a joint position on the issue and have been working with emergency management partners, including many provincial Emergency Management Office’s, to determine the exact needs and the optimal use of the, soon to be available, spectrum.

This is truly a “once in a lifetime” opportunity, not just in Canada but in the United States and beyond. Inaction poses significant risk as the upcoming allocation of spectrum will directly impact responder agencies’ and government’s ability to fulfill their most important mission over the coming decades. The current bandwidth is the waterfront property that everyone wants.

August 30, 2011 marks the transition from analog television to digital in Canada, freeing up spectrum for potential use by public safety. Emergency responder agencies are looking for 20 MHz to be allocated to broadband services (10 plus 10), 8 MHz of that 20 would come from the existing 24 MHz allocation to public safety. We are looking for a total of 36 Mhz; these figures include the 4 MHz of guardbands within the narrowband block that have limited usefulness. Many private and public agencies are also vying for the additional (and very valuable) spectrum, and Industry Canada (our nation’s spectrum regulator) opened consultations on the 700 MHz broadband allocations on November 30, 2010 (consultations closed February 28, 2011). We had a very limited time to submit our response to Industry Canada and we are continuing to convince government that the best place for this spectrum is in the hands of responders!

In order to complete our response the committee met with a number of stakeholders from across the country. After compiling all of our findings, we came up with these main themes in our response:

  • to encourage Industry Canada to assign the full 20 MHz for public safety use;
  • to coordinate the 700 MHz Canadian public broadband spectrum with the U.S.;
  • to ensure that governance of the 20 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum for public safety broadband use must reside with public safety stakeholders;
  • to explain that current commercial ­systems will not meet the mission critical requirements of our public safety community.

As the consultation response period closed there were 88 total responses to Industry Canada: 55 from companies and organizations (such as the Tri-Services, Telcos, CATA, Industry); 4 from Federal Government (ICSAR, Public Safety, RCMP and MP, Scott Simms); 23 from provincial and municipal governments (notables include CCEMO, SOREM, many provinces); and 6 from private individuals. Overall, the Tri-Services and public safety stakeholders were pleased to see that the majority of responses acknowledged the need to designate a portion of 700 MHz spectrum to be dedicated for public safety use.

Of the respondents: 44 advocated harmonizing with the U.S.; 26 called for 20 MHz of spectrum to be dedicated to public safety; 7 called for only 10 MHz of spectrum to be dedicated to public safety; 6 called for 10 MHz to be dedicated to public safety now, plus a possible additional 10 MHz after D Block assigned in the U.S.; 3 respondents called for 0 MHz dedicated to public safety; the remaining responses made no mention of public safety. Of note, one telecommunications company acknowledged the need to designate a portion of 700 MHz spectrum to be dedicated for public safety use.

In the U.S., a similar digital TV transition was accomplished on June 12, 2009. The U.S. spectrum regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has already dedicated 10 MHz to the Public Safety Spectrum Trust. Collectively, U.S. public safety agencies are now fighting for a second 10 MHz block in the critical band of 700 MHz spectrum, known as the D Block. The FCC recently announced that the D Block may be auctioned off for commercial purposes instead of being ­allocated to public safety (currently under consideration by U.S. Congress). This move has caused U.S. counterparts to mobilize quickly on what is arguably the most important issue U.S. law enforcement, fire and EMS officials have faced in decades. Canadian responders may be faced with the same challenge.

Today, Canadian public safety entities use existing commercial networks for their voice and data needs. Some 700 MHz narrow and wide band spectrum is already dedicated to public safety in Canada for voice and some low speed data use. However, securing dedicated spectrum for broadband applications for public safety will ensure wireless broadband networks (a system of systems across the country) can be built with the needs of public safety in mind moving forward.

To ensure public safety remains a top priority, police, fire, EMS, and other emergency professionals must have access to modern, reliable, and robust communications capabilities, including high speed data and video, to communicate with each other across agencies and jurisdictions during emergencies and also for  day-to-day operations. Responders cannot continue as a customer forced to wait for service when bad things happen. The emergency response community needs “own” and be in ­control over who has access to this spectrum and when. For instance, responders should not have to compete for bandwidth with the teenager who is sending live video to all of his friends of the very emergency responders are dealing with. Not surprisingly, there is a public expectation that when things go wrong, a responder can communicate within their agencies as well as with their partners in the community. Dedicated bandwidth will ensure this public expectation continues to be a reality.

The issue of spectrum and possible nationwide broadband network(s) is very complex and potentially expensive, and at this point Canadian responders have more questions than answers. What is known, is that dedicated public safety spectrum for the creation of interoperable wireless broadband networks for data and video transmissions is the 21st Century vision for communications system for Canada’s responders. Availability of such networks responds directly to the announcement on January 26th, 2011, by the Ministers responsible for Emergency Management, about the approval of the new Communications Interoperability Strategy and Action Plan for Canada. One of the top ­priorities outlined in this excellent, cooperatively built strategy is the dedicated 700 MHz broadband solution. Specifically, the Ministers’ communiqué stated:

“…the Ministers discussed the current consultation related to the 700 MHz broadband spectrum and securing a portion for the use of emergency responders for public safety and security purposes. Provincial and territorial ministers expressed support for this approach as it offers significant interoperability enhance­ment potential. The use of the 700 MHz spectrum would link public safety and security stakeholder communities across Canada and along the Canada-U.S. border, while promoting innovation and Canada’s digital economy.”

The allocation of 700MHz spectrum truly represents a once in a lifetime opportunity that ties directly to community and responder safety, innovation, not to mention the health of Canada’s digital economy.

Stakeholders and citizens are encouraged to get informed and put this issue on your ­organization’s and government’s radar; inform your boards, municipalities, provincial/territorial governments and other governing bodies that spectrum ­allocations will have a significant impact on public safety; and work with tri-services ­colleagues and others to advocate a strong voice for public safety in advance of ­spectrum allocations.  

Superintendent P.B. Rodier is the Officer in Charge of the British Columbia Ambulance Service, South Fraser District. He is also currently the EMSCC rep on the Tri-Service Committee for the 700MHz project.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Intelligence Sharing in Port Security
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

Since 9/11, marine port security has been the subject of increased scrutiny as it is clear that contraband flows – undetected and uninterrupted – through access and egress points of both Canada and the United States. Numerous reviews initiated by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Canadian Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence have clearly articulated that ports are a haven for criminal activity and organized crime, as well as targets for potential terrorist activity. Both these reviews demand an increase in the level of intelligence sharing among partner agencies focused on policing and security of marine port operations.

Marine ports are complex working environments. They include many commercial entities complemented by multiple regulatory and law enforcement agencies, each with a key role in the maintenance of legislative compliance and the overall provision of security services.

It is most evident that our marine ports are a vital component of both Canadian and United States economies. To understand the economic impact of our ports, one must ­recognize that shipping today represents more than 90% of world trade. One average size container ship represents approximately $30-$50 million of cargo. Currently, it is estimated that Canada’s Port Authorities handle more than 460 million tonnes of cargo annually – amounting to approximately $162 billion worth of goods. Not surprisingly, this impact is exponentially larger with the United States. For example, in 2006 it was estimated that the American marine cargo activity generated a total of $1,975.4 billion of total economic activity. These figures clearly demonstrate that North American marine ports are attractive transportation and supply nodes that, if not properly controlled, provides fertile ground for criminal and terrorist related activity that threatens our overall national security.

For many years, Canadian law enforcement has been aware of the threat posed by organized crime at marine ports. With the poignant disbanding of the Ports Canada Police in 1997, port enforcement responsibilities shifted entirely to local police agencies and private security companies. In 1998, Criminal Intelligence Service Canada (CISC) began reporting on the organized criminal threat at Canada’s marine ports and, in March 2000, established a National Working Group to coordinate information and intelligence sharing pertaining to organized crime in marine ports. This reporting continued until approximately 2005 when CISC changed its focus and commenced reporting on the various “criminal markets.” However, it is clear that Canada’s marine ports continue to provide an environment well suited to illicit activity. Though the events of 2001 heightened our security awareness, including additional concerns regarding our marine ports, they remain a major conduit into North America for illegal activity and continue to be our Achilles heel, from an enforcement and security perspective.

Within Canada, there have been numerous reviews and studies pertaining to the security of marine ports, in particular the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence, which has been very active and focused on this area of vital interest. In 2007 it released a follow-up report to its 2003 study. This latest report was entitled “Canadian Security Guide Book – An Update of Security Problems in Search of Solutions – Seaports.” The report updated the 2003 recommendations and some new ones. One of the main issues, made most clear in this report, is the multitude of agencies that are involved in the venue of marine port security. They include Public Safety Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency, Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, provincial and municipal police services as well as the Department of National Defence, not to mention the many private security agencies engaged to protect the assets of numerous commercial companies within the marine port environment. Although several actions have been taken to address marine port security, such as the development of Integrated Port Enforcement Teams (IPET) and Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOC), the timely collection and passage of security and police related information and intelligence continues to be a challenge. This is not expected to change anytime soon until leadership, coordination and accountability matters are more clearly defined. Today, for the most part, for proprietary concerns, agencies continue their stove pipe in orientation and one can appreciate this situation is further exacerbated and magnified for intelligence operations in support of marine port security in the United States.

A plethora of studies, inquiries, reviews and articles have highlighted the problems associated with the sharing of security and law enforcement intelligence. Even with tragic events such 9/11, and the subsequent report by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the “9/11 Commission Report”) police and intelligence agencies still struggle with the processes for the robust and timely sharing of information and intelligence. These issues of sharing are often tied to “inter-agency turf wars”, stove piping of information, lack of common standards and practices and regulatory barriers (such as the Access to Information, the Privacy, and the Freedom of Information Acts). The biggest challenges in developing technologies that support the sharing of information in a seamless manner, are the quagmire of bureaucracy and the lack of focussed leadership when advancing various intelligence related initiatives through the government procurement processes.

However, it is important to note that although there are many challenges and struggles there have been some clear successes; such as the IPETs and MSOCs mentioned earlier. Within several jurisdictions in the United States, efforts have been made to find innovative solutions in the development and sharing of intelligence related to marine ports. In the area of stakeholder coordination and collaboration initiatives, there have been activities under the Area Maritime Security Committees (AMSC). AMSCs serve as forums for local seaport stakeholders from federal agencies, state and local government, law enforcement, and private industries to gain a comprehensive perspective of security issues at the nation’s seaports. In addition to the Area Maritime Security Committees, several ports have created other methods by which they can share information and intelligence through protocols for detecting and monitoring port-related security risks and systems for increasing intelligence-sharing.

Some of these efforts are undertaken daily, such as daily security briefings held at the Port of Boston involving local, state, and federal law enforcement, as well as representatives of private industry, to discuss information that might be relevant to security at either the port or Logan airport. Another good example is the San Diego Harbour Police Homeland Security Unit which coordinates community outreach and public awareness campaigns to make port tenants, marina residents, hospitality workers and others more aware of terrorist activities and how to report them. One other progressive initiative is the Maritime Security Initiative (MSI) developed by the New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau. It addresses the changing trends in terrorism and other criminal activities, within maritime communities.

The Maritime Security Initiative recognizes the current trends while increasing port security and developing maritime intelligence. The MSI program encourages the development and sharing of intelligence and relies on the development of a combined intelligence database, and community outreach program, through the building of cooperative community and corporate partnerships. The various partners can now report suspicious activities directly to the New Jersey State Police using the internet.

There has been some advancement in Canada and the United States in particular as it pertains to the sharing of intelligence in support of marine port security operations, however, still much more must be addressed. As demonstrated by various ­initiatives in the United States, it is important for any marine port intelligence program to be “holistic” in nature and to include both government and private entities. Additionally, initiatives and objectives must be clearly defined and dedicated leadership accountable for achieving these goals and objectives as the situation dictates. This is essential for ensuring the protection and regulatory functioning of each of our Ports. Such direction and focus will erode and at some point eradicate illicit activity of organized crime, petty criminals and terrorists that continue to use our ports as a transportation backbone for their activities. In the absence of this coordination, ports will continue to be an environment rich in potential for many illicit activities. Though oft articulated, through numerous reviews and studies, it is time for our security and law enforcement agencies to overcome the often “self imposed” barriers and to begin sharing intelligence in a well planned strategic manner. Part of the answer will be to develop a “public-private partnership” to build a secure web-based information sharing platform that will allow the various entities involved in marine port security to contribute unclassified information in a timely manner. Only by actively engaging all partners in the collection and sharing of intelligence can proper security of our marine ports be realized. Marine Port security is vital to the economic viability of Canada and North America and, as such, it is crucial that proper intelligence sharing support this important function. It is time for Canada to develop a central organization, complete with legislative authority to establish its responsibility, to report to government annually on the security and law enforcement status of this country.  

W.H. (Bud) Garrick has more than 29 years of experience in the realm of police and security operations both domestically and internationally, including serving as the Deputy Director General for Criminal Intelligence Service Canada. He is currently active in security consulting as a key Principal of Presidia Security Consulting and an Associate with Lansdowne Technologies Incorporated.
© FrontLine Security 2011



ISACA: IT Resilience
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

The worlds of information technology and international commerce are ­inextricably intertwined. As private and public sector organizations reach out to the world – either in the same community or across the globe, they rely on their Information Technology environments to enable their business to succeed.

The ISACA Ottawa Valley Chapter (OVC) is one of 190 chapters around the world. It was founded in 1978 and its mission is to lead local knowledge, certifications, community, advocacy and education programs in the areas of information systems assurance and security, enterprise governance of Information Technology, and IT-related risk and compliance. “ISACA”, says Robert Venczel, the OVC President, “helps IT ­professionals and enterprise leaders fulfill their IT governance responsibilities while delivering value to the business. We also provide our members with access to contacts and career opportunities within the community.”

In terms of current security threats, Venczel thinks that ISACA has a key role when it comes to implementing important controls to prevent and detect cyber attacks. “The things you need to look for,” says Venczel, are “the boring things like security policy development; security architecture design and integration; authentication; intrusion and virus detection; encryption; attack and penetration testing; etcetera. These may sound like mundane tasks but they are the very basic requirements for a safe IT environment.”

Venczel is passionate about the need for an organization like ISACA so that the benefits of collaborative experience and professional development can be used to protect the corporate and public interests that are at stake within large scale IT environments. “ISACA certified individuals follow industry-accepted practices and high professional standards, and are highly trained in helping organizations implement such key controls to reduce the probability of cyber attacks happening, and their expected impact.” ISACA developed and maintains the internationally recognized COBIT, Val IT and Risk IT frameworks, helping IT professionals and enterprise leaders fulfill their IT governance responsibilities while delivering value to the business.

“When it comes to IT security challenges and the impact of cyber attacks, including those perpetrated internally by those who were thought to be trusted employees, private and public sector organizations alike are exposed to risks and vulnerabilities,” notes Venczel. However, being part of a large international organization, like 95,000-member ISACA, brings a series of benefits. For instance, ISACA members have access to globally accepted research on leading security solutions, certifications and community collaboration. These tend to result in greater “trust in” and “value from” information systems (IS).

ISACA’s IS auditing and control standards are followed by practitioners worldwide, says Venczel, who point out that “our research pinpoints professional issues challenging enterprises today.” By completing the range of protections offered by ISACA, he believes enterprises can feel much safer “and will, in fact, be more IT resilient.”

ISACA OVC Speaker Resource

ISACA Ottawa Valley Chapter is a highly respected and sought-after resource for ­professional education and development. Past events included high profile public and private sector speakers such as:

  • Corinne Charette, CIO of Canada
  • James Ralston, Comptroller General of Canada
  • Jennifer Okimoto, Associate Partner S&T Global Center of ­Competence Social Business at IBM Global ­Business Services

© FrontLine Security 2011



Storm Warning in Effect
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

Canada has all the elements of a national public alerting system, but many important, time-sensitive public safety messages from government agencies aren’t getting through to the public.

The possibilities for alerting the public are almost endless – and the technology exists to enable them – but there are barriers to progress in this area.

Ideally, responsible public officials should be able to deliver all public safety messages to citizens within seconds – and citizens should be able to receive that information any way they want – via pop-ups on their computer screens; by scrolling lines on their TV screens; calls or text messages on their cell phones; automated calls to their wired telephones; or even by fax.

The middle section of the link between the public safety agencies and the citizens has actually been working, and working well, since the summer of 2010. The National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System (NAADS) is a single hub where authorized public officials can securely place alert information. In turn, NAADS makes that information available by Internet and satellite to ‘last mile distributors’ (LMD), the broadcasters, cable operators, Internet and telephone systems that can complete the delivery of those alerts to Canadians.

Unfortunately, at the input end of NAADS, not enough provinces and territories have authorized their officials to put messages on the system. At the output end, not enough LMD’s have signed up to deliver the messages. The system, and the challenge of making it work, both belong to Pelmorex, the company that runs the Weather Channel and MétéoMédia.

For years, the CRTC was reluctant to be the body that oversees a Canadian alerting service, but no other national agency came forward. Because broadcasting is clearly a key element of a national alerting system, in 2009 the CRTC finally began the process that created NAADS.

 “We at the CRTC felt we had to take the necessary steps to make sure that there is no impediment from the broadcasting system to these messages getting out,” CRTC Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein told Frontline Security. “It’s amazing the amount of bureaucratic inertia that exists. People thanked us immensely for actually pushing something forward which actually had been on the planning stage for years but for reasons which nobody could quite articulate, it didn’t move forward.”

As von Finckenstein said, Pelmorex  “...had agreed to develop this national alerting system free of charge as long as we gave them another seven years of mandatory carriage and we said ‘yes, fine, sure, if you are prepared to do it.’” The CRTC gave Pelmorex until the end of 2011 to sign up the provinces, territories and Environment Canada, and instructed the company to do what is necessary to have LMD’s start using the system.

Pelmorex has a powerful incentive to wring more value out of NAADS. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has kept The Weather Channel/ MétéoMédia on ‘basic cable’ or mandatory carriage, which brings in $0.23 a month per subscriber, on condition that NAADS becomes a true, national alerting service. The language of the CRTC decision is clear, stating “any extension of mandatory distribution of Pelmorex’s service must result in a fully functional end-to-end national public alerting system.”

Pelmorex has been working at creating a national alerting service for about two decades, said senior vice-president Paul Temple but, “Sometimes it feels like centuries.” Pelmorex’s ‘primary clients’ are the provincial and territorial Emergency Management Organizations (EMO). An advisory council brings those EMO’s together with representatives from the broadcasting community and the federal government. “And the way we’re set up, we enter into an agreement with each province or territory to provide them access,” Temple said. “There are certain rules that we have to follow and they have to follow and that’s spelled out in a formal agreement. And then it is really up to them how they want the system used. We’ve entered into an agreement with Ontario, so Ontario has complete control over who has access to the system. They can delegate as much or as little authority to any group they want in Ontario.” Most recently, for example, the Ontario Provincial Police have been delegated the authority to issue amber alerts.

There is a national emergency reporting system exclusively for the emergency management community called MASAS, described in detail in the article on page XX. In MASAS, carefully structured data from authorized agencies goes into the system, and it is filtered down to what is relevant to specific locations and distribution channels. The system is easy to use for everyone in the first responder community, and its output can be delivered in different formats and languages.

“Essentially, NAADS is the public alerting implementation of MASAS”, according to emergency communications consultant Doug Allport, who voluntarily leads the efforts of the Canadian Association for Public Alerting and Notification (CAPAN). “Both systems provide the means for an emergency official to post an alert once and have it shared with a broad community of stakeholders.” Whereas the Multi-Agency Situational Awareness System (MASAS) described on Page __ does that within the emergency management community, “NAADS links public officials with news agencies, broadcasters, telecommunications companies, internet search engine providers and other distributors.”

Allport points out that the structure of an alert message allows it to be converted to television crawlers, text to audio, email and SMS messages, tweets or other formats, in any language. It also supports easy identification of alerts by location and severity, so that only high risk alerts disrupt television programming. This structure is defined by the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), a standard message format being adopted around the world.

The U.S. is implementing a CAP-based system that fulfills both NAADS and MASAS roles. When asked why not do the same here in Canada, Allport explains that “we could, but the legal and business issues of NAADS would disrupt the rapid adoption of MASAS. If you take a look at what is shared through MASAS, almost all of the content could be shared with the public – except that the person sharing it often doesn’t have the authority to do so. In fact, in some provincial governments, the Emergency Manager has to have a communications official issue an alert.” In his opinion, “keeping the two separate is to our advantage at this time.”

Public safety ministers in the provinces, territories and federal government have signed off on MASAS as a national priority, under a Communications Interoperability Action Plan for Canada. And while not specifically noted in the Action Plan, NAADS has a governing council that is supported by most of the Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management for the provinces, territories and federal government. It certainly appears as though the issues are being addressed by the right stakeholders.

One outstanding issue is liability. It seems that broadcasters and alert distributors are not joining NAADS due to concerns over assuming liability for accidents or injuries that could be associated with false alarms or some other problem with the alerting system.

At Pelmorex, Paul Temple struggles with that legal impasse. “That is one of the big issues I guess. I am not sure how much of an issue it really is. It may be a bit of a phantom.” The formal agreement that Pelmorex signs with each provincial and territorial jurisdiction addresses the liability issue, but that does not bind broadcasters or other LMD’s to actually carry the alerts.

Von Finckenstein believes, this liability argument is “somewhat bogus.” He says the obvious answer is to “get the necessary relief from the people who gave you the ­signal in the first place.” In other words, governments should simply assume the risks of issuing an alert.

Alberta is one province that assumes the legal responsibility for issuing public alerts. After the devastating Edmonton tornado in 1987, the province created an alerting system which can be triggered by a number of authorized agencies, including police and fire department, municipalities and the military. That protects people who put information into that system, but elsewhere broadcasters still have concerns.

As Doug Allport said, “Right now they have no legal protection whatsoever. It is not that we think they will ever lose a suit. It is that they are vulnerable to lawsuits.” Besides that potential downside, the system does nothing for many broadcasters’ upside. They are being asked, in effect, to purchase or modify equipment, and change their business processes in order to broadcast alerts about events that hardly ever happen. Perhaps because the CRTC, the national broadcast regulator, stepped forward to facilitate a cross-Canada system, there is an assumption that public safety messages only deal with life-threatening events, and the system is well equipped to handle those but it can pass on much lower priority messages as well. Most alerts begin at the municipal level, however, and only a very few municipalities are able to quickly distribute public alerts through the many communications channels society uses today.

As Allport notes, “We are so very close to having the world’s leading emergency alerting systems. We simply need to better manage the risk of use, and then put the tools in the hands of our first responders, where communications delays measured in seconds have consequences.”

He went on to add that he believes that the success of NAADS will align with the quantity of authoritative content shared through it. “Right now NAADS is being used for rarely occurring major events, but if we add the volume of less severe authoritative information shared through MASAS, we can present an interesting business case to private communications companies. They are after all in the business of giving us the information we want, when we want it, how we can receive it. We have the systems in place to help them do just that.”

By tagging the messages appropriately, LMD’s can decide which alerts need to go out right away, which can hold until the next scheduled news bulletin and which ones they can ignore. As Temple said, “The system will also support things as simple as road closures, so obviously the idea is to create a hierarchy so that we’re not interfering with hockey game for a road closure, but if there is a life-threatening event, it would be easily identified to broadcasters who could then make that decision.”

Despite being operational for nearly a year and a half, NAADS is not seeing the same rapid adoption as MASAS. Allport says for that to happen the legal risks have to be better managed. “Broadcasters are looking for liability protection, and provinces are on the hook for anything that occurs within their province.”

Pelmorex is now under more pressure to make NAADS work, and that means signing up more distributors. “We can make it available but the CRTC has made it voluntary and so it’s a little bit of a chicken and egg situation, because in fairness to the broadcasters they are waiting for the system to be used before investing in the equipment necessary to receive these alerts and put them on their TV or radio stations.”

To date, one national regulator, the CRTC, and one national broadcaster, The Weather Channel and MétéoMédia have done all they can to deliver a national alerting system. The responsibility is now with provincial governments to empower their agencies and municipalities to make it work.

Richard Bray is FrontLine’s Senior Writer.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Chris Lewis
OPP Commissioner
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

The Ontario Provincial Police is led by Commissioner Chris Lewis. With a 32-year career behind him (four of these as Deputy Commissioner), Lewis has significantly contributed to the OPP’s history of successful leadership.

In his own words, Commissioner Lewis explains the issues that are important to the police and the public alike, his own leadership challenges, and philosophy to address them.

The Recruitment Challenge
While it might sound like I’m brand new to the responsibilities of this job, the bottom line is that I’ve taken over a department that I was part of leading for the last several years. Under Commissioner Fantino, we had already made a lot of changes, and the organization is moving ahead very well. I will, of course, continue the initiatives that Commissioner Fantino started and in which I took part. The number one challenge I face right now is the leadership of one of the largest of any of the state or provincial police organizations in North America – the California Highway Patrol may be larger, but they just do highway patrol, whereas the OPP provides a multi-level police service.

My biggest challenge is staffing, and there are a number of elements to this. One is succession because a lot of our people are of baby boomer age, like myself, and will soon be moving on to retirement, so we’re going to lose a lot of people over the next few years. We have to refill those gaps from a recruit pool and the 20 to 30 year old members.

New hires these days are largely among Canadians from countries where policing is not necessarily seen as an honourable profession. The average 25-year-old recruit may be from Beijing, have a university degree and now is now considering policing as a career. They go home and tell their mom and dad, who were raised in a very oppressive environment where the police may have shot and killed people in the streets. Mom and Dad may not be all that fussy about the fact that their kids have chosen policing – that’s a challenge for us. It’s also an opportunity for us to hire great people from around the world. Including many cultures and languages into the OPP benefits us because they help us display a more trusted face in the community. At the same time, we have to convince this group of folks that policing is an honourable ­profession and that the OPP is the service they should join.

So, we need more people at a time when governments can least afford it, and at a time when we’re having difficulty just keeping pace, filling the gaps from retirement. To get around that, we require some “out of the box” thinking – I don’t want to hear words like “we always did it this way.” We need to look at innovative ways of doing things… more productive, effective and efficient ways of doing things. So that’s my challenge to all the people in the organization – let’s examine what we’re doing on a constant basis.

More emphasis on prevention is another important way to look at saving resources. If you can spend “x” number of dollars preventing crimes, versus a bigger “y” trying to resolve their consequences, then you get the most bang for your buck. We need to be smart with our resources and conduct our business in a more innovative and cooperative way in the future.

Contact with the Community
Various social service agencies and local communities become involved in our policing work – so we don’t police the community, we police “with” the community. We used to tell communities what they needed, now we work with them to prevent problems and they become a piece of the pie that looks at solving the problems as they occur, and we have to respond. It’s a multi-tiered solution and that’s not what we thought 30 years ago.

We all have limited resources and yet, at times, we will have to deal with a case like that of Russell Williams, and then you have to reassign people, so the other stuff ends up falling off a little bit. But, generally speaking, we now know that cooperation can save lives and solve crimes. That case of the tragedy around Russell Williams and his victims is a really good example of working together – Belleville Police had a piece of that, we had a piece of it, there were implications for National Defence and their investigative group because of the position he held, and one of the victims was from the Canadian Forces, and then it got into the City of Ottawa because that’s where he and his wife lived and where the warrants were executed. So you have two municipal agencies, the OPP, and the Military Police all working together to put that man away. It’s a great example of the breaking down of silos. We all applied the resources and information that we had, and we pulled together a case and put him away. That’s what it’s all about.

Traditionally we’ve had silos that did not necessarily want to work with others within the organization. When making decisions, we must consider how they may affect other silos. This requires working together better as an organization and I’m really promoting more leadership transfers between the silos, so that we work more collaboratively just by osmosis.

Organizationally, police departments haven’t always worked well together; that has changed a lot over recent years, and I want to see more of that. I’m very open to the concept and I also try to promote relationships with other agencies, not just police. Whether it be the Ministry of Natural Resources, Canada Border Services Agency, or other public safety agencies, we need to work in collaboration. Also, we need to work with the private sector. Private sector organizations – for example banks and their anti-fraud programs – we need to work closely with them, since they own a piece of this too, and have resources and expertise to help.

A previous Commissioner who retired in 1998, Tom O’Grady, said once at a national meeting that none of us have the expertise or the resources to tackle organized crime on our own. We owe it to the taxpayer – who pays for the municipal police, for the OPP and for the federal policing agencies (the same taxpayer pays for all those things ultimately) – we owe it to them to work together more cooperatively and more effectively.

I was just at a meeting with all the state and provincial police force commanders for North America, and we got talking about all of that… and everybody’s on the same page. And then I was at a meeting with Canadian and U.S. Customs and Immigration, the RCMP and New York State Police, talking about joint issues of drugs and other contraband moving across borders, so we’re moving this ‘working together’ thing to a whole new level and, once again, it’s all in the best interest of taxpayers across multiple jurisdictions.

We’re focused on contraband moving across the border and into Ontario with our counterparts on the U.S. side and Canada. In fact, we have a large task force in Cornwall focused on that problem. We also have highway enforcement teams across the province, watching for the movement of contraband – whether it’s coming out of Quebec or Ontario, moving on highways or out of the States. We have four officers working full time in the United States, two in Detroit and two in Buffalo, as part of what’s called BEST, Border Enforcement Security Task Force teams, run by the U.S. Federal Law Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security. We have OPP officers embedded there that are sworn-in as peace officers in the United States. They carry guns and work collaboratively on both sides to make sure that information is flowing and arrests are being made on the right side of the border.

We also have a couple of officers assigned to the RCMP on the Shiprider Program for patrolling the Great Lakes. The Marine Security Enforcement Team is also involved on an international scale.

In terms of the Canadian/U.S. border, the largest unprotected border in the world, there are concerns on both sides. Some U.S. law-makers were being critical of Canada because the open border was resulting in some stuff getting into the U.S., and there are a lot of hand guns coming the other way. At the law enforcement level, from the Director of Homeland Security on down, we’re working really well together. It’s a mutual issue. If we’ve got stuff heading their way, we need to work with them to stop it, and vice versa – and we’re doing it.

Because a lot of our marijuana is heading south and a lot of the cocaine is coming into Canada through the U.S. from South America, Columbia, Mexico and other sources, we’re all working hard to prevent that. It’s interesting too that smugglers, ­traditionally in the Cornwall area, used to come over with boatloads of tobacco and liquor but then they realized they were going back empty. They realized that they should have something – marijuana, for example – to haul back into the U.S. to make the trip pay off.

Community Countering Terrorism
On September 11th, 2001, the world changed. That day taught us the need to apply the intelligence-led, joint forces concept, working together on terrorism, and it transcends all we do.

We need to look at local crime issues by working together as well. If you’re ­handling break and enters in one city area, they’re likely doing them in neighbouring communities too. The criminals don’t stop at the city border and say, “we can’t go into that jurisdiction; it’s not in my mandate.” They don’t care. Wherever there’s money, they’re going to work. So it transcends municipal, provincial and national boundaries. It’s an international problem and we need to work collaboratively at the local level and spread that out on all issues – terrorism , organized crime and local policing.

The Toronto 18 were doing their training about 10 miles from here. They were training with firearms and operations in fields up there. Some of that was reported to us by local community members. Our people started looking into it and talking to the RCMP, and ultimately, we worked together to put those guys away.

It’s a valid point too that, when you look at Timothy McVeigh, the home-grown domestic terrorist in the United States who blew up the buildings in Oklahoma, he got stopped by a traffic cop – that’s how he got caught. So, our front line people are really paramount in the fight against terrorism. It’s the front line people who are in touch with the community. If they are doing their job and the community trusts and knows them, the community will say there’s something weird going on over there, and the police can get onto it. They’ll start watching it and they’ll pass it on to our investigative units who will work with them to try and find out more, gather intelligence, work with other agencies and ultimately take these guys down.

We’re providing more training and information to our front lines, to help them understand what they need to look for, with a view to establishing that trust within the communities. If you’ve got a good relationship with your local communities, the local police officer will get information from the farmer down the road. If they don’t trust the police, they may not tell them anything. That’s how we got to know about the training activities of the Toronto 18. That’s the way it should be – local crime, orga­nized crime, and terrorism – all three threats. It’s all about trust. If the public doesn’t trust us, they won’t report things to us.

Looking Ahead at Leadership
There are things we can do better because times change, technology changes and so we need to keep current and constantly look for ways to be more effective and ­efficient.

In future we won’t stop the presses and fold our tents for a year while we make changes; we need to be constantly looking at how to progress and make adjustments on the go.

What’s required is that our people are open to change and open to doing things differently by getting a better bang for the buck… and we are doing that.

We need to keep the momentum going. We’ve made a lot of positive change and need to keep that going. We need an open mindset but, in fact, we also need more resources and that’s the challenge that I have as the leader: to make sure we get what we need to service 9,000 staff in 350 communities.

Overall, I think what’s really key in law enforcement and public safety all around, whether it be fire, paramedics or other emergency service, is strong leadership. No organization, even ones with all the money and all the great people in the world, is going to survive without strong leadership from top to bottom and, when budgets are tight, as they are now, the leadership is all that more important.

We need to develop leaders, promote leaders and support leaders from top to bottom that always make decisions that are best for the client. What’s the best thing for the community, not what’s good for our own personal agendas? We need leaders who will take risks, always erring on the side of what’s the best thing for the people that we’re serving to keep safe. The people do come first; that’s who we’re sworn to protect. Then we have to protect each other. We have to look after each other and we need strong leadership to make sure it all happens consistently, and always for the right reason, that being the protection of the communities we are sworn to serve.

© FrontLine Security 2011



Maritime Commerce Resumption (MCR)
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

With globalization, many national economies, including Canada’s, are dependent on global trade – and maritime transportation is the strongest link in the international supply chain. International shipping has become a fundamental contributor and facilitator of economic growth; but it is increasingly susceptible to events that could result in the full or partial closure of ports or associated critical infrastructure.

Canada is a maritime nation – not just a nation with maritime provinces. As such, it is dependent upon its ability to trade with other nations through the global maritime commons. In 2005, Canada derived $100 billion from international maritime trade and moved 350 million tonnes of cargo through her ports. Today, Port Metro Vancouver annually trades $75 billion in goods with more than 160 trading economies.

Following 9/11, and in recognition of her deep-seated national economic dependence upon marine commerce, Canada has spent billions of dollars on National Security and Maritime Security. Yet, even after all this spending, it is recognized that no one plan will deliver 100% security – a realization on the part of the Federal Government which led to the formulation of a Maritime Commerce Resumption (MCR) strategy, under the stewardship of Transport Canada. The federal Government realizes there will, inevitably, be a time when intelligence and warnings fail; a situation which will expose Canada to the threat spectrum which spans natural disasters to surprise terrorist attacks.

Today’s Threat
Canada is certainly not immune to the impact of natural disasters and phenomena which could seriously affect maritime commerce. Our recent history shows how adverse weather such as hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and ice-storms can paralyse all aspects of modern life. Furthermore, it is clear from today’s strategic environment that the developing threats of organized crime and non-state terrorism have catapulted maritime security into the public arena – a threat which leaves Canada facing an international management challenge.

Many terrorist groups have proved able to launch attacks within the maritime domain. The 2008 events in Mumbai dem­onstrated the relative ease with which ­terrorists can deliver their particular brand of violence from the sea.

It is clear that terrorists not only seek to disrupt and demoralize societies through terror, but they have embarked upon a broader strategy of upsetting western economies through an economic jihad. Although not the most probable, the possibility of a maritime-based terrorist attack on North America should not be discounted, and demands a multi-agency response born of integrated and coordinated government.

Maritime Commerce Resumption
As a federal policy, MCR can strengthen Canada’s resilience, commercial reputation, and national security by improving her ability to recover from a serious disruption to maritime trade. The ability for the Government of Canada to shape conditions which expedite the restoration of the national economy is fundamental for the nation’s long-term well-being.

Transport Canada has, from the outset, been clear in its ambition to forge long term relationships to deliver – at federal, provincial, and muni­cipal levels – the necessary interagency alignment and collaboration to hone MCR into a workable and successful strategy.

As the lead department with responsibility for marine safety, maritime security, and environmental protection, Transport Canada will consult both public and private ­stakeholders to facilitate a coherent course of action in the event of an incident or accident. This course of action will include recommendations for risk and ­consequence management that are focused upon three phases of the MCR process which should be considered sequentially:

  • Increase RESILIENCE from attack or incident;
  • Reduce time of informed and effective RESPONSE; and
  • Maximize efforts to RESUME normal operations.

MCR and Maritime Security
Transport Canada has developed a useful framework of four main categories upon which it bases its concept of Marine Security. These are particularly useful in providing the wider public safety domain with architecture upon which to build both capacity and capability.

  • Domain Awareness;
  • Safeguarding (Security);
  • Collaboration; and
  • Responsiveness.

There are a number of advantages to melding MCR into existing endorsed security concepts for the 17 departments with a vested interest in its development. MCR’s relationship with the following endorsed security concepts will now be explored.

Relationship with Business ­Continuity Planning (BCP)
Given BCP’s fundamental assertion that aims to restore and maintain critical services of government in an emergency situation, there is a clear link with the outlined precepts of MCR. Whereas, MCR focuses upon commercial resumption as part of the recovery to a “normal” level of activity, BCP looks to restore government activity to normal levels. BCP is the more established concept and, as such, the interdepartmental community should review corporate lessons from its inter-departmental approach to BCP to aid in their development of MCR.

Relationship with Interoperability Continuum (IC)
This capability aspiration would mirror the work and research being undertaken as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) SAFECOM Inter-operability Continuum & SAFE Port initiatives, as well as reflect today’s nationally-endorsed Incident Management Systems, as recommended by the Canadian Police Research Centre’s Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (CITIG).

Public Safety Canada has embraced the IC and is developing a Canadian version. This revision and expansion of the IC is intended to make the continuum more useful to the widest public safety and first responder communities in Canada.

Relationship to Incident ­Management System (IMS)
This system allows for a joint response to an incident or emergency which requires a cross mandate response. It supports an agreed-upon command and control structure that can address a spectrum of complex major events. Under IMS the lead department / agency manages resources and personnel from other bodies in order to deliver an effective and timely response. The lead agency is very much “first among equals,” demonstrating a management and facilitation role to ensure appropriate decisions are made following a process of consultation. The designation as the lead department ensures that potentially ­hamstringing consensus management is avoided and still supports the Canadian concept of Ministerial Accountability.

Canada’s well-developed IMS is encapsulated within the components laid out in the Federal Emergency Response Plan (FERP); which is based upon legislative instruments from the Emergency Management Act (EMA) and the Public Safety Act; both of which contain significant ministerial powers and waivers that could, if required, support MCR.

How MCR Fits – Way Ahead
MCR is a dynamic and versatile approach to addressing current limitations within the government’s approach to managing the issue of potential interruptions to ­maritime commerce.

The 3 core phases of MCR are inherently iterative and sequential. Their link with BCP policy is strong and benefits from the mechanics of the iterative processes which are fundamental to other established government practices.

The FERP outlines the endorsed response to major incidents and attacks by all levels of government. Its co-ordination of three layers of governance is done in such a manner as to channel resources and efforts to the point of demand. A MCR-related incident will most likely require a Federal response, which will follow SOPs as outlined within the FERP. This cabinet-endorsed document has primacy over all departmental responses and demands full compliance. Thus the FERP is the over-arching doctrine to any large scale emergency that warrants a Federal response or coordination activities.

The FERP is based upon the proven principles of IMS and tenets of IC, as well as being aligned with the likely emergency response from the US. This international co-operation is important because coherence in emergency management will do much to mitigate the conceptual differences in the Canadian-US responses to MCR incidents. Therefore, it is this congruence in IMS which mitigates the subtle differences in the national approaches to MCR to achieve a common path to recovery.

The MCR framework is an extremely powerful and useful concept. By its own definition, it is a complex organizational framework used to coordinate the various arms of federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments with the expertise and capacity of private industry.

Coherent alignment of MCR policy with existing federal emergency responses is fundamental to its enduring success and application across the maritime sector; it would thus be logical that Transport Canada provide this function. Interaction between MCR operations, BCP, FERP/MERP and the demands of embracing the Interoperability Continuum are necessary and recognizes the likely scale of effort and direction required from “whole of government” throughout the phases of an MCR-related response.

The Proof of the Pudding – MCR Exercise 2009 (Vancouver)
Led by Transport Canada, the federal government, the provincial government of British Columbia, and the municipal authorities of Vancouver conducted an MCR exercise in Vancouver in December of 2009. The associated Working Group concluded that it was necessary to deliver a comprehensive, coherent and coordinated regional MCR plan to mitigate the effects of port closure and avoid unnecessary delays in the restoration of international supply chains. The structure and breadth of the Vancouver exercise underlined the community’s awareness of the fundamental importance of good governance and sound organization within the field of MCR. This exercise could be viewed as validating the work undertaken thus far in developing the MCR Strategy.

MCR Initiatives – Capability Inventory Tool
Interoperability is at the core of MCR. The findings and recommendations of a recent Database IT project called the Capability Inventory Tool (CIT) served as an important foundation for developing improvements, and highlighting a number of areas where interoperability can be enhanced. The ACCESS-based CIT allowed policy officers to access a substantial data-base which charted the extent of all Canadian legislation and policy which pertained to MCR. This data-base exposed a number of areas where Ministerial powers and mandates overlapped and how other government departments could deliver an even more effective MCR response. It thus serves as a guide for any future development of MCR-related instruments. The database structure also has the capability to be adapted to serve as an information delivery mechanism for those responsible for implementation of MCR.

Canada is unmatched with its huge coastline, numbers of ports and livelihoods gleaned from the sea. Its MCR strategy is a well-founded and considered response to potential events which, if ignored, have the potential to rob the nation of a generation’s worth of economic development. Such strategies are essential in developed nations. Few would argue this point, having witnessed the impact of this year’s Japanese Tsunami or the devastation wrought by South Asian Terrorists in Mumbai. The Government of Canada, our people, and our economy are better positioned to ride out these events through heightened resilience, coordinated responses, and improved recovery times. MCR isn’t just a nice strategy; it is essential.

Peter Avis, a Partner at Lansdowne Technologies, specializes in Maritime Security and is the author of the book Comparing National Security Approaches to Maritime Security in the Post 9/11 Era.  His new business practice is called “Exercises, Professional Development, Performance Measurement, and Lessons Learned (E2PL).”

David Mugridge is an independent maritime security consultant working from Halifax, NS.
A Doctorate student at the Plymouth Business School, he also holds a Research Fellowship at Dalhousie University’s Centre for Foreign Policy Studies and Marine Affairs Programme.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Friend or Foe?
Canada Is A Target of Chinese Espionage
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

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...

... the risks associated with that bilateral relationship transcend political affiliation, and did not begin with Mr. Dechert’s first electronic indiscretion. Canada may not be China’s top priority for espionage activity, but as a highly industrialized economy with an abundance of natural resources, it nevertheless possesses a number of items that are of interest to Beijing. Only when those areas are identified will Canada’s counterintelligence authorities be able to determine the appropriate countermeasures that need to be implemented.

Risk areas
Canada is a close ally of the United States, part of NORAD, and a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Intelligence agencies seeking to penetrate organi­zations like NATO will often attempt to do so via the weakest link. With NATO spearheading a number of military interventions that, in Beijing’s view, violate the sacrosanct sovereignty of other countries, China likely has an interest in knowing what is going on in the war planners’ briefings. Also, NATO has offered to help India, a regional competitor of China with whom it has fought a number of border wars, develop a missile defense system.

Canada has a high-tech power base and technologies (optics, satellites, electronics) that China could want. Canadian customs officials regularly seize missile components bound for China. Such items are often sent via a third country to cover the final recipient. On other occasions, dual-use items are sent via China to a third country, such as North Korea and Iran, with cognizance of Chinese officials and Chinese firms.

Canada is also a participant in the consortium developing the F-35 aircraft, which has avionics, engines and electronics that China would love to access as it develops its J-20 stealth fighter and other platforms.

On the non-military side, Canada has abundant natural resources, and China, which faces severe scarcities in that department, needs those in increasing quantities to fuel economic growth and thereby ensure the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party. Business intelligence, as China competes with other countries to develop Canadian natural resources, offer an advantage. It could also seek to gain knowledge about Canadian projects abroad – in South America, for example – which is also a growing market for China, and where it has struck a number of strategic alliances.

It is well known that Chinese agents monitor, and on occasion will seek to intimidate, the Chinese Diaspora the world over, which includes Tibetans, Uighurs, Falun Gong practitioners, pro-democracy activists, and Taiwanese, among others. Every single one of those groups is present in Canada.

Scope of the threat
While it is impossible to accurately determine the scope of Chinese espionage in Canada, it is likely more serious than we think. Intelligence agencies like the Canadian Security Intelligence Service require a lot of time before moving into prosecution, as they tend to wait to assess the size of a ­network. Consequently, we get very little news about Chinese agents who are caught. If we never hear of arrests, prosecution or expulsions, we may believe that the problem doesn’t exist. But that isn’t always the case.

This is in sharp contrast with the U.S. which tends to be more aggressive on prosecution, probably because the stakes are higher. In the past decade or two, dozens of Chinese spies have been arrested in the United States, including American officials caught trying to pass on secrets or technology to China. Many of them are currently serving time in federal prisons.

The list of American officials and defense contractors who were caught working as double agents for China in the past two decades is impressive. It includes former PACOM commander James Fondren and businessman and former top salesman for Lockheed Martin in Asia, Bill Moo. Also included are Chi Mak, Gregg Bergerson, Tai Shen Kuo and Noshir Gowadia. All tried to pass on military technology to China, including information on C4ISR systems, submarines, F-16 engines, cruise missiles, the B-2 stealth bomber, the Patriot missile defense systems, and so on. In many instances, Chinese or Taiwanese businessmen acted as handlers or middlemen.

‘Honey traps’
Earlier this year, Taiwan sentenced General Lo Hsien-che to life in prison for spying for China against Taiwan. Lo was recruited in Thailand in 2003 or 2004 by a female PLA agent, who also became his handler. Indictment documents noted that Lo’s recruiters had blackmailed him using video surveillance of him frequenting prostitutes in Thailand. Taiwan referred to the incident as its worst spy case in the past 50 years.

Britain’s MI5 last year warned against Chinese “honey traps,” as did French intelligence, after it was discovered that a researcher at a top French pharmaceutical company was wined and dined by a Chinese girl who ended up sleeping with him.

While this technique is sometimes used within target countries, in most cases it is adopted when foreign officials or executives visit China. An aide to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was allegedly himself a victim of a Chinese honey trap in Shanghai.

The process is straightforward. Visiting officials are wined and dined, and gradually ways are found to compromise the target for potential blackmailing. This can start with gifts, then paid visits to China, where the official or business person is treated to nice meals and the inevitable karaoke, hostesses, and so on. Those places usually have cameras, and the footage is then used to blackmail the target and, in return, to extract information or instruct the recruited agent. Given the security and media attention that surrounds visits by senior officials at the minister level, this technique is usually reserved for mid-level officials.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) organized crime nexus also provides Beijing with opportunities to use sex for espionage purposes. It is believed, for example, that a large number of prostitutes in Taiwan are in the employ of Chinese intelligence and/or organized crime working together. Those prostitutes, unsurprisingly, tend to work close to military bases around Taiwan.

While China is not the only country to rely on such tactics to compromise and recruit agents, as the opportunities for ­contact increase, and as more and more officials and executives travel to China, so will the risk.

China has also been known to use money to “turn” officials in targeted countries, often by promising serving government officials lucrative advisory or honorary positions in a Chinese firm after they retire from government. In return for providing some information, agreeing not to criticize China on its human rights record or encouraging the passage of policies that are favorable to Beijing, those officials are recompensed with cozy positions in Chinese firms or multinationals with operations in China. A number of former officials are believed to be currently enjoying such perks.

China’s principal news agency, which is owned by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission under the State Council, has long had a deserved reputation as a front for Chinese espionage. Besides serving as one of the principal propaganda arms of the CCP, a large number of its “journalists” also prepare neibu cankao ziliao, or internal reference reports intended for limited consumption among CCP officials. In some cases, the CCP has reportedly ordered Xinhua to “hire” individuals with no journalistic training or experience. Prior to the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, the Xinhua bureau served as Beijing’s diplomatic office and a base for its spies operating in the British territory.

Some Western intelligence agencies operate on the assumption that every reporter working for Xinhua is an intelligence officer and take appropriate targeting measures.

Growing opportunities
The Harper government has indicated its intention to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Canada and China. While the benefits of such exchanges are beyond the scope of this article, there is no doubt that added contact will create new opportunities for China to engage in espionage against various sectors of Canadian society, from government to the business sector and academia. Any risk-based assessment points to that conclusion, and the past experiences of other countries that opened to China indicate that Chinese espionage will intensify rather than diminish, even as more cordial diplomatic relations develop.

China is not alone spying against other countries. Every country engages in espionage, even against allies. However, the nature of the authoritarian regime in Beijing, added to the tremendous pressure upon it to maintain domestic stability and sustain economic growth, mean that its espionage efforts abroad are increasingly aggressive. It would be naïve to think that Canada isn’t a target.

J. Michael Cole, a former analyst at CSIS and a graduate of the War Studies master’s program at the Royal Military College of Canada, is deputy news chief at the Taipei Times newspaper in Taiwan, and a China/Taiwan correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Intelligence Review.
© FrontLine Security 2011



The Value of Risk Assessments
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has initiated a research program to answer these questions and empower communities across the country to build risk assessment capacity. In partnership with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and supported by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), NRCan’s Earth Sciences Sector has developed a risk assessment framework known as Pathways that aims to link ­natural hazard risk assessment with community planning.

Pathways is a standards-based system of processes, methods and tools that is aligned with, and contributes to, national policies and evolving best practices for ­disaster mitigation in Canada. It aims to assist local and regional authorities in ­prioritizing risk management objectives, analyzing changing conditions that may affect vulner­ability over time, characterizing thresholds of risk tolerance, and navigating decision pathways that promote national policy goals for disaster management and sustainability.

“Communities face many challenges in risk-based planning and it is the focus of our research to strengthen mitigation and preparedness strategies across the country,” notes Nicky Hastings, Activity Coordinator at NRCan. “Planners and emergency mana­gers need a common framework for risk assessment and mitigation planning – one that is standards-based and aligned with national policy goals.”

Implemented as a spatial decision support system, Pathways is comprised of several integrated, standards-based tools that facilitate risk assessment, scenario modeling and decision analysis.

Breaking the Damage Cycle
At the heart of the framework is a powerful risk assessment software program known as Hazus. Developed by FEMA, Hazus can model, analyze and predict potential losses from floods, hurricane winds and earthquakes. It runs calculations on the ESRI geographic information system (GIS) platform, and is an extension to ESRI’s ArcGIS Desktop technology. Using this technology, Hazus can be used to visualize spatial relationships between populations and permanently fixed geographic assets or resources for a specific hazard ­scenario. This serves as a critical function in the pre-disaster planning process. It is used for mitigation and recovery, as well as preparedness and response. It can also scale to a study area of any size – a region, community, neighbourhood or individual site. The methodology plays a key role in the assessment step of mitigation planning, which is a fundamental component of a community’s ability to break the cycle of disaster damage.

Modeling Risk and Mitigation
To adapt the tool for Canadian users, NRCan has engaged local groups to uncover operational requirements for risk-based planning in urban centers. For example, they worked with the District of North Vancouver to uncover potential flood risks in the area. Using the Hazus flood model, they developed spatial maps containing depths and extents of floodwater for floodprone creeks and rivers to help assess potential disaster loss due to riparian flooding.

Through a partnership between District staff and the University of British Columbia’s Earthquake Engineering Group, NRCan is also identifying and prioritizing community assets that would be at risk in the event of an earthquake. They combine this data with assets that would help contribute to resilience and, using this information, formulate risk reduction strategies. NRCan and the District are also exploring policy responses that align with a range of identified risk scenarios that the community could face over the next 30 years. This project is aiding the District as it drafts a new Official Community Plan with an expanded focus on anticipated risks.

The District of Squamish has also ­benefited from NRCan’s risk assessment framework. Known as the “Outdoor Recreational Capital of Canada,” Squamish is nestled between Vancouver and Whistler and is geographically exposed to multiple natural hazard threats. Located at the confluence of five major river systems and surrounded by a steep mountain landscape, the area is threatened by high consequence earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, a debris-flow landslide hazard, periodic flooding, storm surge threats in the downtown waterfront area, and wildfire threats between built and natural environments.

In 2007, NRCan began working with Squamish to examine underlying system dynamics that drive conditions of natural hazard vulnerability and risk (specifically floods, earthquakes and landslides) in the community. The principles of Pathways were applied, to study how these conditions would change over time, with ongoing growth and development.

“Users can visualize what a community might look like five years down the road, and map out scenarios that predict how infrastructure will likely be affected by natural disasters,” said Hastings. “As a result, emergency planners can make critical decisions based on facts, and risk assessment becomes a key component of community planning, which is something that simply didn’t happen before.”

To promote adoption of Pathways on a national scale, NRCan will continue to work with local government organizations and communicate the results of their research to inform ongoing strategies for national and regional risk assessment. In conjunction with FEMA, NRCan is scheduled to release a North American version of Hazus across Canada and the United States in the first quarter of 2012.

Pierre Bilodeau is the Defence & Public Safety Industry Manager for ESRI Canada, which provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions. Pierre retired from the Canadian Forces in April 2008 after 32 years of service as a Military Engineer Officer, including 18 years with the Defence geospatial community. He can be reached at [email protected].
© FrontLine Security 2011



Fire and Rescue, lessons learned
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

To make ground operations safer during a fire, the Kingston Fire and Rescue (KFR) department has implemented a 'Learning from Our Experiences' program that will share information between various crews within its organization. After all, safer operations on the ground during a fire means that all firefighters go home at the end of the call. The question is - will it work?

Kingston Fire Chief Harold Tulk.

Like any organization, KFR has its share of good and bad experiences – both during actual fire response and in training. Most crews will debrief themselves on how to improve operations, but the information is rarely shared outside of those crews, and only the crews who were actually at the incident are usually involved in the process. Errors and other incidents are reported to fire service health and safety committees and the chain of command, however, even the information from these committees is rarely shared throughout the department, increasing the risk of repeating the same bad response. To help prevent injuries and save lives, a better method of sharing ideas must be developed.

As a former member of the Canadian Forces, I have been exposed to a process that the army calls ‘lessons learned’, an effective method that promotes learning from all incidents to improve operations and – most importantly – to help save lives. In a nutshell, the Army collects lessons from unit debriefings and evaluates what worked and what did not. These lessons are then distributed to military personnel. This ensures that procedures are improved and that mistakes do not re-occur when any unit deploys on operations. Could this be adapted to a fire service?

In late November 2009, I presented the Fire Chief with the idea of a modified CF Army Lessons Learned model for the fire department. Chief Tulk, former military himself, understood the importance of a learning organization and instructed me to work with Training Chief, Don Corbett, to draft a proposal for implementation of such a program.

We contacted the CF Army Lessons Learned Center, located in Kingston, for tips on the process. The challenges we faced in transforming the army model really demonstrated the sharp difference in cultures between the military and emergency services. In the CF, everyone falls under one set of rules and regulations with a common mission. KFR, on the other hand, is comprised of career and volunteer members who do the same job but have different labour rules. For starters, we realized we would need a representative from both the volunteer and career sides to engage both sides equitably. Then, we had to figure out how ideas and suggestions could be implemented in a composite department. The KFR would likely be the first emergency service to implement a lessons learned process with the goal of information sharing to save lives. We decided to keep the core process of information sharing from the CF model, and expand upon it to add information from other fire services. We also wanted to improve communications and operations within our own department. A proposal was established and presented to the chief, with the goal of achieving the following objectives:

  • Confirm training;
  • Ensure that classroom training transfers effectively to the fire ground;
  • Prevent mistakes which eventually lead to accidents;
  • Allow command to make timely decisions that can evolve with continuing improvements;
  • Allow input from the frontline to improve operations through a process of information sharing improves techniques and adapts to evolutions of all types;
  • Establish “Lessons Learned” as central collection point of information on how to improve operations;
  • Examine mini debriefings process as it impacts operations (radios, rehab, etc); and,
  • Ensure the process leads to a safer work environment.

The Trial Period
In September 2010, Chief Tulk agreed with the outline and authorized a trial period. As the program rolled out, it became clear that getting ideas from the front line to a central collection point was very important, particularly in respect of injury prevention for fire fighters. However, there was confusion by most frontline staff on exactly how the goals of the program would fit into the current structure of KFR, and how new ideas would be submitted and implemented within the chain of command. We decided to focus the lessons learned program as an information sharing process that would allow firefighters to learn from their own collective actions to stay safe during the job. We also expanded the program to include corporate knowledge from senior firefighters. Capturing corporate knowledge was an important part of the program as senior firefighters will, by nature, share their experiences on what does and does not work to help improve operations. Also, with the high number of senior firefighters retiring in the next few years, capturing corporate knowledge will be crucial to preserving their years of experience.

Kingston Fire and Rescue training exercise

Streamlining the concept
At the next briefings, we had further modified the program to four key objectives:

  • Allow command to make informed and timely decisions on evolving situations;
  • Encourage input from the front lines to improve operations; provide a process to share information on near misses to prevent future mistakes which eventually lead to accidents;
  • Institute a process of mini debriefs to ensure anything that impacts operations is examined. i.e. radios, rehab, etc;
  • Ensure the process leads to a safer work environment.

The revised objectives helped staff better understand the program and how it could benefit them. It became clear that sharing information among members, and having input, would improve operations and help their team. Members would submit their observations to a KFR Lessons Learned Center, located in the training department, and internal publications from the ­Center would be dispersed to all staff. Observations and suggestions for improvement (from the fire ground, the fire hall, etc.) would be submitted by staff on a special form to be sorted and screened to determine which deputy chief or committee would be most appropriate for actioning that specific suggestion or observation.

Possible suggestions could range from a ­simple daily ­evolution in the fire hall to a change in a Standing Operating Procedure (SOP). For example, an SOP that works 99% of the time at most locations may not be effective at a specific location – a different operating procedure could potentially be implemented for that location only. Changes such as these become crucial information for any new crews coming to that location, and the Lessons Learned Center could provide valuable research and supportive information in order to change an SOP. Recommendations for changes would, of course, be presented to the Fire Chief for his final decision, which would be communicated within the organization; staff would also get a response on the status of their submission. This exchange helps to build an open dialogue of communication from the frontline to the upper echelon of the organization.  

Tom Hoppe, a member of Kingston Fire and Rescue, holds an MA in Leadership and training. He has advised, taught, developed and provided guidance on leadership in the emergency services and rehab programs. Contact Tom for further information on the Lessons Learned program, at [email protected]
© FrontLine Security 2011



Multi-agency Approach to Port Security
Bringing Together Law and Technology
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

Weaknesses and Threats
Most serious security practitioners recognize the Western world’s vulnerability to ­maritime-based terrorist violence and that its inability to combat serious criminal activity at sea is increasing. Traditionally, global financial crises, like today’s, have resulted in marked deterioration of national and personal security. The need for flexibility in our national responses to maritime security challenges has never been greater, and with that flexibility comes the clear need for technology.

We, in North America, now realize our ability to respond conventionally is over-committed, manpower intensive and becoming less politically appealing. Yet there are rays of hope for NAFTA member-states, as recent New England conference attendees discovered. In May 2011, Rhode Island played host to the annual Ocean Technological Expo, once again demonstrating the increasing importance of technology to the heightened posture of the U.S. in its national delivery of a comprehensive approach to Maritime Security. The themes of technology and the multi-agency approach to maritime security were clearly evident. In particular, the work of both Warren Heerlein of the U.S. Coast-Guard, and Mike Grzechowiak of Rite Solutions, Inc. provided the audience with an update on how the Department of Homeland Security is delivering security in the maritime domain through its application of technology.

Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, U.S. authorities have been quick to recognize that the vital and strategic interests in maritime security depend in substantial part on the delivery of a sustainable, visual and heightened security posture for its 361 seaports. The national response is primarily based upon the ­Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act, which modified existing legislation and created new codified ­programs pertaining explicitly to maritime security.

U.S. Response
Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its U.S. Coast Guard, Transportation Security Admin­istration, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agencies have assumed responsibility for maritime security. Their work is overseen by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which has since reviewed:

  • Overall port security;
  • Security at individual facilities; and
  • Cargo container security including the Container Security Initiative (CSI).

Recognizing that maritime security is an international concern, both the DHS and GAO have visited domestic and overseas ports, interviewed personnel charged with the delivery of security, reviewed U.S. agency program documentation, port security plans and post-exercise reports (where applicable).  By establishing inter-disciplinary committees to share pertinent information with local maritime stakeholders, federal U.S. departments and their agencies have increasingly worked collaboratively to improve overall port security efforts. They have taken steps to establish effective inter-agency Maritime Security Operations Centres (MSOC) that deliver timely and actionable Maritime Domain Awareness, conducted security operations, and documented port and facility level Business Continuity Plans aimed at preventing attacks. All of this has been undertaken in a climate of significant resource constraints and the day-to-day challenges of meeting the SAFE Port Act’s requirements.

Despite such challenges, stakeholders have improved security at about 3,000 individual facilities through activities such as port facility-specific security plans, compliance inspections of facilities, and developing identification cards for port workers to improve the marine sector’s resilience to acts of maritime terrorism or infiltration by organized crime. Federal programs related to the security of cargo containers have dramatically improved as DHS agencies use focused intelligence to identify high-risk cargo and to collaborate internationally with other nations to guarantee container screening before the cargo even departs for U.S. destinations.

Federal agencies involved with port security in the U.S. include the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). These three agencies currently operate under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security. Additional to these three operationally focused agencies, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) publishes Maritime Security Reports and national planning-guides on port security.

R&D underway by the U.S. Coast Guard include activities such as:

  • Evaluating, boarding and inspecting commercial ships as they approach U.S. waters;
  • Countering terrorist threats in U.S. ports; and
  • Protecting U.S. Navy ships in U.S. ports.

The events of 9/11 were a watershed for the U.S. that forever changed its view on delivering national security. For instance, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 divided the Coast Guard’s 11 statutory missions between homeland security and non-homeland security. To reflect the Coast Guard’s historical role in defending the U.S., the Act delineated PWCS (Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security) as the first-ever homeland security mission. The Commandant of the Coast Guard also ­designated PWCS as the service’s primary focus alongside its Search and Rescue (SAR) commitments.

Coast Guard watch-standers in the new First District Command Center.

The aim of PWCS patrols is to deter terrorists from exploiting the marine transportation system as a means of attack on U.S. territory, and denying them of the ability to target major centres of population, U.S. flagged vessels, or any sector deemed as critical infrastructure or a key resource. Here, the USCG has used statutory powers and operational capacity to:

  • Board suspect vessels;
  • Escort high value/high risk vessels;
  • Enforce security zones near maritime critical infrastructure and key resources (CI/KR); and
  • Patrol maritime approaches, coasts, ports, and rivers.

Balancing Deterrence and Resources
On April 4, 2011, the Port Resilience Operational / Tactical Enforcement to Combat Terrorism (PROTECT) system began trials in Boston Harbour. It is based on the concept of making the best use of limited resources while increasing deterrence against potential maritime terror attacks. Based upon game theory, it aims to schedule the operations of Coast Guard PWCS patrol vessels in a way that makes it impossible for observers to predict their destination or posture.

Future Plans
The success of the PROTECT trial has resulted in continued R&D funding, by the USCG, with extensive field testing of the system in New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles/Long Beach harbours. These trials will use “Red Cells” as a window into the world of terrorism and organized crime, and as a means of creating realistic and demanding training for CG personnel.

In summary, the U.S. recognizes its maritime domain is its soft underbelly but, the country is also determined never to face the consequences of another terrorist atrocity on its soil. Leaders are fully aware of the importance of targeted efforts and coherence in its public response. The necessary legislations are in place and the many government departments concerned with maritime security are clearly delivering capable practitioners to the frontline and wholeheartedly participating in realistic exercises and operations – many of which trial new technologies at the forefront of multi-agency situational awareness systems.

The drive and effort to deliver maritime security are almost tangible and, lest we forget, their own revolution started with the infamous Tea party and ended with a supportive French Naval Blockade. So, it seems the U.S. is determined to glean maritime security lessons from history.

David Mugridge is an independent maritime security consultant, a Doctorate student at the Plymouth Business School, and holds a Research Fellowship at the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies and Marine Affairs Programme, Dalhousie University.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Keeping Corporate Secrets
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

Corporate espionage is linked to national security – in fact the concepts are tightly intertwined. Our national security is linked to our state secrets but it is the R&D and economic activities of companies that produces those sensitive intellectual property that is sought after by those who wish to gain any corporate advantage. With its knowledge-based society and cutting edge technology research centres, Canada and its companies ­represent a very attractive ­playground where international competitors can come to steal that R&D.

We spend per capita more on R&D than the entire European community. In addition, our allies have entrusted us with sensitive information. Many countries send operatives here to gain access to all those secrets.

The problem is that the Government has not done enough to raise awareness among the private sector concerning this threat. The result is that business leaders are not prepared for a very sophisticated threat. The bad news is that conventional security will do very little to protect IP or trade secrets, and, when it’s gone... it is gone for good! You can’t get it back and the legal system will be unable to get you compensation for your losses. In that game, vigilant awareness and knowing your threat are the only ways to prevent a disaster associated with loss of your company’s edge.

In Nest of Spies, I made the point that industrial espionage has not only survived but been invigorated by the end of the Cold War. And, while political and corporate spying disciplines have many differences, they are often performed by the same foreign officers. Political and corporate objectives and can also be quite different. Political espionage is almost exclusively performed by foreign intelligence officers who want to gain access to people who will provide strategic information or be used to influence their own country’s policies. It could be, for example, that a spy from a specific country recruits a senior public servant or elected official to influence his or her government to relax certain national policy. We call this person an agent of influence. Stalin used to call him a “Useful Idiot.”

A corporate spy could be the same foreign intelligent officer because often they are here under a diplomatic, trade officer or journalistic cover. In the name of bringing a good business opportunity and facilitating a new joint venture, you may suddenly find yourself deprived of your IP or your manufacturing process and ultimately, your market – not a good message for your shareholders despite your best interest at the outset of the campaign.

Perps and Targets
The perpetrator can be one of your employees instead of an international spy. In fact, 85% of all spy cases show that the modus operandi involved one or several people that had “legitimate access” to the sensitive information. In other words, the company had granted a clearance to that person. So, more often than not, the threat will be from the inside, prompted and assisted by the an entity on the outside.

Most corporate espionage targets are technology companies with valuable Intellectual Property (IP), but that absolutely does not that mean that non-tech based companies need not bother about security and protection from IP theft.

The idea of espionage is to gain strategic advantage over your opponent. Sometimes your company can be in competition for a major contract which does not necessarily involve new technology. For example, a company was bidding on a $300 million contract to install and build a project that was not cutting edge technology. Their competitive advantage was in the quality of their product and their efficient delivery. They lost the contract because their competitor was able to find out, with the assistance of its national spy agency, how much this company was about to bid, and underbid by a small amount to win the contract.

At the end of the Cold War we went from military to economic confrontations, and the countries with a foreign services have ALL increased their budgets and ALL have tasked their services to steal economic and industrial secrets. You are now facing a tough playground to do business internationally or if your product represents a threat to a foreign competitor.

An Ottawa company became a victim when an employee stole a new gadget that the company had just created. He sold it to the Government of Vietnam. The company estimated it lost 10 years of research, $40-$45 million in R&D, and between $200 million to $1 billion in market share. One briefcase, one gadget, one guy.

Inside Threats
But the threat can come from the inside too. Corporate espionage is often performed by a disgruntled employee or one who ­simply wants to make a quick buck. For example, an Ottawa company became a victim when an employee stole a new gadget that the company had just created. He sold it to the Vietnamese Government. The company estimated it lost 10 years of research, $40 - $45 million in R&D and in market share between $200 million to a $1 billion. One briefcase, one gadget, one guy.

A good security program goes beyond conventional physical security. You need to diligently look at all aspects of your business – from publishing job offers in the newspaper, to the way you hire and the way you select your suppliers and your clients.

You must know how your employees behave when they leave the office for the fun after hours drink or the business trip to a foreign country. Inadvertently hiring an individual who intends to learn your way of doing business and later becomes your next competitor can cause a lot of pain.

Companies need to consider hiring security management professionals in recognition of the modern threats from corporate espionage. At the risk of offending some of my security colleagues, we often see security professionals that do not understand contemporary threats. Not that they don’t have the right stuff to do the job when it comes to conventional security, but the great majority come from the physical security world (which is often limited to peripheral security) or the police world that has developed their skills in finding the bad guys after a crime has been committed.

In the corporate world, this is too late. Corporations don’t care about fighting crime. They are in business to make money and they need their security program to assist them in doing so. Their security program is a strategic investment (not only an expense) that connects to the strategic planning process.

A corporate security program must be able to detect and to warn about threats and ultimately to mitigate that threat before it’s too late. Corporate security includes the capacity to look along the horizon and translate that into a business process.

Towards a Resilient Corporate Environment
Protection against corporate espionage does not have to be expensive – it has more to do with a good BUSINESS CULTURE than “guys who shake hands with door knobs at midnight” or more firewalls for your computers. It is more about good executive leadership than conventional security. Traditional techniques dealing with company security can be important, but they might not be enough because spy games are done by humans. There is always a human factor in a spy case and is often caused by someone who was not even aware of what was going on until it was too late. So AWARENESS is the name of the game.

We are now witnessing the arrival of organized crime in the business of espionage. Particularly in the area of cyber-espionage, we see organized crime stealing trade secrets and IP to sell it on the black market.

However, the threat is different for every company. Therefore, before engaging in a series of awareness programs, it is important to understand the specifics of the threat you are facing.

The challenge is that corporate executives are not trained security experts. The following simple formula will help you assess an effective security plan. You must have a TRA (Threat and Risk Assessment) that will cover “Threat To” + “Threat From” = Vulnerability Assessment. “Threat To” is what you need to protect.

Most security consultants will tell you to protect your IP. Yes, that is the crown jewel, but key engineers or important executive leaders can be as important as your trade secrets. Determine the drivers to success, such as what will it take to win the next big bid – who and what are the unique processes that make your organization successful? Once you understand that, you will understand which elements of the business need the most protection.

Then you need a “Threat From” assessment that most times cannot be performed by security consultants. You need to know who wants to hurt you; who is looking at you as prey. Uncovering the threat agents will reveal their intention and objectives, including the way they might come at you. And don’t forget that the threat is not always on the outside. My point is that you can only get a true Vulnerability Assessment and optimize your budget for security only if you superimpose a “Threat To” and “Threat From” assessment on top. Only then can you really discover where your vulnerabilities are, and only then can your security program be planned to protect your corporate advantage adequately.

Proactive Intelligence
Ultimately, good security intelligence constantly keeps its eye on the horizon. It can discover patterns and indicators in a business practice that masks criminal activities.

We are now witnessing the arrival of organized crime in the business of espionage, particularly in cyber-espionage. We see organized crime stealing trade secrets and IP to sell on the black market.

In the best of worlds, our government agencies would warn us about such emerging threats and assist our national corporations to protect themselves, however, this has not been the case. Therefore, the private sector must create its own private intelligence capability and share it among the ­registered members of that community.

I am convinced that we can succeed in battling the rise of corporate espionage if we develop the capacity to assess strategic and tactical intelligence for corporate security rather than national security. With time, the national agencies will be looking for corporate security solutions instead of the other way around!

A 30 year veteran of CSIS and author of the book, Nest of Spies, Michel Juneau-Katsuya has become Canada’s foremost authority on espionage.
© FrontLine Security 2011



RCMP Emergency Operations Centres
Leading a Modern Day Cavalry During Large-Scale Disasters
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

Fortunately, help was on the way. Well over 300 firefighters from more than 30 towns, cities and counties arrived to help battle nature’s inferno. Municipal officials were amazed and relieved. Mayor Karina Pillay-Kinnee remarked, “It was like the ­cavalry arrived.” More than 100 Alberta RCMP officers were also dispatched as part of the emergency response effort.

Incidents such as the wildfire that partially destroyed the town of Slave Lake, or the recent floods in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec, demonstrate the crucial role of law enforcement during both natural and manmade disasters. In dire and stressful situations – such as those during the Katrina devastation, the Vancouver riots and the recent UK riots – otherwise law-abiding citizens can ­degenerate into violence or chaos. When this occurs, police officers are expected to step up such traditional roles as crowd and traffic control. As Canada’s national police force, the RCMP must also ­perform vital non-traditional roles during large-scale incidents.

For example, RCMP officers are commonly responsible for access control during a crisis. This includes controlling access roads, cordoning off restricted areas and clearing access to emergency vehicles. In some circumstances RCMP members may also be involved with transporting essential goods, medication or even people. During evacuation scenarios, such as occurred in Slave Lake, officers traditionally go door-to-door and warn people of the need to evacuate. An evacuation order transmitted by an RCMP ­officer is sometimes more convincing than from a civilian.

During major forest fires, floods or other disasters, the RCMP emergency operations centre immediately assumes control of its component of the emergency response team. Each of the force’s 15 divisions has its own Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

The EOC for Alberta’s K Division, for example, is located at RCMP headquarters in Edmonton. Desks with dual screen computers and phones fill the room, and the walls are covered with maps, charts and flat screen monitors. At the helm is Corporal Al Fraser, the composed, efficient, and highly knowledgeable emergency operations program coordinator. This veteran RCMP officer has dedicated 32 years of his life to the force. He has specialized in the emergency management/crisis communication field for over 20 years and was posted to his present position in 2008. Fraser is especially receptive to the emergency and disaster needs of Albertans, having served his entire career in the province.

Recent months have seen a hectic period in Western Canada characterized by many large-scale emergencies and disasters. K Division was frequently called into action throughout the spring and summer of 2011. In May, several fires raged in the forests that cover the northern portion of the province. “Slave Lake was only one fire, we had a number of fires across northern Alberta at that time,” explains Fraser. “We had fires around Fort McMurray as well as Grande Prairie and Grimshaw.”

When floods threatened areas of southern Alberta, it was apparent to emergency planners that they were confronting a logistical challenge. “We had flood warnings for Calgary and southern Alberta so we had to be careful that we didn’t take all the physical resources we had in those areas up into the fire area because we didn’t know if we were going to have floods [elsewhere].” He noted that the province was very involved, and he spent a lot of time with the provincial emergency centre during these crises.

Two RCMP officers (a sergeant and corporal), work fulltime in the RCMP emergency operations centre in Edmonton. They are responsible for action and readiness, but are also involved in emergency planning and business continuity duties. The number of personnel will increase dramatically during large-scale emergencies. For example, the centre was responsible for food, lodgings and supplies for the approximately 100 RCMP members deployed to the Slave Lake response needs. This required extra manpower in the EOC.

“In the case of a terrorist attack in Alberta,” alludes Taylor, “other experts would be brought into the RCMP emergency operations centre to assist with the Incident Command System. We would have subject experts [in] operations, planning, logistics and finance to assist us,” he explains. “Depending on the level of emergency, we would provide information to the province, and it might end up going through channels to Ottawa.”

Invariably, when the RCMP participates in a major natural ­disaster or crisis event, it becomes part of an emergency relief team. During certain crises, the police might be the lead agency, at other times public works may be in charge, or fire services may take the lead. Successful emergency management requires a well-orchestrated and collaboration of all public safety agencies involved.

In a hostage-taking incident, for example, a police command structure would automatically step into the lead.

The lead on other incidents can be more complex, such as the response to the Slave Lake fire. In this case, the lead responsibilities “went back and forth,” explains Al Fraser. “First it was the police who were in charge of the evacuation and for patrolling the highway in and out of the town. Once the civilians were evacuated, command switched back to the firefighters and to the municipal authorities. The police were still there in that emergency, of course, providing check points and ensuring that the people who where in the area were supposed to be there.”

Virtually every Canadian municipality has a written plan for dealing with a large-scale disaster situation. The municipal emergency operation centre in smaller communities is usually the town hall, the fire hall, or another building. In the larger centres, Calgary, Edmonton or Lethbridge, for example, there is usually a separate building altogether set up as an emergency operations centre. The centre functions as a gathering place. Each centre has a manager to ensure the computer equipment and telephones are working, as should everything else that a facility manager deals with in terms of the actual setup and layout.

Depending on the type of emergency, it may require specific subject matter experts. For example, in the case of a gas leak, there would be a technical expert from the gas company; if the evacuees need to be sheltered in busses, someone from public transit might be there; or if there was a major leak of water or oil,  someone with environmental know-how would be sought. The fire department would definitely be called in the case of a natural gas leak. Finally, police officers would be required to cordon off and secure the area.

Responding to an Incident
RCMP officers are typically trained to follow procedures of the ICS (Incident Command System). The ICS is a systematic tool used for the command, control, and coordination of emergency response. An ICS is based upon a flexible, scalable response organization providing a common framework within which people can work together effectively. Individuals may be drawn from multiple agencies that do not routinely work together, and ICS is designed to give standard response and operation procedures to reduce the problems and potential for miscommunication on such incidents.

ICS has been summarized as a “first-on-scene” structure, where the first responder to a scene has charge of the scene until the incident has been declared resolved, a more qualified responder arrives on scene and receives command, or the incident commander appoints another individual incident commander. In small communities an RCMP member may be the first person on site and be compelled to make the initial assessment of the situation and decide how to approach the incident.

To emergency specialists such as Al Fraser, the Incident ­Command System is second nature. The major areas are operations, planning, logistics and finance. “Sometimes you might have to start buying or renting pieces of equipment to help you deal with the ­particular situation. The finance people are the ones who will keep tabs on that and keep track of that,” he says. “Often it will take ­several days to get an emergency situation under control, for example a forest fire or flood. This is when operation planning needs to schedule police officers and other emergency workers to come in for various shifts.” The “Operations Planning” group puts together the attack plan and prioritizes what is to be done first.

Overseeing all of these basic areas is the incident commander. “That person orchestrates everything, making sure everyone is on the same page and going in the right direction,” explains Fraser. “That is the person who, for the most part, will meet with municipal authorities, your mayor and council, and ultimately the person who will be talking to the provincial government and keeping the provincial operation centre informed as to what is taking place.”

When a wild fire endangers a town or large-scale flooding occurs, the RCMP divisional emergency operations centre will ­usually work closely with the provincial authority in charge of dealing with such situations. In Alberta, the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) leads the coordination, collaboration and cooperation of all organizations involved in dealing with ­disasters and emergencies. These organizations include government, industry, municipalities and first responders.

The AEMA provides training to municipalities, government officials and different agencies. They offer formal training in emergency response and the Incident Command System method of dealing with emergencies. “The province won’t necessarily take the lead, but they will participate at the strategic level,” Fraser emphasizes. “If you need more fire trucks, for example, they put out that call across the province to see who out there has fire trucks available. They obviously have a farther reach when it comes to equipment and personnel.”

For ordinary citizens caught in a disaster scenario, their standard reaction is justifiably of gratitude and amazement toward the RCMP and other responders. “I wouldn’t have thought we’d get the response we did,” Slave Lake Reeve Denny Garratt told a local reporter in the days following the devastating fire. “I was amazed and actually overjoyed to see them.”

As Slave Lake Mayor Karina Pillay-Kinnee stated, “We couldn’t have done it without them … there’s no way. To have fresh crews come in and take over, it was like the cavalry.”

Jaqueline Chartier, a FrontLine correspondent, is based in Calgary.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Vision for the Arctic
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

“There is a new world emerging above the Arctic Circle. It is this world, a new world for all the peoples of the Arctic regions that we in Canada are working to build”
– Stephen Harper, August 2008, Inuvik, NWT

Visionary words from Canada’s Prime Minister, and probably not unlike those passed to Martin Frobisher in 1576, before his ill-fated quest for the Northwest passage to the treasures of the Far East.

The Arctic poses challenges to passage and survival which, for centuries, only the native peoples would brave. The cost – time, treasury, life and effort – did not seem worth the investment.

It was not until 1903 that Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, travelled the entire length in a 21-metre fishing boat, drawing attention to its limited but new possibilities. From 1940 to 1942, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner St. Roch navigated the ­passage from west to east, and back, as a show of Canadian ­sovereignty over the North. Even during the Cold War against our common neighbour Russia, the U.S./Canadian defence of this northern border was largely limited to early warning radar and NORAD aircraft interception, an anti-ballistic missile deterrent, anti-submarine surveillance and native ranger patrols. “Let them come” said the strategists, we will meet them when they’re frozen.

Of course there was much scientific and aboriginal activity, and some commercial endeavours, but the area remained shiveringly arid in the minds of most. It was not until the ice began melting, increasing the feasibility of extracting new sources of natural resources, that it gained its new strategic impact. The potential for shorter passage to and from Far East markets (see artist’s depiction above), and the enticing fact that the region holds 20% of the world’s undiscovered, yet recoverable, oil and natural gas, and rich potential fishing, mining and other resources, have improved the attractiveness of the Arctic to all major states. This is that “new world.”

A Canadian Arctic Strategy to Meet the Pace of Change
Change in the North has accelerated since 1996 and the creation of the Arctic Council, which Canada chaired until 1998. Bordering states of the Arctic – Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States of America – all form the council “member states.” The Arctic Council also includes the category of ­Permanent Participants, which is open equally to organizations of Indigenous peoples with a majority of Arctic Indigenous constituency. As the Government of Canada states in its Way Forward portion of its new Arctic Strategy (delivered in August 2010 and updated in Jan 2011):” The Arctic Council is the leading multilateral forum through which we advance our Arctic foreign policy and promote ­Canadian Northern interests.” Canada has chair of the Arctic Council (1996-98) and will be chairing the Council again starting in 2013.

The government then defines its four pillars of change for the Arctic as: “exercising sovereignty; promoting economic and social development; protecting our environmental heritage; and improving and devolving Northern governance.” It further states that its international efforts will focus on the ­following areas:

  • engaging with neighbours to seek to resolve boundary issues;
  • securing international recognition for the full extent of our extended continental shelf;
  • addressing Arctic governance and related emerging issues, such as public safety;
  • creating the appropriate international conditions for sustainable development;
  • seeking trade and investment opportunities that benefit Northerners and all Canadians;
  • encouraging a greater understanding of the human dimension of the Arctic;
  • promoting an ecosystem-based management approach with Arctic neighbours and others;
  • contributing to and supporting international efforts to address climate change in the Arctic;
  • enhancing our efforts on other pressing environmental issues;
  • strengthening Arctic science and the legacy of International Polar Year;
  • engaging Northerners on Canada’s Arctic foreign policy;
  • supporting Indigenous Permanent Participant organizations; and
  • providing Canadian youth with opportunities to participate in the circumpolar dialogue.

Security: Arctic protection & Controls
From a security perspective, the government policy was spelled out in Securing an Open Society: Canada’s National Security Policy (April 2004):

“[The National Security Policy] sets out a strategic framework and action plan designed to ensure that the Government of Canada can prepare for and respond to a range of security threats, including terrorist attacks, outbreaks of infectious diseases, natural disasters, cyber attacks on critical infrastructure and domestic extremism.

The Policy focuses on three core national security interests:
– Protecting Canada and the safety and security of Canadians at home and abroad
– Ensuring Canada is not a base for threats to our allies
– Contributing to international security

The National Security Policy focuses attention and actions on building a more integrated security system and sets out specific actions in six key areas: intelligence, emergency planning and management, public health emergencies, transportation security, border security, and international security.”

Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans
In pursuing the first priority of “sovereignty” and the responsibility it would entail, the government announced on 22 June 2010, that beginning July 1, it would require all vessels (domestic and foreign) of a certain size to report to the Canadian Coast Guard if travelling through Canada’s Arctic waters. This new mandatory requirement is intended to ensure vessels report information such as identity, position and destination to the Canadian Coast Guard. The announcement follows June 2009 legislation that expanded the area over which the government could enforce its pollution regulations, from 100 nautical miles from shore to 200 nm. The announcement complements the Government of Canada’s Northern Strategy, focused on strengthening Canada’s Arctic sovereignty, protecting the fragile northern environment, and promoting economic and social development while giving northerners more control over their economic and political destiny.

The area depicted is vast, and one wonders about the concept of joint use of various other agencies, Coast Guard, RCMP, Border Services and National Defence transport and other aircraft to make the implementation easier.

Defence: Canada First & Arctic Sovereignty
From the Canada First Defence Strategy, unveiled by the Prime Minister on 12 May 2008 in Halifax and recently updated, we find:

“The defence of Canada’s sovereignty and the protection of territorial integrity in the Arctic remains a top priority for the government. This commitment was recently re­affirmed in Budget 2008, which provided funding for a new polar class icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard, and Arctic seabed mapping. The Canada First Defence Strategy is fully in line with the Northern Strategy and will give the CF the tools it needs to defend Canadian sovereignty and provide an increased presence in the Arctic…”

The Future – A Stronger Presence
As part of the Canada First Defence Strategy, the government has announced initiatives that will help the Canadian Forces increase their presence in the region and better respond to incidents and potential challenges to our sovereignty. These include:

  • The acquisition of six to eight Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships to patrol Arctic approaches and provide a Canadian Navy presence in the high-Arctic.
  • The establishment of a deep water docking and refuelling facility in Nanisivik.
  • The expansion of the size and capabilities of the Canadian Rangers to provide a stronger and more effective military presence in the North.
  • The establishment of an Arctic Training Centre to provide Canadian Forces with the training and skills necessary to operate effectively in the North.
  • The CF’s ability to conduct surveillance in the North will be enhanced with the modernization and replacement of the Aurora patrol aircraft, the use of evolving unmanned aerial vehicle technology, and the Polar Epsilon project.

Together, the initiatives are aimed at to bolstering the ­Canadian Forces’ ability to both “respond to contingencies in the region and conduct Arctic surveillance.”

What are others doing?
In a recent presentation given at Carleton University’s Centre for Security and Defence Studies, entitled “The Developing Arctic Security Regime: Cooperation or Conflict?” Dr. Rob Huebert addressed the issue of policy and military activity by not only all members of the Council but, importantly, also among other players such as China. Huebert asked: “Are we witnessing the birth of a new Arctic Arms Race? Or is it a new Co-operative Arctic Regime” Good question… true dilemma! Evidence was, of course, offered for both with new signs of cooperation and the new geopolitics of the North. In examining the varying policies and military and other relevant equipment and training exercises of the member states, he painted a picture of accelerating activity and concern among all members. This leads to the next question: where is this increased pace is leading? Important concern was voiced by some about the potential impact of such accelerated activity. Most Arctic Council members are of course preparing submissions, through the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which make claims to what they consider to be their portion of the Arctic seabed. What will be the level of cooperation once some of these conflicting claims have been reviewed?

For instance, the 15 February 2011 NY Times reported: “Russia, where onshore oil reserves are slowly dwindling, last month signed an Arctic exploration deal with the British petroleum giant BP, whose offshore drilling prospects in the United States were dimmed by the Gulf of Mexico disaster last year. Other Western oil companies … are now having similar discussions with Russia …. While the United States and Canada balk, other countries are clearing Arctic space for the industry. Norway, which last year ­settled a territorial dispute with Russia, is preparing to open new Arctic areas for drilling. Last year Greenland, which became semi-autonomous from Denmark in 2009, allowed Cairn Energy to do some preliminary drilling. Cairn, a Scottish company, is planning four more wells this year, while Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Shell are also expected to drill in the area over the next few years… ­Following the template of the BP deal, Rosneft is negotiating joint venture agreements with other major oil companies shut out of North America and intent on exploring the Arctic continental shelf off Russia’s northern coast. That includes Shell, its chief executive said last month.”

As for China and the EU, China continues to be concerned about the long term sustainment of energy and other resource needs for its rapidly growing economy and demanding population. To that end, it is constructing a large (10,000 ton) new research icebreaker, the Xue Long, and establishing two and a half polar bases in Antarctica and one in the Arctic. Both China and the EU are seeking membership in the Arctic Council, though they only have observer status at present.

Some Proposals

  • Sovereignty: Canadians love to flaunt this word as if it is achievable by decree. In fact, it is only achievable if it is secured and respected by others – both physically and legally, as well as internally and externally. University of Calgary professor Rob Huebert said it well: “Sovereignty must be used to provide Security for people and thus allow for the provision and promotion of economic, social, and environmental well-being.”
  • Optimize Resources: There will be an urgency to secure that which we will have won in the international court as soon as we have it. We are in a period of prolonged financial challenge, thus we must ensure the capacity to take action across the whole of government to optimize all resources. For instance, can we have a patrol ship that serves the Coast Guard, the Navy, Border Services and the RCMP if necessary, or do we blend or delegate authorities to achieve the same effect?
  • Enforcement: We have initiated along our Southern Border and in our Great Lakes the “Integrated Border Enforcement Teams” (IBETS). Would it not be in the interest of all members of the Arctic Council to cooperate in some similar fashion to minimize conflict and duplication in various locations along common borders?
  • Exercise: Regular cooperative exercises among all levels in the Arctic would serve to increase trust and reduce the inevitable tensions. For instance, a natural disaster exercise among federal, territorial, and local governments and agencies, and/or among the various Council-member nations, would be useful to all. Initiated during the Cold War, the Major Air Disaster protocol for the Arctic could serve as an effective model for a major sea rescue of multiple ships and major international evacuations.
  • Cooperation: Actively seek and maintain cooperation of Arctic Council members to maintain its relevance and to reduce potential for a major arms or competitive race that would harm the people and/or the environment. Establish joint environmental assessment teams. Encourage other major states to observe Council sessions and contribute to its studies.

Clive Addy is the Executive Editor of FrontLine Security magazine.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Port Security: A Matter of Cooperation
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

Are North America’s ports vulnerable to attack that would cripple our economy or annihilate our society? The answer is no to both, but the safety of our economy from port ­disruption needs closer scrutiny. Threats to airports involve people and the potential use of aircraft as WMDs. Seaports, on the other hand, normally involve very little in the way of transporting people, though cruise boating continues to grow at double-digit rates.

Port of the City of Toronto.

In terms of overall national security and public safety, port security designs and day-to-day operations can offer much insight into how to make any enterprise resilient to business disruption and asset damage. In fact, by looking at any well-run port, it becomes apparent quickly that there is a “system” at play that promotes safety and security. That system, though strong, is not bulletproof.

The Port of the City of Toronto is a very busy yet very secure port that connects the U.S. to Canada. The Toronto Port Authority, headed by Angus Armstrong, Harbour Master and Chief of Security, relies on a close relationship with the Toronto Police Services to ensure the port remains safe and secure.

Without the help of the Toronto Police, the port would face severe and unacceptable risks to its daily flow of several billions of dollars in US-Canada bilateral trade.

To understand the balance between port security and commercial effectiveness, FrontLine Security tapped the shoulder of Keith Melo, program coordinator in the School of Emergency Management at George Brown College, to convene a roundtable discussion with Angus Armstrong and his Toronto Police partners to discuss the fine balance between commerce and safety at the ports. Sergeant Ross Lindsay, head of the Marine Unit, and Gary Gibson, ­Community Information Officer, joined the discussions.

Overall, the Toronto Port is successful ,both as a business and a secure facility, due to adherence to the ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security) Code – the code of procedure issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). By following the ISPS religiously, any port around the world can ensure that cargo coming into that port is safe and has been subjected to internationally agreed-upon procedures for inspection and control. American ports only acccept cargo from ISPS-accredited ships and ports.

Progressive ports like Toronto’s apply the ISPS Code compliance standards and reinforce them with good policing techniques to fortify the port. Together, the Port Authority and the city police apply interagency cooperation such as intelligence ­sharing and training to round out the safety and security picture.

Ever since Marlon Brando depicted the conflicted role of Terry in the 1954 movie, On the Waterfront, the public has associated organized crime with seaport operations. The bad rap for seaports (as opposed to, perhaps, land or airports) is somewhat ­justified today as well. Moreover, the new millennium ushered in a serious threat of terrorism to further complicate the picture. Large terrorist organizations use criminal activities to raise money to fund their terrorist activities. Once a criminal element gets established in the port and can move contraband such as drugs, autos or guns,  such activities increase quickly. Needless to say, criminals will move anything for money, so all are closely linked. In Toronto, as in many other progressive seaports around North America, the integration of threats has demanded an equally integrated set of solutions.

Human Factors
The roundtable discussion produced consensus on some issues, such as the need to rely on a proven “chain of control” which can be achieved by following the ISPS Code to the letter, plus! That “plus” is the human factor side of security that could apply, not just to ports, but to most other elements of critical infrastructure.

Patrolling the waterways around Vancouver. (Photo: Port Metro Vancouver 2011)

Besides the standards of the ISPS, the consensus was that the following three key human factor-oriented considerations should top the list.

The first is intelligence. For instance, the Harbour Master/Chief of Security seeks information from trusted sources – mostly other law enforcement and border security agencies – to determine if a given vessel coming into port is friend or foe, criminal or law abiding. He will compare data points concerning the vessel as it left an ISPS-cleared port on its way to Toronto, and as it came through the St. Lawrence Seaway straddling the U.S. Canadian border. “Watch the chain,” notes Armstrong. “How is it doing as a chain of delivery? Where is it coming from? Who has handled it? Where is it going? Then you can begin to look at the high risk vessels. You can then use a matrix for risk assessment.”

The information coming from other agencies down the line, the intel that is used to make decisions at the port, is really a manifestation of interagency cooperation, the second human factor.

Ultimately, both civilian and military forces contribute to, and coordinate, seaport security operations. For Toronto, that means both Canadian and U.S. agencies agree to common response parameters and activities in the event of a port security threat or incident.

For the Great Lakes, a practical example of this is the Maritime Security Enforcement Team (MSET) comprised of security personnel from agencies such as the Toronto Police, regional police forces, the U.S. Coast Guard, RCMP, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), and the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA). Together, this team conducts planning and interagency training operations in preparation for any conceivable emergency.

That brings us to the third human consideration: learning. Angus Armstrong considers the training program developed at George Brown College to be a good “template” for ensuring that all port personnel are trained to ISPC standards. When all security personnel around a port are trained to the same standards, security work is a smoother and integrated system. But learning also involves the public, and this is the job of police community information and liaison officers like Gary Gibson. “When you look at the big picture, we need public input. Public and business awareness is key to effective public safety. So a big part of my job is talking to groups of citizens about security awareness. People are reluctant to call the police. The right thing to do is to make sure that suspicious activity does get reported to the police. This message is being delivered to businesses and residences around the port, and the attitude of officers is one of cooperation.”

Port Security for transparent borders
Overall, the roundtable discussion was grounded in common sense. “The stakeholders in the port security agenda work together as a team,” said Sgt Ross Lindsay. “We work with the members of the U.S. and Canadian agencies, as well as with the corporate customers at the port, to devise contingency plans. Then we create scenarios about potential security threats that all team members use to practice integrated response procedures. We understand that a terrorist threat, for example, creates as much, or more, psychological damage as physical damage, so we plan isolation manoeuvers to move any potentially dangerous vessel away from public areas.”

The roundtable concluded by going back to basics on the objectives. Ports are mostly about moving cargo safely and efficiently from one country to the next. “If you know where something is coming from, you know it has not been tampered with along the way, and you are certain it does not represent a threat to anyone, [you can] keep it moving,” is the pragmatic advice from Toronto’s Harbour Master.

U.S. industry is dependent on Canadian imports and vice versa. Interagency cooperation is key. With the technological advances available today, we should be able to allow the secure system – designed and directed by the ISPS, and implemented by compliant governments – to move cargo without interminable delays at the border. When cargo comes through that system at Halifax, it should be as though it had landed and been cleared in Boston.  

Edward R. Myers is the Editor of FrontLine.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Document Security & Vulnerability
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

Acountry’s assets for future economic growth include new product and technology creation, development and commercialization by industry. Both start-up and mature corporations use private and public funds to finance these latter activities. Protecting those innovation by applying for patent protection and safeguarding trade secrets is a key part of the operations of a corporation – and essential for its investors and owners.

Innovation secrets are vulnerable to human espionage, yet many companies are unaware of the risks and points of vulnerability. The information in this article applies to all companies even though it focuses on the vulnerability of biotechnology companies. Only publicly available tools and methods of espionage are discussed. The present day and future methods of espionage are becoming even more sophisticated in terms of collection abilities and disguise/concealment but really don’t change your vulnerability.

It is one thing to invest in electronic security systems to protect the facility from potential clandestine intruders but an industrial spy can be effective simply by gaining your trust and or friendship, or because in your urgent need to obtain financing you lowered your guard.

The effective human spy wears or possesses concealed tools that seem to be a simple pen, book, or brief case. A guided tour of the manufacturing or research facility is all that the human spy needs to clandestinely gather images of the processes or documents that they are allowed to read or view as you step out of the meeting to get coffee for the visitor.

Imagine the damage that can be done by a person that spends many months in a company! They had your trust so you never suspected that they could collect information while working so hard late at night. Even security at the front desk didn’t notice the hundreds of pages of information collected in the camera concealed within a textbook and later downloaded at home for internet transfer to their real employer.

Concealment of espionage tools like cameras has been used for centuries and today it is even simpler due to the size of the equipment. You signed the non-disclosure agreement and they gladly agreed that you would not provide copies of the sensitive technological process. You run through the presentation of the technology using a PowerPoint presentation, answering their questions and end the meeting looking ­forward to doing business with them in the near future. Did you realize that the brief case on the desk full of paper actually had a video recorded concealed in it and that your entire presentation was recorded? Probably not because you had a good feeling about the person, he was friendly and had a strong hand shake.

Document shredders tend to give a false sense of security. The size of the shredding defines the difficulty in re-assembling the document. Many shredders used today in companies slice paper into spaghetti size shreds of paper and these can unfortunately easily and readily be re-assembled. The ultimate security is shredding the documents into pea sized bits of paper or burning the documents. The pea sized bits of paper are probably adequate to protect the majority of industrial secrets. The information from charred documents can also be recovered using standard forensic methods. If burning is your method of destruction, ensure that the end product is crushed ashes.

Throwing spaghetti shreds of paper or intact paper into the garbage is asking for trouble. A garbage bag is like an apple, it is for picking! Human industrial spies can certainly obtain huge amounts of information from documents considered non-sensitive or non-confidential in the garbage.

It is excellent to shred into a pea size bit the draft of the new patent application, but what about the sheets of paper underneath the pages you were writing on? Remember that when you write on a piece of paper that the imprint of the trace of the pencil or pen remains as an indentation in several of the sheets of paper of the pad. When writing a trade secret or sensitive information, remove the sheet of paper from the pad and write your text after placing the sheet onto a hard surface where no indentation can remain on its surface.

Protecting against clandestine spy activities involves educating your employees about how easy it is to collect sensitive information using concealed devices. Ensure that you have adequate document destruction methods and don’t leave trusted and friendly guests in a room when you step out for a few minutes. Screening a potential employee or research fellow involves more than looking at their educational qualifications. Talk to several references to find out more.

Currently the President of CuraPhyte Technologies Inc., Guy Chamberland has worked for the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). A chemist and forensic document examiner, he has also worked in the biotech sector.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Slave Lake Fire of 2011
Material Tragedy, Human Triumph
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

Mother Nature was on the warpath in 2011. From the beginning of January ‘till the end of December, there were hundreds of ­­calamities around the world – perhaps none so dramatic and ­­devastating as the ­Japanese earthquake/tsunami that struck in March.

An aerial view of Slake Lake Fire

Two months later, on May 15, residents of a small Northern Alberta town were facing their own disaster as a wildfire eventually engulfed the town of Slave Lake, leaving approximately 730 people homeless.

After months of investigation, authorities now believe the fire was originally set by an arsonist. The case has been handed over to the RCMP by Alberta’s Minister of Sustainable Resources. According the Minister, “Our investigation eliminated all natural, industrial or accidental causes. We know there was no lightning at that site, no power line malfunction and no campfire located at that site, so a process of elimination gets us to the only reasonable conclusion.”

The town had just over 7,000 residents when the fire broke out. All were ordered to evacuate when a state of emergency was declared. Some 12 guelling days later, the firefighter crews left, returning to their own communities across Alberta and the rest of the country.

All in all, an estimated 1,400 firefighters deployed, along with 170 helicopters and tankers. The original damage estimate was $700 million, with the final tally looking closer to $1.8 billion! Approximately 500 buildings in the town were completely destroyed or severely damaged.

Miraculously, there was just one loss of life – a helicopter pilot who crashed while battling the blaze.

While the Slave Lake fire was a particularly devastating (possibly man-made) event, the fact is that wildfires are all too common in Canada. Nearly 9,000 such fires occur every year across the country, and collectively burn two million hectares of land. In Alberta alone, by mid-May 2011, over 100 wildfires were burning across the province – including 23 that were considered “out of control,” with the majority of the fires in the Lesser Slave Lake area, where 15 were burning out of control. In Alberta, in less than five months, over 105,000 hectares had been burned.

So what happened at Slave Lake that allowed this fire to encroach so quickly on the town? Were enough protective measures in place? What are the “lessons” from Slave Lake that need to be considered by community safety planners?

Community-Based Protection Programs
Regardless of that fire’s cause, the proximity of towns like Slave Lake to the wildland is the element that poses the greatest risk. Wildfires that involve buildings and wildland vegetation simultaneously are known as interface fires. Such fires present unique challenges and obstacles that must be addressed through practical, proactive, community-based solutions. A body of knowledge has been built up around this notion of WUI (Wildland-Urban Interface).

A practical, proactive and community-based program was, in fact, already being promoted in Alberta in mid May.

The Partners in Protection’s (PiP) FireSmart program, supported by the Alberta government was already available for communities to implement. PiP is a multi-disciplinary partnership committed to raising awareness, providing information, and developing forums with a view to encouraging proactive, community-based initiatives. FireSmart is the Canadian ­version of the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise program that aims to mitigate WUI risks in three parts: fuel reduction programs; enhanced property standards; and effective fire suppression solutions. NFPA and PiP earlier in 2011 signed a ­Memorandum of Understanding to further promote WUI risk reduction efforts across Canada.

Another program that makes a lot of sense for communities in proximity to ­wildland was created by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. That program, called Ready, Set, Go! uses firefighters to teach individuals who live in high risk wildfire areas and WUI communities how to best prepare themselves and their properties against fire threats. Ready, Set, Go! works in complimentary and collaborative fashion with FireSmart and other existing wildland fire public education efforts. According to the IAFC, the Ready, Set, Go! program “amplifies their messages to individuals to better achieve the common goal we all share of fire-adapted communities… The RSG Program provides the implementation guidance, background knowledge, and presentation tools to assist fire departments in delivering the program message.”

In promoting these community-based programs in Canada, the NFPA’s Canadian Office has encouraged provincial leaders to develop province-wide policies adopting the programs formally to ensure consistent and effective implementation. “Without a clear provincial policy mandate in any of these areas, the default responsibility rests with each municipality”, laments Sean Tracey, Canadian Director of the NFPA.

In a written submission to the Slave Lake Review Panel, Tracey recommends a provincial requirement for all communities to complete a risk assessment for WUI fires. “This would include assessing the topography as well the suppression capabilities available in the region. The region would then be required to make this information available to the public such that they can make informed decisions on their own protection and on home purchase.” He also says this risk assessment plan should incorporate a “community level mitigation strategy.”

Programs such as the various initiatives referred to will be instrumental in supporting communities as they prepare themselves to be resilient to the effects of WUI. Any program that encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from the risk of wildfire should be considered.

The Human Element
The Calgary Fire Department sent 120 members to Slave Lake to help the existing contingent of 80 Slave Lake firefighters. The Calgary team, under the leadership of Deputy Chief Tom Sampson, went to work immediately, working 18 hour shifts over the next 12 days to battle the blazes. Sampson had the incident command system (ICS) up, running, and coordinating the activities of firefighters and community resources within 12 hours.

As the response effort continued to take shape over the first few hours and into the subsequent days, Deputy Chief Sampson found himself in unfamiliar territory. The ICS worked fine but it was not designed to accommodate all of the challenges faced by the 200 professional responders and community based volunteers, such as the length of time people were required to be on the job in an environment where the businesses and infrastructure of the town were left in ashes. To keep everyone productive, basic necessities of life such as food, water, sanitation and housing became big issues. After a short time, not having a Tim Horton’s coffee shop seemed like an important missing piece that Sampson would have rectified in hindsight.

Also, the overall logistics of the response effort in the small, charred town called for resources that could only be ­supplied by a financial auditor who could keep track of the assets – what was needed and where they came from – when certain requirements (backhoes, trucks, generators and shelters) were filled by members of the community.

What really impressed veteran first responder, Deputy Chief Sampson, was the capacity of individual community members to assist in the response. “Laura was a woman from the community whose home was burned to the ground. She chose to stay behind in the community to help with the response instead of leaving for safer venues. Altogether there were 1,500 or 1,600 people who participated in the ­operation from the community and every one was as much a hero as any of the ­professionals.”

Any Canadian community that is in an area that could be considered a Wildland-Urban Interface needs to become what is described as a “Fire Adapted Community.” This is a community where all members understand and accept their wildfire risk and have taken positive and proactive steps to improve the safety and resilience of their homes, landscapes, infrastructure and community assets to withstand a wildfire. The more action the community takes, the more “fire adapted” it becomes.

Lessons Learned?
From a purely response point of view, it is difficult to say if there were lessons to be learned in Slave Lake in mid-May.

Deputy Chief Sampson concludes that “our ability to access the resources of the community – people and assets – was key to the successful operations we conducted in Slave Lake.” One take-away would be the need for communities to understand the resources they have and how to access them – like the anecdotal need for an auditor or the availability of coffee.

Perhaps programs such as the FireSmart Communities Program, which encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters and others in the effort to protect people and property from the risk of wildfire, should become government policy. The National Fire Protection Association recognizes that an element of municipal programming, including public education and property standards, should be considered in future. The property standards idea would set out principles around community development but also specify building design standards and property maintenance standards for individual structures, depending on the risk categorization of the area.

According to the NFPA, a follow-on component of a hazard assessment strategy would be to “codify” the requirement for enhanced building standards in high risk regions. This is a more difficult task than it seems as it likely will run afoul of provincial safety codes, but the gravity of the potential for WUI disasters, as highlighted by the Slave Lake fire, dictates that the issue be addressed head on even if it contravenes non-public safety interests or commercial special interests.

As NFPA’s Tracey states, “this is analogous to seismic provisions in the building code – if you build in a high risk area, then you must build to a higher standard. There are standards available from NFPA that communities can choose to be adopted or adapted into municipal bylaws at the local level. These are NFPA 1141, Fire Protection Infrastructure for Land Development in Suburban and Rural Areas (2012 edition), and the Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire, (2012 edition). Both model building codes in the U.S. have ­provisions that require enhanced building standards in high risk WUI areas.”

Wildfires that threaten Wildland-Urban Interface communities are destructive not just to homes and the eco-system but also to utilities such as drinking water and electricity. They disrupt daily life by closing roads and businesses, are a threat to the lives of responders, and are a significant drain on local and federal budgets. The Fire Adapted Communities initiative will provide a resource for residents, businesses and government to implement community-wide plans to address various wildfire threats and concerns.

Edward R. Myers, Editor FrontLine Security magazine.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Reducing the Risk of Earthquake Damages
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

Some day a large earthquake will strike Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa or another large urban centre in Canada. Such an event has the potential to cause loss of life, property damage and economic disruption unprecedented for Canada. The tragic and contrasting experiences last year in Haiti and Chile show that appropriate investments in preparedness and resilience can help prevent future earthquakes from becoming disasters.

The following text will identify seven lessons, and in doing so, examines the country’s state of preparedness and resilience to extreme earthquake events. There are many areas of strength in Canada’s preparedness and resilience, yet there are also several areas where improvement is needed. Of particular concern is the vulnerability of public infrastructure, the preparedness of the federal government, and the need to retrofit older homes and buildings.

In addition, there is scope to improve the dialogue between public officials, business leaders, the research community, and the general public. It is important also, to highlight the important role that insurance can play to support the recovery following an earthquake and the essential contribution of research to provide a science-based foundation for action.

The intent of this article is to foster increased awareness about the potential impact of a major earthquake in Canada, and promote opportunities to prevent or mitigate the risk of loss. Such a dialogue is necessary to seek actions that will strengthen the willingness to invest further in resilient buildings, infrastructure and preparedness. The best time to act is now, before a large earthquake strikes.

The earthquakes in Chile and Haiti
A magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck Chile on February 27, 2010. This was the fifth strongest earthquake ever recorded. The energy released was 500 times greater than the Haiti earthquake. More than 12.5 million people experienced severe or violent shaking, or were affected by the resulting tsunami. The Chilean government has identified 432 people that were killed by the earthquake and continues to investigate 98 other deaths where the earthquake appears to have been the cause. The subsequent tsunami was responsible for 124 of the total deaths. Direct economic damage could reach US$30 billion, or 18% of Chile’s annual production. The adverse impact on Chile of this large earthquake was significantly reduced because of the investment in preparedness and resilience, and stands in stark contrast to the experience in Haiti.

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. The impact was ­catastrophic because of Haiti’s extreme ­vulnerability. An estimated 2.5 million people experienced extreme or violent shaking. Almost 9% of those affected were killed (222,570 people), and half (1.3 million) were forced to live in tents and other temporary shelter. There was US$8 billion in direct ­economic damage – equal to 110% of Haiti’s annual economic production.

Lessons in Resiliency
Important lessons can be learned from the tragic events in Haiti and Chile that can be applied to Canada to help reduce the probability that large earthquakes become catastrophes. Earthquakes can be powerful hazards. Hazards can become disasters if they strike a vulnerable community that is not prepared. Countries exposed to large earthquakes, like Canada, must invest in preparedness and resilience to reduce the risk that earthquakes will cause fatalities, property damage and economic disruption.

There are many lessons for homeowners, businesses and public officials from the tragic earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Seven key lessons are highlighted below.

The first is to understand potential Risks. It is inevitable that a major ­earthquake will strike Canada. A number of communities have a high or moderate risk of experiencing a large earthquake, including Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria and Quebec City. It is essential that individuals, businesses and public officials understand the risks earthquakes pose.

We can help prevent earthquakes from becoming disasters. Three priorities for improving Canada’s resilience to large earthquakes should include retrofitting or replacing vulnerable buildings, taking steps to reduce the threat of uncontrolled fire following an earthquake, and investment to strengthen the seismic resilience of public infrastructure. Sound investment in loss prevention can significantly reduce the need for recovery.

Building codes and retrofits protect lives and property. Most earthquake fatalities and extensive property damage are the result of buildings that collapse. Fortunately, modern building codes and a progressive engineering community have reduced the risk of loss for newer homes and buildings in Canada. However, investment should be made to retrofit or replace older and potentially vulnerable structures, including schools and hospitals.

Public infrastructure is vulnerable to damage. Earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and elsewhere resulted in severe destruction of essential systems, including transportation and water systems. Public infrastructure in Canada appears highly vulnerable following decades of under­­investment, and may be severely challenged by a large earthquake. Even in the absence of such an event, significant investments are required to retrofit these aging systems to a better level of performance.

Effective preparedness will reduce the risk of losses. Local and provincial emergency response systems in Canada have a good record of successfully responding to natural hazards. However, Canada’s system of emergency preparedness has never been tested by an event as large as a major earthquake. Moreover, there are some concerns about the preparedness of the Government of Canada to provide federal services, and support, if requested, the provincial and local response.

Canadians must understand recovery tools like insurance. The best time to plan for recovery from a major earthquake is before the event strikes. Tools like insurance and public relief are essential mechanisms to fund the recovery process. Individuals, businesses, and governments should take the time to understand the specific role that insurance and other tools may play to support recovery following an earthquake.

Science and research pro­vide the foundation for action. Governments must invest in research to enhance their knowledge of the hazard, the potential impacts, and seismic safety. Investment in science and research will provide the knowledge to support effective actions by decision makers and responders.

It is inevitable that a large earthquake will strike at some point in a major urban centre in Canada like Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria or Quebec City. Actions taken to prepare for this peril will reduce fatalities, property damage and economic disruption when the hazard strikes.

It is important to learn from the tragic earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, and to identify actions to enhance seismic safety in Canada. The greatest challenge in advancing public safety is to stimulate action from key stakeholders, including individuals, businesses and governments. Most fatalities in Haiti and many in Chile were in buildings that collapsed. Canada has a reputation for sound construction, but building codes and other standards have not been tested by a major earthquake. Building codes function well as a mechanism to systemically institutionalize emerging knowledge about seismic design and construction. The greatest risk of earthquake fatalities and property damage in Canada appears to be in older buildings that do not include the safety knowledge present in modern structures. This risk can be addressed through seismic retrofits or replacement of older structures. In particular, it is important to address safety in schools, hospitals and other essential buildings.

The disaster in Haiti was made worse by the absence of any preparedness and the resulting chaotic response. Canadian emergency response systems have proven their effectiveness to address small and moderate events, but they have seldom been tested by large-scale disasters. Confidence is high that local response efforts will be appropriate and provincial systems appear to be sound. The greatest uncertainty in emergency response to a large earthquake is the capacity of the federal government to sustain federal services to support the provinces when requested. There is scope for the Government of Canada to improve its preparedness to respond to an emergency.

Recent earthquakes resulted in infrastructure failures that will delay the recovery in Chile by months and in Haiti by years. An important opportunity to take action today to reduce the adverse impact of a major earthquake in Canada would be to repair or replace aging public infrastructure. Transportation and underground systems, like water, may be compromised for months if a large earthquake strikes Vancouver, Montreal or Ottawa. Many of these essential systems are vulnerable due to age and years of deferred maintenance – a weakness that is likely to be fully exposed when a large earthquake strikes – increasing the risk of evacuations, business closures and prolonged economic disruption.

The most important finding for individuals, businesses and public officials in Canada from the tragic earthquakes early last year in Haiti and Chile is that the knowledge exists to help prevent a future earthquake in Canada, even a very large earthquake, from becoming a disaster.
Canadian businesses, homeowners and governments should take action now to invest in seismic safety to strengthen the resilience of their buildings and infrastructure, and improve preparedness.

The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction is a world-class centre of excellence for disaster safety. The Institute is an independent, not-for-profit research centre based in Toronto and London, at the University of Western Ontario, working to turn research into actions that enhance resilience to natural hazards.

This article is excerpted from a larger study entitled ‘Reducing the risk of earthquake damage in Canada: Lesson from Haiti and Chile’, available at www.iclr.org
© FrontLine Security 2011



MSOC: Guardians of the Gateways
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

The marine industry is an essential lifeline for so many of our daily needs. Annually, Canada’s commercial marine industry ­generates $10 billion in economic activity and $117 billion in international trade. It is responsible for 100,000 jobs that manage and move the 456 million tonnes of cargo annually.

About 90% of world trade is carried by the international shipping industry. The Round Table of International Shipping Associations claims that without international shipping “Half the world would starve and the other half would freeze!” It is recognized as the life blood of the global economy, without which intercontinental trade, the bulk transport of raw materials, and the availability of food and manufactured goods would simply be unaffordable, if not impossible.

The 50,000 merchant ships that constitute the world fleet are registered in over 150 nations, and are staffed by over a million seafarers of virtually every nationality. The continuously expanding seaborne trade of materials and goods benefits consumers through the industry’s competitive freight costs and increasing efficiency of shipping as a mode of transport.

But marine commerce is conducted against a backdrop that is anything but civilized and law-abiding. Seas that carry commerce are the same seas that can bring security challenges to Canada and Canadians. Our growing reliance on maritime trade and commerce bring increasingly serious security challenges.

These point to a global situation wherein the international community is clearly not enjoying the safe and peaceful world that was expected at the end of the Cold War. If anything, it indicates that the world has become far more sinister – the lawless wild-west on a global scale.

How does Canada respond to potential threats in the maritime domain? Security concerns are monitored by three Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOC) – one on each coast and a third, the Great Lakes (GL) MSOC, in Ontario. The coastal MSOCs are administratively supported by the Navy, and the GL-MSOC, through the collaborative decision-making of the core partners, is under the management of the RCMP. It must be noted, however, that the MSOCs are a “whole of government” operation, with the partners working collaboratively to develop a comprehensive maritime domain picture.

The establishment of these Centres is a result of the federal government’s 2004 national security policy, entitled “Securing An Open Society.” The policy outlines the broad scope of security, intelligence and public safety measures designed to protect Canadians against current and future security threats.

The policy placed a renewed focus on strengthening maritime security, which led to the initial establishment of two MSOCs in the Navy Dockyards in Halifax, Nova Scotia (currently supported by the East Coast Navy), and Esquimalt, British Columbia (supported by the West Coast Navy). A year later, the third MSOC was established for the Great Lakes, led by the RCMP and located in the Niagara region.

The National Security Policy (NSP) intends to: better track vessels operating in Canadian waters; increase surveillance; protect marine infrastructure; improve domestic and international cooperation; and provide warning of maritime threats to Canada.

Petty Officer First Class (PO1) Joseph Scheubel, a Sonar Operator and Underwater Warfare Director, operates the Torpedo Weapon Systems and directs all surface/air assets that defend HMCS Winnipeg against any threat of a submarine attack.

The MSOC is the physical and organizational embodiment of national inter-agency and interdepartmental capability with five core departmental partners:
–    Canada Border Services Agency
–    Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard;
–    Department of National Defence
–    Royal Canadian Mounted Police
–    Transport Canada.

The Marine Security Operations Centres’ mission is to develop maritime situational awareness through collaboration by the government agencies engaged in, or in support of, marine security. The MSOC partners collect and analyze information and intelligence, assist in the detection, assessment, and support of a coordinated response to a marine security threat, incident or significant marine event.

The MSOCs take maritime intelligence and operations information collected by the partner agencies and departments to be transformed into an integrated marine situational awareness and contingency planning product. They integrate this information into the total situational awareness picture used by decision-makers to resolve marine security threats.

When fully operational, the MSOCs will manage, analyze, exchange, and archive marine information, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data from various government agencies departments and assets. This will create a precise, coherent, and up to the minute picture of marine activity off Canada’s coastlines on the 24/7 basis.

Inputs feeding into the centers would include everything from surveillance assets (aircraft, ships, terrestrial radar, and space-based systems) to electronic vessel locator feeds, at-sea weather reports and open-source internet-provided marine vessel information services. The MSOCs will also be networked with Canadian Coast Guard’s vessel traffic and communications systems. Crucial information will be promptly exchanged so that all the agencies and departments are able to effectively respond to the constantly-changing national and international marine security environments.

The marine security operations centers will provide for greater marine security awareness on Canada’s three coasts and will help detect, assess, and respond to any threat to marine security that could adversely affect the safety, security, environment, or economy of Canada.

These include littoral and trans-national organized crime: drug trafficking, piracy, and migrant smuggling. They will merge information about terrorist activity, overfishing, and polluters to present a complete, common marine security picture that can be effectively exploited by all concerned federal, provincial, and municipal agencies, commissions, and departments.

Photo credit: Sgt Robert Comeau, Army News

Roots of MSOCs
The release of the National Security Policy on 27 April 2004 provided government direction to DND’s Maritime Operational Surveillance and Information Centers (MOSIC) Project to re-examine requirements and shift from what Halifax MSOC coordinator Lieutenant-Commander Ian Cook describes as a “Navy-centric focus to an emphasis on a domestic maritime inter-agency and interdepartmental capability.”

MOSIC began operations in 2002 under the sponsorship of the Chief of the Maritime Staff (Commander of the Canadian Navy) to capitalize on the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities of DND’s maritime intelligence and data fusion centers located on the east and west coasts. The project provided its consolidated reports to defence clients, using resources from within existing personnel, technology, and physical infrastructure. This transformed the Navy’s approach to collecting, managing, storing, displaying, and sharing maritime intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance information and data within an integrated information infrastructure.

This expansion of scope and interdepartmental participation resulted in a realization that the best approach was to use MOSIC as a foundation to retain the benefits, maintain the momentum gained, and leverage the work already completed.

The National Security Policy expanded the DND project into an inter-agency and interdepartmental program that will permit an assessment and evaluation of the concept of operations for the MSOCs. “The centres are virtually a living lab,” said Lieutenant-Commander Ian Cook, director of the Halifax MSOC. “We are working with real information and intelligence in real time to provide users with a comprehensive marine security picture that they can use to better protect Canada, Canadians and Canadian infrastructure.”

“Where you have federal departments with similar, competing or overlapping mandates, you could have gaps opening up in our security,” said LCdr Cook. “And this is what the bad guys exploit. Our objective is to reduce these gaps, if not eliminate them.”

MSOC is only concerned with surface traffic; the sub-surface is a military responsibility. Not actually an operations centre, the three MSOCs comprise a centre for the collection, fusion and analysis of information that endeavours to provide a complete picture of Canada’s maritime regions. Each partner brings to the Centre specific, departmental resources, communications and interaction.

The Centres are the embodiment of interdepartmental collaboration for maritime security. They are leading the way towards effective, controlled and trusted information-sharing, using the proposed Integrated Information Environment (IIE), which combines technology, processes, and people. The IIE will enable the MSOC partners to share information in real-time and allow for the automated analysis of information, significantly improving the ability to warn of potential threats from Canada’s seaward approaches. This MSOC solution is transformational and will provide a model to lead the way for an automated interagency information collaboration solution.

DND, through the resources of Navy’s two coastal components, provides specialized intelligence analysts, an information fusion process, infrastructure and an established and proven reporting process.

In the case of ship-borne illegal immigrants, the MSOC can initiate an investigation by the RCMP, alert the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, and provide early warning to the CBSA. When circumstances permit this information to be shared, action can be taken by an individual department, such as CBSA or DND, or it may be the subject of collective action.

Each MSOC has a unique set of considerations to which it must be mindful.

On the Atlantic coast, many ships have to pass through the pirate-infested waters of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, and may attempt to carry into Canada unwanted cargo and passengers.

The Pacific coast has the unique situation of the primary access point of the Straits of Juan de Fuca (a waterway shared with the United States) to Vancouver, Canada’s busiest port.

The Great Lakes is also a shared waterway with the U.S., with bilateral agreements and Canadian legislation circumscribing the capability of the Canadian Navy’s operations. The small vessel threat is a major concern and focus for the Great Lakes MSOC.

The Great Lakes MSOC area of responsibility comprises of 2000 km of Canada/US marine border including 244,000 square km of water. There are approximately 5.4 million pleasure crafts on the Great Lakes and 400-500 commercial vessels that travel the waterways daily during the shipping season. The Great Lakes are the heartland of Canada and the U.S. which includes a 34,000,000 population within the Great Lakes basin.

Information sharing
The MSOC is a mechanism to allow information sharing between departments. It is a capability made possible by the cooperation and collaboration of the five partner departments and agencies. However, there are legal boundaries that may restrict which information can be shared.

The goal in establishing the MSOC infrastructure is to ultimately establish an Integrated Information Environment to allow a complete information exchange on a common communications backbone system that automatically circulates selected information to all partners on the MSOC’s own proprietary system. Currently, however, the information comes in on the individual partner proprietary systems, and these partners share information based on departmental protocols.

“Each partner department has specific regulations that kick in concerning information that is collected by that department and mandates how that information must be safeguarded by that department,” said LCdr Cook. “This is one of the purposes of the MSOC project – to identify these information-sharing challenges and formulate how they can be addressed and resolved. Different partners may have different requirements as to how they must handle certain information. These requirements will determine whether the information can be shared with the MSOC partners or whether that partner will respond to the information within its own departmental mandate.”

MSOC is a misnomer. It’s really a center to gather information and intelligence, to analyze it and pass it to the appropriate agency for decision-making.

As an autonomous and self-tasking agency, it responds to situations that have a security component. MSOC partners share a broad range of information that allows them to focus on a variety of indicators. A vessel’s last port of call is one of a variety of indicators it examines. Some ports are more of a security concern to Canada than others. As a ship arrives in the Canadian area of responsibility, the MSOC looks at its history – including its port of departure. A threat assessment group comprising senior personnel from five partners assists with the analysis.

Canada is aware of merchant traffic coming to either coast, sometimes months in advance, as a result of CBSA’s and TC’s regulatory mandates. The MSOCs have access to this information and focus on vessels when they are within 96 hours of arrival in a Canadian port.

Although the project has been under DND leadership since inception, which agency or department will ultimately be the lead for the operations and output of the MSOCs remains to be seen. With the potential for future legislative and policy changes comes the increased likelihood that DND could be called upon to transfer the leadership role to another Department or Agency.

For instance, departments and agencies bring separate resources and their own mandates to their work at the MSOC. While the intent is information sharing, there are strict guidelines which must be followed that circumscribe which information can be shared and which must be safeguarded. Only information that can be shared legally is being distributed among the core partners.

As a case in point, should the RCMP be conducting a criminal investigation about the activities of individuals and groups that may be of interest to other recipients, RCMP authorities may be required to keep this information close hold.

The MSOC Project recognizes that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Privacy Act must be taken into account when collecting, using and sharing information. Legal authority for the Marine Security Operations Centres partners to collect, use and share marine security related information is being reviewed by the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group (IMSWG) Legal Committee to ensure mitigation of risks. In the interim, the project is pursuing a solution that will conform to existing law and policy, but will have a flexible, adaptable and accredited information exchange architecture that can adapt to legal and policy constraints or changes over time.

Another issue is acquisition of the right software package to support the integrated information environment. The MSOCs have some off-the-shelf software, but the complete package is not yet finalized.

Other questions remain unanswered for the moment. Do the MSOCs have the right partner mix yet? The current partner group is achieving good things, but should there be more or different partners in the MSOC to enhance marine security picture? For instance, should CSIS or CSEC be involved? Both are autonomously operating agencies with their own mandates that may not permit easy integration, or may pre-empt their involvement entirely.

“How do we measure success?” asks LCdr Cook philosophically, alluding to the inherent problems of trying to gauge the effectiveness of the MSOC. “As we get better at what we do, we realize that there is much more to be done.” The absence of successful marine security threats in Canada may mean that the MSOCs are supremely successful at what they do – or it may mean that there are few threats, a thin possibility at best, in view of the many instances of domestic and international concerns.

“The MSOCs have been providing real operational value to the protection of Canadians by leveraging the capability, capacity and authority of the partnering departments and agencies to enhance marine security through the collaborative detection, assessment, and warning, thereby supporting responses to threats that challenge our nation’s security from our seaward approaches,” notes LCdr Jay McLay, Project Director for Maritime Security.

The project has completed the definition phase and is expected to receive Treasury Board approval to move into the implementation phase early this year.

“This important milestone will provide the project with the authority to advance the implementation of an Integrated Information Environment, which is being designed to expedite the generation and dissemination of accurate, coherent, relevant and timely information while respecting existing legislative and policy mandates and being sufficiently flexible and adaptable to accommodate future changes in policy and legislation,” said LCdr McLay.  

Tim Dunne, FrontLine’s Maritime correspondent, is based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Setting Up an Intelligence Hub
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

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. The immense growth of social networking in recent years has added to a rich information bank that is readily accessible to anyone with an internet connection. The ­challenge today is to sift through vast quantities of information to uncover and piece together the information you require into an intelligence picture that supports your operations. The value of your own information can increase exponentially when combined with open source research and ­information from other entities with whom you are willing to share.

Why Have an Intelligence Hub?
An intelligence hub is a central repository for information and intelligence gleaned from different entities. These entities can be different departments within one institution or they can be a co-operative venture among different organizations. Before setting up an intelligence hub, it is essential to clearly defined its purpose, otherwise your operation will generate lots of activity and few results.

An intelligence hub can be created to fill a singular need, such as sharing information about a single cross-jurisdictional investigation or to address a multitude of related issues such as sharing threat information and lessons learned where entities are co-operating. Once you have determined the need and purpose, it is important to follow a structured process to ensure it meets the objectives for which it was created.

Setting up an Intelligence Hub
Identify the Participants
Who are the participants that should be included? As an example, the borderless nature of crime and terrorism has seen many intelligence hubs or fusion centres created to allow law enforcement and intelligence agencies to share information in support of a common goal. There must be trust and common ground among the participants. Ideally, each participant will have information to contribute and something to gain through active participation.

Agree on Governance
A board of directors or steering committee from each participating organization should be formed to agree on how the hub will be governed and to strategically direct the activities of the intelligence hub. Crucial to success is determining what information will and will not be shared. Corporations in particular have valid concerns about proprietary information that must be protected. Determining up front what information will go into the hub and how it will be shared will make sure that expectations are clear from the start. Once the information is in the hub, how will it be protected? What level of security do you need to meet all ­participants’ risk tolerance levels? Once the hub is up and running, how will decisions on priorities and activities be made, and by whom? Ideally, directors should be committed enough to participate in steering meetings and senior enough that they can make decisions on behalf of their organization.

Set primary intelligence requirements
Once the participants are chosen and the governance has been set, it is time to set the primary intelligence requirements. These are the main topics that the participants agree should be the focus of the intelligence hub’s efforts.

Primary intelligence requirements should be reviewed continually and updated regularly to ensure they are still meeting the needs of the participants. ­

Normally these topics will be areas where a gap exists in information required by the participants to enable their operations.

Create A collection plan
Once the requirements are defined, a formal collection plan should be developed to determine sources of information available to meet the requirements and to plan the best way to obtain information from these sources.

There are many legitimate sources of information that, combined with information the participants already have, can provide valuable intelligence that can mitigate threats, improve operations and keep employees safe.

Potential sources include government agencies, open source searches, and interviews of knowledgeable persons or partner companies. A formal collection plan will keep activity focused toward results that flow from the primary intelligence requirements. It will also ensure that time is not wasted on broad and general fishing expeditions and is instead focused on what is vital to the participating organizations.

Create and maintain an analysis capability
It is crucial that the intelligence hub obtain the tools and training required to analyze collected intelligence. Depending on the volume and complexity of the intelligence needs, this may range from rudimentary training and systems to complex training and technical tools.

There are excellent tools to assist in analyzing vast quantities of information in order to produce focused intelligence. A common mistake, however, is to purchase tools such as intelligence software without establishing the framework for your intelligence hub. Properly used tools are powerful enablers, but without strategy they have nothing to enable. Your intelligence framework and products required will dictate the extent and complexity of the tools and training you will need.

Intelligence that is not distributed to the people who will use it is of no value. Therefore it is essential to determine what products are expected to meet the needs of the participating organizations. Products can range from simple briefings and written updates to complex reports with link analysis diagrams that show the reader important links among vast quantities of information. How often will they be distributed and who specifically will get them? Briefings on time-sensitive information may be required immediately, whereas monthly reports may be sufficient for longer term issues.

Continued success of an intelligence hub requires a feedback system to make sure that the intelligence program is continually focused on the needs of participating org­a­nizations. Are the primary intelligence requirements up to date? Are the products useful and timely? Are changes required? In addition to these questions, communicating success stories resulting from the intelligence hub’s efforts reinforces the value of the hub and the efforts of those doing the analyses.

Intelligence, like any other activity, provides best value within a strategically planned framework linked to the needs of the organizations it supports.

The quantity of information available through open sources today requires a ­formal approach to sift through and identify what is important. Linkages between pieces of information held by different entities can increase the value of one’s own information immensely.

An intelligence hub concept offers immense value to partners who are willing to share with each other and take the time to build an agreement and intelligence ­strategy that will meet their needs.

Stephen Moore is President of Presidia Security Consulting. He can be contacted at [email protected] or 613-883-7805.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Gina Wilson
Weather-related Crisis Management
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

ICE could be the Inescapable Canadian Element, one that demands cooperation for survival. ICE could also be an Implacable ­Climatic Experience, which presents formidable challenges to governments, industry and individuals – as demonstrated by the 1998 ice storm that essentially shut down major parts of Eastern Canada and the ­northeastern United States.

Actually a concretion of five smaller weather bombs, that storm caused massive damage to electrical infrastructure – coating transmission towers, utility poles and power lines with 3-4 inches of dense ice. The resulting widespread power outages left millions of residences and businesses in the dark for up to a month. A contributing factor in more than 30 deaths, the “Great Ice Storm of 1998” saw the largest Canadian Forces deployment since the Korean War, more than 15,000 personnel at the height of the crisis. In Canada, the estimated cost of dealing with it topped $5.4 billion and insurance claims exceeded $1 billion.

Since then, authorities at all levels, as well as utilities and major manufacturers, have been trying to figure out how to handle the inevitable next major ice storm – or the accelerating incidence of flooding and other weather-related crises – as part of overall disaster readiness.

Gina Wilson, Assistant Deputy Minister (Emergency Management & Regional Operations) at Public Safety Canada, is effectively at the peak of the response ­pyramid. She spoke with FrontLine about lessons learned in recent years.

“I’m accountable within the Government of Canada for coordinating and managing emergencies,” says Wilson, who reports through Deputy Minister William Baker to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. “However, many other federal entities have a role to play as well.” Depending on the ­circumstances, Ottawa can involve not only the Department of National Defence but also the Coast Guard, Transport Canada, the Public Health Agency, and other departments and agencies.

A public servant for 14 years, Wilson has been at Public Safety only four months now, having come from Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Affairs, where her position as Senior ADM (Operations) included emergency management responsibilities. “I’m still pretty new to this job, but I’ve extremely impressed with the significant degree of cooperation among the emergency management community,” she says. “It’s a very collaborative working environment; we’re working toward the same objectives.”

However, she points out that there is more to managing emergencies than simply responding. “There are a lot of activities under way when it comes to prevention, mitigation, preparedness and recovery. Essentially, the role of the federal government is to work on all of these areas.”

Preparedness can include having things as basic as candles, blankets and bottled water stocked at the residential level, while recovery can include help under the auspices of the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) administered by Public Safety Canada. When response and recovery costs following a natural disaster become unreasonable for provinces and territories to bear on their own, the DFAA provides federal financial support to the other governments, based on established guidelines and a cost-sharing formula.

Response can begin with individuals or households and on to municipal and local authorities that historically manage 90% of emergencies in Canada. “When the emergency goes beyond their [own] capabilities, or there’s more assistance required, then the provincial government would be called in for assistance or would take control,” Wilson explains. “Then, depending on how significant or complex the emergency is, the federal government could be called in. While we function as a leader in many areas, we recognize that emergency management is a shared responsibility that requires a lot of cooperation between various levels of government.”

Provinces and territories are responsible for design and delivery of financial assistance to individuals, small businesses, and municipalities that have been directly affected by a natural disaster. The federal government then cost-shares eligible provincial and territorial expenditures through the DFAA. Since its inception in 1970, the program has seen the cumulative federal payout top $2 billion for incidents ranging from wildfires to floods.

One of the challenges is whether enough resources are allocated. After all, money, equipment and supplies can’t ­simply be parked and possibly go unused for extended periods. “There’s never a guarantee how much will be invested every year,” Wilson says. The annual DFAA envelope, for example, has been $100 million for some years and there are indications that, although the funds haven’t been depleted in recent years (surpluses are returned to the Consolidated Revenue Fund), concern about the costs of coping with natural disasters is prompting the federal government to revisit the adequacy of its DFAA budget. “It’s very difficult to predict this kind of thing,” she confirms. “More tools are being developed to help identify risk, which is a good thing, but there’s obviously no guarantee on predictability.”

In addition to the DFAA funding, the federal government offers other resources, including specialized training and various technologies, such as surveillance and search and rescue with military aircraft, as was required in 2011 for the flooding in Manitoba and Quebec. “That would come up through a request from the province, and there are protocols to request that type of federal assistance,” Wilson notes, adding that there is even a formal template to use in drafting a request. “It would be my role, through the Deputy Minister and the Minister of Public Safety, to trigger the request to the Department of National Defence.”

A key tool in the federal response machinery is the multi-departmental Government Operations Centre (GOC), which works with Public Safety Canada to monitor and assess potential or actual hazards regardless of whether they are deliberate or accidental, natural or human-induced. The GOC, the location of which is guarded, is networked to multiple information and intelligence sources, including law enforcement and news media, as well as intelligence organizations, emergency management organizations and private sector and non-governmental organizations.

“Its role is to support response coordination of events that affect the national interest,” Wilson says. “They offer 24/7 monitoring and reporting, national-level ­situational awareness, risk assessment, and response planning. They keep an eye on all types of things across Canada; they have a significant role in bringing partners together, and they work with anyone who provides information. Personally, I feel safer knowing they’re there.”

Federal resources, however, are not simply at the beck and call of other levels of government, as news reports on a paralyzing snow accumulation in Toronto in January 1999 suggested. Mayor Mel Lastman was lampooned in much of the rest of the country for having “called out” the military. The deployment of 400 troops and heavy vehicles from Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ontario, was ordered by the federal government in response to a request from the provincial government, on the mayor’s behalf.

While politicians and scientists continue the climate change debate, the unfortunate truth is, any increase in extreme weather is linked to mounting costs to recover from damages caused by natural disasters.

While snow and ice storms are one potential emergency in the North, the frequency of all natural disasters has actually accelerated in recent years. “There’s a whole range of risks across the country: everything from drought to floods, you name it,” concurs Wilson. This has prompted the federal government to develop and implement what she says are “solid legislative, policy and governance foundations”, coupled with new tools for planning and reporting.

“There is a better understanding of threats such as earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes and so on,” she says. “We’re much better prepared to respond to national incidents and emergencies based on all types of those threats and major events.” That apparently included preparations for the 2010 Olympics in British Columbia and influenza pandemics which have begun to pop up with seemingly increased regularity.

Wilson volunteered that mitigation – reducing the severity of disasters such as ice storms – is an area that needs more attention. “There is some work under way and we are talking to provinces and territories on the development of a cost-shared mitigation program. That’s beginning to emerge and we should hear more about in the years to come.”

Kenneth Pole is a conributing editor at Frontline Security magazine.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Coping with Major Disasters
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

As disasters strike around the world, and each seemingly more ­devastating than the last, the visible damage is all too apparent. ­However, we are often not aware of the pervasive psychological ­damage that goes along with such physical destruction.

We often forget the human element associated with disasters. The recent events in Japan along with others in Haiti and New Zealand highlight the human toll that ­disasters impose on society. Traditional and social media assault us with images of devastation and destruction. Long after those images are gone, human beings continue to pay the price of that catastrophe. There are still some victims of Katrina whose lives and livelihoods remain in a state of turmoil. In Japan, the disruption they face as a society will affect their capacity to respond to the inevitable widespread loss of human life, environmental devastation and damage to critical infrastructure.

The Value of Preparedness
Natural disasters have happened in Canada, most often in the form of floods and wildfires. As with other countries, Canada has an obligation to prepare its citizens in the event of a disaster. The good news is, responses and remedies exist for dealing with the psychological impacts that come with major catastrophes.

Being psychologically prepared can help in several ways. Preparing individuals and organizations by “normalizing” emotional or psychological responses to “abnormal” events, can help people think more clearly and make rational decisions about how much they can do themselves or to recognize when they should leave the situation to the authorized responders. Such clarity can help reduce the risk of serious injury and loss of life or property. Being prepared and remaining calm and collected during traumatic situations allows us to assist the less fortunate around us.

Businesses, communities, and even governments should also prepare themselves for the psychological effects of traumatic events such as natural disasters. This is done by including “Human Factor” issues in Business Continuity plans. For this very reason, we have developed a course called Taking Care of Your People: Critical Incident Stress Management and Business Continuity.

Business Continuity Planning is a ‘best practice’ process that includes advance plans, arrangements and procedures to maintain business functions and minimize interruptions when internal or external influences impact a business’s capacity to operate. This course extends the principles of best practice to an organization’s best asset – its people. The goal of this course is to ensure the psychological well-being of this human asset so they can carry out the various plans that have been put in place.

This “psychological” component of an organization’s Business Continuity Plan would clearly assist in enabling the smooth operations needed by organizations, including government, in times of crisis.

The leading training organization for offering the Taking Care of Your People: Critical Incident Stress Management and Business Continuity course at this time is DRI Canada.

This course will prepare personnel to function as Business Continuity Management resources during any crisis event. This cost effective solution allows an organization to capitalize on the present skills and experience of their trusted personnel while learning new Business Continuity Management skills and methodologies.  

A leading consultant and trauma responder based in Toronto, Sam Miller can be reached at 416-455-1684 or via email at [email protected] www.millertraumawellness.com
© FrontLine Security 2011



Common Operating Picture in Action
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

COP – Common Operating (or Operational) Picture – includes relevant operational information such as ­command post, snipers, enemies, buildings, and terrain. It can be also represented visually, such as with maps, photos, pictometry, diagrams and charts. An effective COP will be simultaneously available to all ­participants while the action is occurring.

This article describes the COP from a SWAT/QRT (Special Weapons And Tactics/Quick Response Team) point of view, and demonstrates the benefits of using a COP in the context of an actual call-out event – that of a barricaded gunman scenario.

Quick Response Team (QRT)
In Pennsylvania, the York County Quick Response Team is a multi-jurisdictional tactical law enforcement team protecting over 415,000 residents in 72 municipalities. The QRT includes three dozen officers from eight police departments and the York County Sheriff’s Office. Ten additional officers make up the Negotiation Unit. In order to maintain a strong tactical option in the face of shrinking municipal budgets, local police chiefs support the all-volunteer team and allow time for the required training. The team participates in monthly training covering a variety of special threat and high-risk incidents. QRT members are trained and current in barricaded gunman scenarios; hostage rescue; high-risk warrant service; vehicle and bus assaults; active school shooting; rural tracking of fugitives; and VIP Protection.

The York QRT provides law enforcement agencies within the county with a specialized, highly trained unit that is able to respond to and resolve incidents of a critical nature, when traditional methods and operations could expose participants to undue risk. The unit attempts to resolve such incidents with the least amount of risk and vulnerability to the team, citizens, victims, perpetrators and other parties involved.

In addition to special threat and high risk incidents, this unit is equipped to respond to incidents involving terrorism, be it domestic or foreign, where expressly trained officers are required to isolate, contain, stabilize, mitigate and resolve the situation. This is accomplished through a collaborative partnership effort between the York County District Attorney’s Office, the York County Chiefs of Police Association and participating police agencies within the county.

It is no mere coincidence that the word “risk” appears in our mission statement three separate times. Our COP allows us, first and foremost, to reduce risk to citizens and participating law enforcement and, where practical, to the suspects.

Even though the team’s members are, technically, part-time, the tactical team itself provides full time service – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – to 72 municipalities not serviced by the Pennsylvania State Police. Let’s take a look at the tools at our disposal to help us accomplish less risky outcomes to high-risk encounters.

Mobile Command and Control System
The York QRT has deployed the DragonForce system from Drakontas. DragonForce is a suite of collaboration tools that empowers our team to observe, orient, decide and act more safely and efficiently. It provides an advanced mobile command and control (C2) system which enhances situational awareness, operational efficiency and safety of our officers and provides the QRT with a COP. This system augments radio communications and allows emergency responders to collaborate in real-time using commercial off-the-shelf hardware. The system employs a web-based command center and mobile handheld units that are interconnected via a wireless network to establish a COP among Command and field personnel. Personnel and other assets are tracked and displayed on a geo-referenced map using the GPS chips in the mobile handsets. System users can exchange text messages, share images, situation report cards of specific individuals, and whiteboard annotations, resulting in a real-time collaborative experience for which the user can coordinate and execute missions efficiently and effectively.

Barricaded Gunman / COP in Action
The action described here is of a barricaded gunman and the call-out of QRT members from both tactical and negotiations. I will contrast and compare what happened in this instance with our COP with what would have occurred prior to utilizing the COP.

At any time of the day or night, a Chief can request assistance from the QRT command. The next step is to ensure that all call-out criteria are met. To make that process as fast, efficient and uniform as possible, we have developed a Call Out Check List. This step would be identical whether we are using a mobile C2 system with COP or not.

We start by asking about a known or suspected record of violence, such as: Homicide; Assault with Deadly Weapons; Robbery; Other violent felony; or Other (Resisting, assault on police). In this case, the ­suspect had discharged a firearm at his family during a family dispute in the family home.

We want to know if the suspect is on parole or probation. In this incident, he was not. Is the suspect a known drug or alcohol abuser, if so, what type of drug? Our suspect is highly intoxicated and on medication for depression. Our suspect was mentally unstable. He had depression issues. The suspect in this case did not have military or police training. We also want to know about any associates or organizations with known or suspected violent criminal activity. There were none known in this instance.

An assessment has to be made regarding the presence or likelihood of all types of weapons. Explosives, automatic weapons and booby traps are mandatory callouts. This suspect had a semi automatic pistol and numerous high powered rifles.

Geographic barriers must also be considered, with a fortified site being a mandatory callout. Our intelligence indicated that all the doors were locked.

The checklist also takes into account counter surveillance and monitoring by the suspect, including any intelligence gathering the subject might be doing on police using scanners, radios, radio traffic web sites, etc. None were known, nor were there armed counter surveillance such as guards or lookouts. We also want to know about friends, relatives or others in or around the site, their names, descriptions, whatever information is available. In this case, numerous family members were on scene and provided valuable information about the gunman and the scene itself.

Each checklist item has an associated scoring value and the total score for all checklist questions determines if we will deploy the QRT. A yes answer to the “known or suspected history of violence” question alone is a mandatory callout.

In this instance, the score was high, so the team was activated. An average response time is 45 minutes to an hour. In this case our initial 8 officers, members of our Hasty Team, responded and stabilized the situation while waiting for the main team to arrive.

Hasty Team
The “Hasty Team” are the first officers on site. They secure the site, insure the safety of the public and determine best placement for snipers, the command post, the negotiation team command post, and other important logistical considerations. Our Hasty Team was also able to confirm the accuracy of information provided on the Checklist and gather additional intelligence while the rest of the team was en route.

Regardless of what the checklist says about the suspect’s ­mental condition, we want to know their condition right now, on this scene, at this time.

  • Is the suspect mentally unstable? Yes, it is confirmed he has depression issues over the loss of a job.
  • If he is being treated for mental illness, can family members provide info on medications he is taking?
  • Are dogs in the residence with the suspect? If so what type? No animals in this instance.
  • Can witnesses/family members or local officers provide YCQRT with an accurate diagram of the interior of the target residence? Yes, the wife provided the team w/ an accurate diagram of the house.

We are not limited to this information and we gather as much additional information as possible based upon the scene, prevailing conditions and requests from command. We were provided a list of weapons in the house and entry/exit points.

While the Hasty Team is in transit and in parallel with their information confirmation and gathering process I work in conjunction with other QRT leaders and the local authorities to determine what other human and physical assets should be deployed.

Human Assets
The Hasty Team is only the “first wave.” In transit only minutes behind the Hasty Team are the tactical element, sniper/counter sniper element, negotiations element, tactical medics, Public Information Officer (PIO), a Legal Advisor from the District Attorney’s Office and Technical Resource Personnel deployed as needed for any given action. In the incident I am describing we had all the aforementioned support. All of the team personnel respond in order to maximize the chances of a successful outcome and, because the incident I am describing is a barricaded gunman issue, I was comfortable that the team was trained and ready. In this incident I also chose to request Fire Police to create a perimeter and deny civilians access to the target location, fire equipment in case any of the chemical munitions we used caused a fire and Basic/Advanced Life Support ambulance personnel for any injuries. One of our key operating rules is: better to have and not need, than need and not have.

Hardware Resources
The York County Quick Response Team is able to purchase and maintain vital equipment through grants funded by PCCD (Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency), donations by York County municipalities, York County Chiefs of Police Association and numerous private donations.

The team has a Lenco BEARCAT armored tactical vehicle for ­citizen and officer rescue. In this case, we deployed our armored vehicle to move officers safely to the scene and civilians away from the scene.  

Other necessary equipment includes such items as pole cameras capable of safely searching danger zones, Level IIIA and IV Ballistic Shields, encrypted communications to assure privacy of communications from suspects, press and the public, a tactical robot to provide a less lethal option when required, numerous less lethal and chemical options, night vision for tactical members and snipers, a negotiations phone with numerous tactical capabilities, a command post, and the DragonForce Common Operating Picture capability supplemented with Pictometry imaging to tie it all in.

We used numerous camera systems to get a better view of the target location with minimal exposure to tactical team members. This allowed our sniper element to have eyes on the location – with lethal capability if need be. Our negotiations unit was needed to interview witnesses and negotiate with the suspect in the house. We utilized the Dragonforce Equipment in the Command Post to link all tactical, sniper and negotiations personnel to the most updated intelligence we could provide.

Perimeter, Command Post and Community Security
While the remainder of the assets were on their way or arriving at the scene, the Hasty Team is also responsible for establishing a perimeter and making certain determinations relative to setting up the command post.

The Hasty Team also considered cover and concealment options for our shooters to assess if the cover could protect them from a rifle round and if they can move safely in and out of an observation position. The team determined that their cover was sufficient and snipers would be covering the windows.

We also considered the perimeter and if there is a crossfire or over-penetration factor with the types of weapons we have. We always set up with crossfire in mind and make sure that fields of fire are set up based on that.

We had a plan if the suspect surrenders prior to York County QRT arrival and a response if the suspect attempts to access vehicles. We also took into account the proximity of the neighbor’s houses and decided it was safer to leave neighbors in their homes.

Command Post setup is second only to perimeter setup when dealing with an incident that requires response of the Quick Response Team. While some of the Hasty Team members established a perimeter, other team members determined an optimal location for the command post. In this case, the presence and location of the Command Post vehicle was critical because it is the heart of our DragonForce situational awareness tool. Without it we were left to conventional observation techniques and limited coordination capability of our team members.

We determined that the suspect most likely had weapons with a range of 300 yards and that the Command Post could be setup safely within 1,000 feet of the target location. We rolled in our mobile command post, which can hold 10 people, and made arrangements for other areas to conduct interviews of witnesses and family members.

We sited our Command Post vehicle to isolate it from the media, public and non-law enforcement personnel in such a position that we had a direct road from the Command Post to the target location and sufficient space for medical and fire personnel to stage in close proximity to the Command Post.

As explained here, many benefits can be realized through the application of a collaborative, real-time Common Operating Picture tool in a real-life situation. Previously available only to elite Special Forces units overseas, this tool is now much more widely accessible to domestic law enforcement in a package that is less expensive and very easy to operate.

The COP tool provides benefits that allow any department or agency to justify purchasing a COP tool for their own operations, ranging from increasing officer safety and the safety of the public to providing real time collaboration.   

Craig S. Losty joined the York County Quick Response Team in 1996 and has been Tactical Commander since 2006. He has a 28 year career in law enforcement including a variety of roles in both military and civilian law enforcement. Commander Losty also writes The Swat Debrief blog (http://swatdebrief.wordpress.com/) and does speaking engagements and training. He can be reached at [email protected].

Editor’s Note: This article is based on a one hour program created by the Law Enforcement And Public Safety Network (LEAPS.TV) which can be viewed free of charge by Frontline Security subscribers at <www.FrontLine-Security.org>.
After viewing the program, a test can be taken for a certificate for 1 CEU for a fee of $6.73.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Protecting Critical Infrastructures
From Corporate Espionage
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

We know that attacks on critical infrastructures from criminal threats, corporate or industrial espionage and/or politically motivated sabotage, could threaten public safety, impact national security, or even create economic upheaval or environmental disaster. What we may not know is that a large percentage of critical infrastructures is actually privately owned and that private security forces are becoming the primary protectors of vital infrastructure. In the United States alone approximately 85% of critical infrastructure – including financial systems, telecommunications, water systems, power grids, railways and nuclear energy plants – is privately owned. The private sector owns 100% of the airlines in the United States!

Today, critical infrastructures remain highly attractive targets for such threats as corporate or industrial espionage. Among those listed as the top 100 likely targets, ­private-sector assets comprise a significant and alarming percentage. Furthermore, research carried out in the UK indicates that public confidence in critical infrastructure security is at an all-time low.

The question we need to be asking ourselves is: with a significant percent of critical infrastructures in the hands of private corporations, what measures are these companies taking to secure their installations from threats like corporate espionage?

For example, research has shown that due to the current economic climate, corporations are not investing sufficient resources in protecting infrastructures from cyber threats. The same research showed that 84% of over 100 employees surveyed in the ­critical infrastructure industry felt that companies were not doing enough to provide protection, with one in four predicting an attack in the next three months.

Cyber-spying represents a growing threat facing many companies. Melissa Hathaway, a former U.S. intelligence official and the leader of a digital security review set up by President Barack Obama, recently confirmed that “industrial cyber-espionage is one of the biggest problems that all nations are facing.”

In May 2005, for example, a London-based Israeli couple was arrested on suspicion of playing a crucial role in the largest case of industrial espionage in Israel’s history. The couple is said to have developed a highly sophisticated ‘Trojan Horse’ software, nicknamed ‘Rona,’ capable of hiding in a computer’s system and allowing free access to insiders. As many as 80 companies, including some of Israel’s largest telephone and satellite television providers are said to have benefited from the software. This case, aptly named by some as ‘Trojangate,’ brought worldwide attention to the increasing threat of corporate espionage and, more specifically, to the threat of hard to detect ‘targeted attacks.’

Since then, instances of corporate espionage have increased both in numbers and in sophistication. In January 2010 McAfee announced the results of a survey taken of 600 IT security executives from critical infrastructure enterprises throughout the world, including utility companies, banks and oil refineries, among others. According to the results of the survey, these installations are “constantly under cyber-attack and also extortion related to those attacks.”

In total, taking into account all types of corporate espionage, the cost to U.S. business alone due to illicit appropriations of technology and business ideas is estimated at between $100 - $250 billion per year.

Businesses that have been affected by incidents of corporate espionage include corporations responsible for driving critical infrastructure in the United States including General Motors, Ford, General Electric, Intel and Boeing, among others.

In a recent case, dubbed the ‘Night Dragon attacks’, reported on in February 2011, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and other oil companies were targeted by hackers working through internet servers in China. This incident targeted legal information, information on deals, and financial data relating to oil and gas field bids and operations. We can only imagine the extent to which the undisclosed release of this type of information could damage not only the reputation but also the operations of these and other companies.

What makes these statistics so frightening is the increasing dependency of private business, government and national security on the interdependent network of critical physical and information infrastructures including financial services, energy, telecommunications and transportation sectors. The interdependency of these systems means that an attack on one infrastructure could have a crippling effect on a number of interdependent systems.

Security Measures
We are all aware of conventional measures and tools for protecting company assets. In an attempt to curb corporate espionage, companies throughout the world invest billions in security guards, closed-­circuit security cameras, access control, body scanners, biometrics, computer passwords, locks and other security measures. While these measures are clearly important in protecting company assets, I would like to focus on two other methods which I believe are also essential in protecting critical assets.

The first key measure in securing critical infrastructure is the prioritization of assets. We know that it is impossible to protect every asset within a critical infrastructure. However, we must also remember that not all assets are equally critical. There is a need to identify the most critical assets by establishing a systematic hierarchy by which to prioritize assets and to catalog them accordingly based on tangible, ­quantifiable criteria. Because the lack of, or unclear, criteria for identifying critical assets may lead to inefficiencies – such as protecting too many or the wrong facilities, which often result in increased cost without return on investment – it is essential to define clear criteria for prioritizing critical assets.

The second and perhaps most important means by which to protect critical assets is by harnessing the capabilities of the workers themselves to identify potential irregularities within their own working environments. Elain Carey, the National Director of Investigations and Senior Vice President of Control Risks, suggests that “85 percent of the time, industrial espionage is carried out by insiders.” If this is in fact the case, then the prevailing measures for protecting critical infrastructures, such as passwords and access controls, may be entirely ineffective.

Because employees routinely come into direct contact with one another on a daily basis, they are in a unique position to detect indicators which may be out of the ordinary in the context of their working environment. Additionally, because employees are likely to be negatively affected by security breaches and incidents of corporate espionage within their companies, they have an incentive to report irregularities.

Harnessing employees and other relevant personnel, such as cleaning and maintenance staff, into the security apparatus serves as a considerable force multiplier, putting more eyes on the ground capable of utilizing their on-hand knowledge and familiarity with their routine working environment toward detecting and reporting irregular and/or out-of-the-ordinary persons, or incidents which could point toward a disgruntled employee carrying out corporate espionage within a critical infrastructure.

So how can the private sector better secure critical infrastructure? Clearly, we must balance effective risk management, physical and IT technologies and the capabilities of human resources to identify potential threats before it’s too late.  

Doron Bergerbest-Eilon is the former Head of the Protection and Security Division of the Israeli Security Agency (ISA), equivalent to the rank of Major General. Among other roles and responsibilities, Mr. Bergerbest-Eilon was in charge of the protection of national classified information and the National Critical Infrastructure in the State of Israel. He was also actively involved in developing, improving and regulating a national strategy for information security and critical infrastructures against cyber threats in Israel.
© FrontLine Security 2011



© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

Because the snow prevented first responders from reaching their Emergency Operations Centres, they quickly established virtual operations, triggering ground and air ­rescue missions using their laptops and telephones. In the absence of situational awareness tools (SA), critical information was relayed between police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) using telephone and email across several jurisdictions (Lambton County, Middlesex, Sarnia, St. Clair Township/County, Michigan) and between the Ontario Provincial Police, Canadian Forces and the utility companies. This created significant communication challenges, and responders soon realized that without real-time information updates (such as the locations of power outages, stranded motorists, rescue teams, or passable roads), and without up-to-the-minute snow clearance status to guide operations, they could (and did) have as many as four different response units checking on the same vehicles.

“Situational awareness is about knowing what is happening around you so you can make decisions and influence events,” says Ernie MacGillivray, Director of Emergency Services at the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety. “Shared situational awareness ensures that all intervening organizations have the same understanding, which contributes to a more coherent and cohesive response.”

Several different proprietary incident management tools are in use across Canada, and the inability to connect them – to share a common awareness picture – has been identified as a critical capability gap that greatly hinders interoperable ­efficiency.

The Government of Canada is demonstrating progress with one solution that will facilitate interoperable communications among all of these situation awareness tools while providing an interface for agencies without such tools. The capability of field units and agencies to talk and share data in near real-time will be enhanced, thereby improving Situational Awareness for the entire emergency management community.

The initiative is led by the Defence R&D Canada – Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS), with a National Implementation Team comprised of partners from Public Safety Canada, Natural Resources Canada’s Mapping Information Branch (MIB), and industry professionals.

The solution, known as the Multi-Agency Situational Awareness System (MASAS), is an interconnected system to exchange real-time, location-based emergency information using common technologies that are based on national geospatial standards.

The National Implementation Team’s objective is to build an enduring capability that is aligned with Public Safety Canada’s Communications Interoperability Strategy for Canada and Action Plan. They have identified MASAS as a common national architecture for public safety situational awareness information exchange across Canada.

One objective of the action plan, entitled United States–Canada Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness (released in December 2011), calls for the harmonization of MASAS with the U.S. Integrated Public Alert and Warning System to improve the coordination of response efforts during disasters affecting both sides of the border.

As part of this initiative, a pilot project entitled the MASAS Information eXchange (MASAS-X) was launched on 1 November 2011. It supports training and exercise scenarios as well as real operations. MASAS-X is now available, by request, to federal, provincial and territorial emergency management agencies. This system is expected to achieve final operating capability in late 2012, when the systems are migrated into a new high resilience environment that will ensure the highest possible level of system availability, even if a large scale disaster wipes  out network communications.

One advantage of MASAS is that agencies don’t need to purchase new tools since it provides the ability to connect varied existing systems through open geospatial standards, alerting and messaging protocols, as well as operational policies. This means that responder organizations can continue using their own system to post and consume SA information with their partners, without fee, using their organization’s existing infrastructure and tools.

During the pilot phase, MASAS has been configured to add information – such as severe weather, earthquakes and road closures – from many government sources. It can be used by responders to indicate the location of incidents involving ­hazardous materials or chemical, biological, radiological-nuclear or explosives agents. MASAS-X also allows users to share documents, pictures, audio files and other geospatially-referenced information such as situation reports pertaining to an incident or alert message (video attachments are also coming soon). This information can be sorted by the level of urgency and severity, and the data appears as annotated points on a map of affected regions.

Because access to MASAS is controlled and limited to the public safety and security community, the users of MASAS can ensure that data integrity is preserved, and that privacy and security are addressed.

In the near future, the emergency management community may be able to use the system to track health alerts, pandemic zone demarcation and search and rescue activities. In fact, the National Search and Rescue Secretariat is in the process of implementing a system that will leverage MASAS concepts, components and models.

For emergency management agencies that do not currently have an SA system, MASAS can provide free, basic web hosted tools for posting and sharing information and alerts, and for viewing information posted from other sources. “Our goal is to leave no one from the emergency community behind,” says Jack Pagotto, Head of ESEC S&T [Emergency Management Systems & Interoperability, Surveillance/ Intel, E-security and Critical Infrastructure Protection] at DRDC CSS. “This capability needs to be available to all emergency managers and public safety officials. You can think of MASAS as providing the easily accessible bucket where the emergency management com­munity can put in their incident-relevant information, in a form that can be easily filtered and extracted, to provide the situational awareness any stakeholder needs for their particular mandate.”

For more information or to request access to MASAS, please visit: www.masas-x.ca, or e-mail [email protected]
© FrontLine Security 2011



Preventing Workplace Violence
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

Ticking Bombs: Defusing Violence in the Workplace, which I co-wrote in 1994, was one of the first books published on the complex and potentially tragic Business Security issue. The centerpiece of the book featured my prison interview with Robert Mack, who in January 1992, had shot and killed the HR supervisor handling his termination from General Dynamics in San Diego, and also shot his boss (who later died from those wounds).

In retrospect, the Mack interview fell into the same trap that we see in the news media coverage of workplace and school shootings, even 17 years later: an attempt to answer the question of motive. From the U.S. Post office shootings in the 1980s, through Columbine and Virginia Tech, to the recent incident in Tucson, Arizona involving Congresswoman Giffords, our collective understanding of the “why” behind workplace and school-based shootings often centers around the media and public’s constant quest for an understandable motive.

The problem with this attempt is that it is rarely satisfying. Perhaps the motive in a workplace shooting was revenge for a perceived bullying incident involving a co-worker or supervisor; or in response to a termination; or the domestic violence-related shooting was because the suspect’s former wife began dating a co-worker.

The point here, is that the search for a motive is an exercise in futility because it doesn’t answer the real question: How do we stop these people, males or females, young or old, students or employees, patients or strangers, customers or taxpayers, angry citizens or ex-boyfriends, from shooting people to ease their own personal pain?

Shouldn’t our national focus be about interrupting the opportunity, rather than searching for, or trying to understand, the motive (which may or may not ever be known)? Our collective actions as security practitioners should be centered exclusively on knocking the subject, as the U.S. Secret Service calls it in their insightful research about shooters, “off of the path from ideas to actions.”

What follows is a set of tools for your security toolkit. Each, when used effectively and early enough, can help you and your colleagues in HR, Legal, EAP, and other stakeholders in the organization, intervene in cases involving threats from people inside or outside the facility.

Better Background Checks and Hiring Practices
If the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, then we need to do a better pre-screening of the people we let behind our corporate walls. The applicant should do most of the heavy lifting here, by providing waivers for background screens done by reputable investigative firms; written permissions to contact former employers; copies of past performance evaluations; and answers to interview questions not just about technical competencies, but about their previously-demonstrated ability to fit in to a team and work with others at all levels.

Constant Security / Access Control Improvements
Since many big security changes are made in the aftermath of an incident, we need to be better at making smaller improvements over time. It’s not necessarily the installation of a $100,000 CCTV system that will keep the facility safe; it’s often more about making sure all of the key card readers work and that employees are taught, told, and reminded not to prop open the facility side doors. Small changes and security upgrades over time can be easier for senior management to swallow and can reinforce the idea that a protection mindset is always in place.

A Challenge Culture for Employees
Every employee should feel like he or she is in charge of keeping the facility safe. There should be visible rewards (public praise, time off, gift cards) for employees who report physical security problems. There should be support and an immediate response to employees who report behavioral problems, threats, or criminal activities involving co-workers, customers, or strangers, so that the culture does not “shoot the messenger” when it gets news that is not always positive.

High-Risk “Customer” Service Training
If your employees deal with customers, vendors, or taxpayers who have the potential to become enraged over their receipt of the goods or services you provide, they will want, and need, training. This includes the critically-important reception and front desk personnel, call center employees, and others who are the public face of your firm.

Hunters or Howlers?
Dr. Frederick S. Calhoun and Steve Weston have done significant research, training, and writing to support their groundbreaking model that some people “howl” (make overt threats, draw attention to themselves, frighten others intentionally) and others “hunt” (develop a hidden plan, acquire the tools to harm others, work in stealth, and attack with little or no warning).

  • Organizations are often overly-responsive to the attention-seeking howler (evacuating the facility for a phoned-in bomb threat with no details or no suspicious devices found upon search) and are either unaware, or worse, overly-rationalizing for a hunter who uses menace over verbal threats.
  • As Calhoun and Weston so accurately put it: “Howlers don’t hunt and Hunters don’t howl. When Howlers start to hunt, they are no longer Howlers.”
  • The exception to the Hunter-Howler threat dynamic is when the victim and the suspect have had a previous sexual relationship. When the suspect says, “If I can’t have her, no one else will,” we must take these threats very seriously, as they are the mark of a hunter.

Safe/Humane Discipline and Terminations
It is the desire of many HR folks to be rid of the problematic employee as soon as possible. This may be intuitive (especially since HR has a larger population of female directors and employees), but it can also create the possibility of revenge as a reason for the harshly-disciplined or the just-terminated ex-employee’s return to the facility.

Many organizations that see the wisdom of a humane HR approach use the concept called “benevolent severance.” Here, the terminated employee who has been fired for threatening behaviour is given a parting package that may involve severance, continued medical benefits, access to continued Employee Assistance Program (EAP) care, outplacement help, agreement for how to handle reference calls, and a single point of contact in the HR office to manage his or her needs. These are not rewards; they are transition tools.

Consequence-based HR and Security Thinking
For those with dogs and children, you know this to be true: if there are no consequences for the behaviour, you can expect either no changes or escalation. There must be consequences for employee behaviour that puts the organization at risk. The HR and Security Departments can do their part by supporting the frontline supervisors and department heads. Begin by using coaching as a best, pre-­discipline step to focus on small behavioral issues (where warnings and reminders about policies can help; then, follow up by enforcing the progressive discipline and security / access control policies in ways that suggest the company is firm, fair, ­consistent, and especially, proactive.

Threat Assessment Teams (TATs)
The key to safety and success when responding to any threat of workplace violence is the “Threat Assessment Team” approach. By gathering the stakeholders into a room or via conference call, we can get a lot of work done and come up with a viable plan in a relatively short time span. This includes representatives from HR, Security, Corporate Counsel, EAP or other mental health ­professionals, local law enforcement if applicable, the union representatives, safety and facility directors, and any others who can contribute to the knowledge about the person, the incident, and potential solutions.

Safe Rooms and Work Place Violence (WPV) Drills
Like the use of TATs, the next best response to the threat of an actual active shooter is the use of safe rooms, or so-called “shelter in place” protocols. The use of safe rooms in school shootings and workplace violence incidents has saved lives, but it is not a perfect solution, bearing in mind the homicidal intent of a perpetrator. Safe rooms could include a break room, restroom, training room, conference room, supervisor’s office, storage closet, or any other room that can be locked or barricaded.

Obviously, the first response to an active shooter in the building is to evacuate to a place of safety outside the facility. If that isn’t possible, then the safe room concept (hiding out) offers the next best solution.

Courageous Management
The previous nine tools are useless without this last one. Business owners, executives, directors, department heads, and frontline supervisors need to have and exhibit the courage to respond to any potential threat of workplace violence.

There is a tendency in these cases to “wish them away” and hope that inaction will lead to minimization. The reverse ­usually occurs.

We aren’t trying to create a nation of tattle-tale employees. We aren’t trying to turn our workspaces into locked-down prison camps. We aren’t trying to make it unpleasant to come to work. We are, instead, trying to be responsive to potential behavioral, HR, and security situations that could put the organization at risk.

Dr. Steve Albrecht, PHR, CPP, is a San Diego-based speaker, author, trainer, and consultant on high-risk HR and security issues. He worked for the San Diego Police Department for 15 years as a domestic violence investigator.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Airport Watch
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

After more than 12 years in operation, Airport Watch has become a North American-wide concept. Its early beginnings date back to 1999 when a partnership was formed at the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport between members of the Ottawa Police Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the airport authority, and a newly formed group of aircraft enthusiasts turned citizen volunteers.

Montreal AW volunteers, accompanied by ADM security personnel alongside runway 24R, photograph and witness Air France's first scheduled Airbus A380 Superjumbo arrival at the Montreal Trudeau Airport.

All Airport Watch (AW) chapters operate as a partnership concept between volunteers, law enforcement and aviation ­business providers. Each volunteer group operates with an elected cadre of executives who coordinate the internal administration and liaise with authorities. All members have passed police background checks. They may take part in other activities in support of the airport authorities such as periodic FOD (Foreign Object Damage) collections. How each chapter is operated depends on the local conditions and unique requirements of each airport, with health and safety awareness being essential. It should be mentioned that approximately half of the AW volunteers are retired – with a myriad of life experiences to offer their local program. They team up with younger members, both sharing a common interest, aviation.

North American expansion and the IAWA
Airport Watch quickly attracted attention around the world. The program has been adopted in both Australia and Britain, and countries such as India, Spain and France have shown interest. The Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP) International Airport was among the first American airports to establish its own AW program in the United States.

The first bilateral meeting between Canada and the USA was organized by Officer Joel Vargas of the Bensenville Police Crime Prevention Unit in July 2010. More than two dozen U.S. law enforcement representatives attended an official Chicago Airport Watch introduction. In attendance were the FBI, DHS and TSA operating at O’Hare and Midway, plus the Chicago Police and other suburban agencies. This followed an introductory luncheon for 51 new AW volunteer applicants and police officials.

(L to R) Officer Joel Vargas, Cmdr Matt Christiansen, Chief Frank J. Kosman, Cmdr Thomas Argenbright, Sgt Jacques Brunelle, Deputy Chief John Lustro and Sgt Alvin Cooper meeting in Chicago to form the new International Airport Watch Association which coincide with the official launch of the Chicago Airport Watch in July 2010. These municipal agencies worked closely with airport-based (ORD and MID) U.S. federal and state agencies to achieve this. (Photo: Christian Brunelle)

Chicago authorities were quick to ­recognize the advantages of a close cooperation with local aircraft enthusiasts and businesses to better safeguard major infrastructure. This was no small order given the dozens of law enforcement agencies that operate at, and around, the world’s busiest airport at O’Hare and neighbouring Midway Airport.

Given MSP’s very successful launch of their Airport Watch program three years ago, Sgt Alvin Cooper was identified as the national coordinator for AW start-ups in the United States. As part of the Chicago ­meetings, two representatives from the MSP Airport Police Department met with representatives from the Canadian side to establish a framework for new AW start-ups. Sgt Cooper’s efforts, combined with Canadian start-ups coordinated by RCMP Sgt Jacques Brunelle, were the first steps for the International Airport Watch Association.

With the new emphasis on a single North American organization, a revamped newsletter for the volunteers, airport authorities and airport police has also been launched. Reaching out still further, negotiations are ongoing for direct support from the International Association of Airport ­Seaport Police (or InterPort Police).

Origins and connections
Activities such as aircraft spotting with an emphasis on security originated in the 1950s with the (Royal Canadian Air Force) RCAF’s Ground Observer Corps (GObC) volunteers who were tasked with reporting unusual aircraft and surfaced submarines during World War II. As a tribute to the watchers of the GObC, Ottawa AW’s chapter insignia shares some heraldic traits with the original RCAF GObC badge. Likewise, each chapter has adopted its own insignia.

Ottawa AW volunteer John Davies receiving an award from AW Chair, Nelson Plamondon for his outstanding 2010 volunteer time during the 2010 Christmas dinner sponsored by the Ottawa airport authority. 

What’s in it for the spotters?
Why become involved in crime prevention while enjoying a hobby? Some extra time may be required, but it has been noted that a recognized citizen contributing to crime prevention has its benefits. Regular aviation-related activities abound for the various chapter volunteers, most of which would not be possible for a hobbyist. These have included tours of airline maintenance ­centres, aircraft production lines, tower operations, aircraft aprons, military facilities, flight simulators, police aviation facilities, fixed-base operators (FBOs), and more. They often participate in police week ­displays, and assist in charity fund raising in an organizational capacity. Each chapter holds monthly or quarterly meetings, usually at an airport facility. Administration functions are noted, but the meeting focus is on aviation photography shows and guest speakers, making the meetings well attended. Not to overstress, but the uniqueness of each airport dictates how each chapter is formed and run.

The volunteers are not trained in security functions per se but are provided with behaviour awareness sessions in order to better recognize suspicious activities. Of course, volunteers do not take the place of airport security, they are intended only as a supplementary resource.

Their alertness is not limited to terrorism; it also includes smuggling and assistance to the public, lost or stolen articles, access gates with unsecured locks, wildlife on runways and other criminal activity.

Track record
The Toronto AW members, for example, provide about 10,000 hours of extra security ­annually, and dozens of reportable incidents were responded to by police or airport ­security officers. As a result, a number of volunteers have been commended for their alertness.

It is clear that concerned citizens and authorities both recognize the benefits of effective community involvement. It is truly a win-win situation, with benefits flowing both ways. Such crime prevention programmes really do provide for safer homes and communities.

For further information please contact: [email protected]
© FrontLine Security 2011



Cyber Espionage: Welcome to APT
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

Consider yourself forewarned
Cyber espionage is no longer the stuff of cyberpunk.

We have to learn to live in a world where science fiction has become reality. If we look at the illicit computer activity coming from China or the RBN (Russian Business Network), it is clear that this is a worldwide phenomenon and that we are dealing with professional, highly skilled organizations. Closer to home, the media recently reported on the massive amount of data stolen from the U.S. government and released through WikiLeaks, the infiltration and sabotage of an Iranian nuclear plant using the Stuxnet computer worm, and the Operation Aurora cyber attack on a number of companies, including Google. A computer security provider for the U.S. government was even hit by the collective calling itself Anonymous, which leaked many of its corporate secrets. These are all different aspects of cyber espionage.

As 2012 draws near, these cyber attacks and malicious software are no longer aimed simply at computer system vandalism. This new generation of “malware” is very stealthy and almost undetectable by conventional means. These applications are designed to take control of computer systems, collect data, and send it back to a source, acting as digital spies invisible to traditional antivirus programs. To fool the system, mask their presence, and remain hidden from standard detection and prevention tools, they use rootkits in user mode or kernel mode. They take advantage of undocumented processes in the Windows operating system and use a variety of cloaking methods to hide inside legitimate applications. Traditional antivirus programs can’t detect them, because they leave no signature. In other words, they leave no trace of corrupt files on hard drives because they reside in the RAM and hide in valid processes that are approved and authorized by the applications and operating system. They are known as advanced persistent threats or APTs.

We still need to use traditional tools, but they have revealed their limits on a number of fronts. To protect our data, we must therefore develop a new defense plan. A new approach to computer security is required; consider the following:

Theory: The system is already corrupt.

A number of assumptions stem from this theory:

  • We can’t trust the integrity of the operating system (i.e., Windows) as its processes are functional but will be ­compromised or hijacked for malicious use.
  • The malware is undetectable to conventional antivirus applications, which rely on the already compromised ­operating system and authorize infected system ­components in order to run.
  • The malware has already bypassed other methods of detection and the antivirus program by placing itself on the list of authorized programs, making it invisible.

This theory and these assumptions are not science fiction. This is the real world of 2011. So how can we detect and eliminate these invisible digital spies? The solution lies in analyzing their behaviour. To be active, any code, whether it is malicious or not, must reside in the RAM. No matter what ruse it uses to disguise itself, it can only be active and effective when it is loaded into the memory.

Let’s approach this like any good police detective, using proven investigation methods:

  1. Observe and analyze the suspicious ­components.
  2. Challenge your own assumptions.
  3. Check the source of any claim from a third party.
  4. Validate your sources.
  5. Corroborate the facts from various sources and come to your own conclusions.
  6. Trust your own judgment, experience, and expertise.

In concrete terms, it is possible to combine a number of technological approaches – like real time memory analysis, advanced rootkit detection, code and internal structure integrity verification (System Service Dispatch Table, Import Address Table/ Export Address Table, Interrupt Dispatch Table, etc.), process monitoring, and anomaly detection – with more traditional approaches like antivirus signatures and ­reputation validation in correlation with the environment.

A job this extensive requires custom made tools with very low level operating capacities and the ability to insert themselves where the rootkit might have set its hook. This type of program needs its own pilots to avoid having to rely on potentially corrupted components. It needs its own hardened and protected communication channels. All this is to provide results regarding the level of system corruption, but only once the program has checked its own integrity through a number of independent mechanisms. It also runs routines to validate that the information collected has not been altered in any way whatsoever by a rootkit, just in case the hook has been set even deeper than the detection software. This tailored detection tool will get around the rootkit’s cloaking effects to provide accurate information on the system.

We can study the data compiled by the detection tool and compare it to other sources like the data in the RAM in real time, databases with known file hashes (heuristic approach), a base reference reported clean, data from other scans on certain processes or files, and antivirus signatures. By collecting and correlating all this information, specialized investigators can carry out an analysis to uncover and identify systems that are definitely compromised. If the analysis is inconclusive, investigators can still identify suspicious systems and components and determine their potential threat level. In these cases, when in doubt, it is always better to delete and reinstall the suspicious system.

Remember that while antivirus software, firewalls, and other means of protection are essential and do protect your data, they also have limits.

When in doubt, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How are my security applications protected from malware?
  • Do my security applications depend on my Windows operating system?
  • How can I know that my security applications themselves are not already compromised when they report that no security threats were detected?

Data protection issues are very real, and cyber espionage is not science fiction! You may have suspected such before reading this article, and I can confirm those feelings as absolutely correct. Fortunately, however, there are ways of detecting and even ­eliminating cyber espionage.

Loïc Bernard, a Senior Security Consultant at In Fidem, can be reached by email at [email protected]
© FrontLine Security 2011



Societal Security
Why International Standards?
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

Large scale disruptive events seem to be occurring more frequently and with greater impact on people, property, commerce, and the environment. These events can present overwhelming global challenges to organizations of all sizes.

Disruptions can cost lives and threaten an organization’s core business services, key operational functions, or it’s ability to maintain an emergency capability. To improve resiliency, organizations should commit to a risk-based, systems approach to planning, prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery. Adopting national and international standards is one step in this comprehensive approach.

In December 2011, the International Standards Organization (ISO) published its first in a new series of standards for “ISO 223 Societal Security” which, according to ISO, purports to “help save lives, mitigate harm and damage, and ensure ­continuity of basic services such as health, rescue services, water and food supplies, electricity and fuel delivery.” To develop such standards, the ISO typically convenes working committees comprised of experts from around the world.

According to Professor Ernst-Peter Döbbeling, convener of the working group for this standard, entitled ISO 22320:2011 Societal Security – Emergency Response – Guidelines for incident response, “any response following an incident might include the participation of both public and private organizations, working at international, regional or national levels. Harmonized international guidance is needed to coordinate efforts and ensure effective action. ISO 22320 is a valuable tool that all types of organizations can use to improve their capabilities in handling incident response in any crisis.”

ISO 22320 provides guidelines for establishing command and control organizational structures and procedures, decision support, traceability, and information management. Interoperability among involved organizations is essential for successful incident response, and the standard helps ensure timely, relevant and accurate operational information by specifying processes, systems of work, data capture and management. It also establishes a foundation for coordination and cooperation, ensuring that all relevant parties are on the same page during a disaster, thus minimizing the risk of misunderstandings and making effective use of the combined resources.

Prof. Döbbeling adds, “In addition to its many benefits, we hope that the information and communication requirements outlined in the standard can promote the development of innovative technical solutions, enabling maximal interoperability for communication which, in an emergency, can be a the key element for success or failure. The standard encourages community participation in the development and implementation of incident response measures, to ensure a response that is appropriate to the needs of the affected population as well as culturally acceptable.”

ISO/TC 223
To manage emerging international standards, the technical committee (TC) (ISO/TC 223 Societal Security) was formed. The committee promotes the adapative capacity of individuals, organizations, communities and society. This adaptive capacity is known as resilience, which enables organizations to deal more effectively with disruptive events, whether intentional, unintentional or naturally caused.


  • provision of international standards to enhance all actors’ capacity in society to handle all phases before, during and after disruptive events;
  • greater consistency across multiple interests and different abilities of professional disciplines, sectors, and levels of administrative responsibility within national and transnational contexts including increased organizational resilience;
  • increased preparedness and continuity management, and best practices within organizations;
  • reduced risks and consequences of accidental, ­intentional and natural events;
  • enhanced deployment, integration and ­interoper­ability of procedures, systems and technologies;
  • increased levels of cooperation and coordination;
  • increased awareness and enhanced capabilities among interested parties and stakeholders to share information and to communicate; and
  • increased public awareness and public warning.

Scope of ISO/TC  
ISO/TC 223 international standards aim to protect society from and respond to incidents, emergencies, and disasters caused by intentional and unintentional human acts, natural hazards, and technical failures. An all-hazards perspective covers adaptive, proactive and reactive strategies in all phases before, during and after a disruptive incident. Societal Security is multi-disciplinary and involves the public and private sectors, and not-for-profit organizations.

Societal Security standards integrate interconnected disciplines, such as risk management, crisis management, emergency management with its essential tools as crises communication and command and control, continuity management, security management, disaster management and resilience. Societal Security tools cover a range of integrated activities such as anticipation, assessment, prevention, protection, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery before, during, and after a disruptive incident.

Who participatesin ISO/TC 223?
ISO/TC223 brings together experts from developing and developed countries across the globe. Stakeholders are mainly from organizations in the private and public sectors, including emergency services, contingency planners, small and medium-sized enterprises, critical infastructure providers, consumer groups, governmental and regulatory bodies, NGOs, development agencies, and relief organizations.

Of the 45 countries that participate in ISO/TC223, 18 have observer status, and 10 liaison with the committee. The secretariat is managed by the Swedish Standards Institute, with Ambassador Krister Kumlin (Sweden) serving as Chairperson and ­Stefan Tangen serving as secretary.

The committee is divided into 5 working groups: WG1 Framework; WG2 Terminology; WG3 Emergency management; WG4 Preparedness and continuity; and WG5 Video surveillance.

ISO 223 TC usually meets twice per year, and has met 12 times since 2006. It very recently published its first international standard: ISO 22320:2011 Societal Security – Emergency Management – Requirements for Incident Response.

Each country formally assigns delegates to participate in international standards meetings through their national standards body. The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) facilitates and manages Canada’s participation in standards activities within the ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). These international activities are of strategic importance to Canada’s economy, sustainable development, trade, and welfare of its citizens.

Important to a country’s participation in international standards development is the establishment of national mirror committees, which extend each country’s involvement back home. In Canada, we also refer to our mirror committees as the “ISO/TC 223 Canadian Advisory Committee”, or CAC for short. The CAC strives to have a balanced representation of interest categories, such as producers, users, general interest, regulators, and consumer and public interest.   

Importance to Canada
Canada has an opportunity to pass along significant expertise through our national mirror committee, as well to learn from this work. Participating in international standards development enables us to build capacity at home and influence standards development. We need more participants with specific expertise in our CAC. Having more active members will enhance its effectiveness and increase the significance of our contribution. Making a difference at home can also mean participating in the CSA’s national standard on emergency management and business continuity.

Further information on ISO standardization can be found at www.iso.org. To get involved with Canada’s national mirror committee for ISO/TC223, please contact the Standards Council of Canada at www.scc.ca.

J. Linley Biblow, MA, ABCP is an emergency management professional. He serves as the Canadian Head of Delegation for ISO/TC 223, Chair of ISO/TC 223 Canadian Advisory Committee, and a member of CSA Z1600 Emergency management business continuity standard. He currently serves as a Captain with the Calgary Fire Department, with over 22 years of service. Linley’s background includes CBRNE course design and implementation, Hazmat Specialist response, and municipal emergency management planning and execution. He can be reached at [email protected]
© FrontLine Security 2011



Managing a Sniper Crisis
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

In October 2002, one year after the Washington D.C. terrorist attack on the Pentagon, residents of the area once again found themselves under assault. This time, the attack lasted 23 days when two individuals randomly shot and killed 10 innocent people and wounded three more. This was the first major multi-jurisdictional crisis that many public officials faced. Officials later found the pair had shot several other people across the U.S.

Above, duo who killed innocent people. Left: John Allen Muhammed. Right: Lee Boyd Malvo

Crisis managers, as well as state, local, and federal officials, found themselves dealing with an unfamiliar situation because this series of incidents spanned several jurisdictions and continued for more than three weeks. There was no “playbook” to refer to, nor was there a crisis management plan in place to deal with random shootings across three states within a 90 mile radius. In fact, there was no plan to deal with such a prolonged crisis that affected so many people in so many communities.

This is what law enforcement and other public officials faced in October 2002. Within two days, six gunshot homicides had occurred, spanning two communities. A few days later, a victim was wounded with the same rifle nearly 50 miles from the original shootings. Several days later, a child in another community was shot while walking into his school – causing even more anxiety and fear. The school shooting was the first incident where the “snipers” had corresponded with the investigation team. Unfortunately, the message was leaked to the press, which further complicated the investigation.

Another few days later, several other shootings occurred within a 90-mile radius of Washington D.C. and the “snipers” left two more letters at the scenes for the investigating team. They demanded a ransom of ten million dollars and stated that “your children are not safe anywhere at anytime.” If the ransom was not paid, or if their ­messages were again leaked to the press, they promised more murders. Negotiation attempts were undertaken, the letters were leaked to the media, and the ransom was not paid. Unfortunately, the “snipers” chose to kill additional people.

After the D.C. Beltway Sniper case was concluded, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) published an extensive after action report, citing numerous lessons learned, that are applicable to both the public and private sectors. To prepare those of us in the private sector, we need to ask ourselves: “Does my crisis management plan enable my company to manage multiple events at the same time? Does my plan incorporate shared leadership across multiple sites?”

Several lessons learned from this case may apply to the private sector, and are outlined in this article.

Build Relationships Before a Crisis Occurs
Because most of the D.C. area police chiefs met regularly as a group, they had good relations before the incidents occurred. This was a success story because these relationships helped facilitate the information sharing process.

This same lesson can be applied to private security. For example, if a series of attacks are made against a certain industry, each company must be prepared to work closely with the staff of other offices, or in some cases, that of their competitors. They must also be prepared to deal with the local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities who will be charged with handling the criminal investigation.

The time to exchange calling cards and begin a dialogue is before, not after an incident occurs. The relationships should be built ahead of time and nurtured to ensure the best response to an incident. A good example of an outstanding public/private relationship is in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, where many large companies are based. They have regular meetings involving key players from numerous companies, as well as those who represent the public sector. They rotate their meetings, giving each member the opportunity to host the event and educate the others about their best practices and capabilities. The meetings are used to exchange intelligence and to make each other aware of how they each prepare for incidents.

Integrate Information Systems
The most significant hindrance faced by the D.C. Sniper investigators was the difficulty in managing all of the information and diverse systems wherein this information was housed. For example, over the 23-day investigation, 116,000 calls and email tips were received, resulting in roughly 16,000 leads.

More than 1,000 investigators were assigned to the case. Twelve local law enforcement departments, two state police departments, five federal agencies, at least six district attorneys, and three U.S. attorneys’ offices were involved in the initial investigation.

As the case evolved, more departments became involved in different states. After the pair was apprehended, the investigation team found the subjects had been stopped by local police in several locations and had also been photographed by public cameras in several locations near the shootings. The problem was, the systems were not all integrated and it took a tremendous amount of time to pour through each ­system where the information was housed. We all must consider the types of systems we may need to use, determine what ­systems our potential partners may use, identify the types of information we need from these systems, and be prepared to integrate and exploit the information if it becomes necessary.

Determine Who Your Spokesperson Will Be
During this particular investigation, federal officials were involved in press conferences, however the spokesperson was typically the local police chief where the incident occurred. The uniformed police chief ­represented an identifiable position of authority to the community. This, in turn, provided a level of comfort and familiarity for the local community. A trusted spokesperson allows the ­public to feel safe.

Every incident will be different, therefore, it is important to prepare for a variety of scenarios. In some cases, the event ­merits the presence of the CEO. However, if the CEO is not experienced in speaking with the media, he/she should receive adequate training and rehearse before each event with a team who will prepare him/her with the tough questions that may be asked.

Does your plan include a chief spokesperson at each site? Do your plans account for multiple sites where several spokespersons may be involved?

Carefully Prepare Your Messages
In my opinion, one of the most important lessons learned from the D.C. Sniper case involved communication. People in the area were terrified. They had just experienced two successive years where their communities were subject to significant attacks. People were afraid to go outside and they were afraid to pump gas because many of the snipers’ victims were killed at the gas pumps. After the child was shot walking to school, parents feared sending their kids to school. Parents struggled with how to explain these types of events to their children. Afterschool activities stopped and weekend sporting events were cancelled. As a result, the D.C. area underwent a ­significant economic downturn because people simply did not leave their homes.

This highlights how a crisis management plan must ensure proper communication to alleviate employees’ fears. A solid plan ensures that media relations staff is involved in the entire process, including the rehearsal of plans. Does your plan address how you will alleviate public fear of using your product if your company or industry comes under attack?

In addition to addressing employees and the public, companies must be prepared to deal with the media. The rise in 24 hour media coverage has made the news media much more competitive and ever present. We can no longer rely on speaking to local reporters that we have worked with before. When a major incident occurs, particularly one that gains national or international attention, you will be overwhelmed with media requests.

In those 23 days in October 2002, the D.C. Sniper Task Force gave credentials to more than one thousand news correspondents who were based at the Montgomery County, Maryland Police headquarters. Every major news network was there, every major newspaper was there. Talk shows were inundated with self-proclaimed “experts” who cast their opinions on what the snipers looked like, how they were trained, and what their motives were.

At times, the media inadvertently helped shape the opinions of the public; in fact, the task force could tell how much of an impact the media achieved, based on the tips and leads that were called in after a shooting. If you don’t prepare for this type of activity, you will place yourself at significant disadvantage. Learning to work with the media can be one of the most challenging tasks you will face.

Many feel it is easier to ignore the media than to work with them. This is the wrong approach. While the media can ­certainly hurt you, they can also help you. For example, during this case, leaks of information overwhelmed the task force leaders. At times, the public opinion turned against the investigation team. To change that, the task force commanders modified their daily messages to not only provide accurate and timely information, but to present facts in such a fashion as to build confidence and show progress in the investigation. In fact, the task force leaders used the media to engage the shooters in a dialogue which eventually led to their arrest.

In another example, many of us watched the BP media relations activities develop during and after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. I am confident they must have felt they were prepared to deal with a major incident such as this oil spill. Yet, look at how the public opinion turned against them after one of their ­senior leaders had a slip of the tongue during an informal media session. Are your leaders prepared to deal with the media during a crisis? If the crisis occurs across multiple sites, even in different countries, does your media relations team understand the local cultures so they can craft their messages carefully?

Know Your Limits
Most crisis managers are confident in their abilities. When each crisis management plan is developed, risks are weighed and appropriate actions are formulated to respond adequately to an incident (or multiple events). Planners should be creative and identify all potential assets that may be required to respond to an incident.

The most important thing to remember is that crisis management teams must know their limitations and know when to ask for help. This coincides with building relations with those who can assist you. A good example in the public sector is a mutual aid pact with surrounding fire departments. This can be accomplished in the private sector by identifying assets that others may have which can either be purchased or ­borrowed during emergencies.

While the D.C. Beltway Sniper Investigation after-action report did not offer all the answers, it helped law enforcement ­officials plan for similar types of events involving multiple jurisdictions. Many of these same ‘lessons learned’ can be applied to your company’s business continuity plan. It simply takes some creative thinking to incorporate the risks we may face.

Michael R. Bouchard retired from Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as an Assistant Director. He was one of the incident commanders during the DC Beltway Sniper Investigation. He currently serves as the Chief Security Officer with EOD Technology, Inc. (EODT).
© FrontLine Security 2011



Fighting Wildfires
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

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Canada, Australia and the U.S. are the top three nations in terms of protecting forests and grasslands from fire. Advanced technologies have improved the effectiveness of the annual “war,” however, wildfires still cause considerable destruction. According to the Winnipeg-based Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), there were 88,939 wildfires between 1999 and 2009 that caused destruction across almost 20 million hectares – an area equivalent to nearly one-fifth of Ontario.

My. McLean by Lillooet, B.C. ablaze in July 2009

A remarkable evolution
Forestry is an important part of the Canadian economy; sales total $30 billion annually. Given its vast, forested regions – about 42% of Canada or 4.17 million square kilometres is covered with forests – and the many people who have worked in forestry or related industries since before Confederation, it is not surprising that Canadians have been proactive about fighting wildfires for generations. On September 27, 1919, the Victoria Times published a news report about a private pilot who spotted a forest fire while flying over ­Duncan, British Columbia. He landed and reported the fire’s location to a ranger, who mustered men and equipment to extinguish the blaze. Today, forest protection authorities learn of wildfires from a variety of sources, including pilots, outdoor enthusiasts, and satellite imagery.

With innumerable lakes and rivers and thousands of miles of coastline, but relatively few airports in Canada for much of the 20th century, seaplanes such as the Vickers Vedette Flying Boat and de Havilland Tiger Moth biplane on floats were initially used for aerial wildfire patrols. Starting in the mid-1930s, rugged aircraft designed for the Canadian hinterland like the Noorduyn Norseman and de Havilland Beaver were employed to not only search for ­wildfires, but also transport firefighters and their equipment. In the 21st century, large turboprop airplanes and jetliners move firefighting personnel and their gear around the country.

For decades, Canadians have been inventive in terms of developing aerial fire suppression systems. For example, in August 1945 a Norseman was modified with water pickup and bombing controls and used to attack a fire near Temagami, Ontario. A few years later, 5-gallon waterproof bags of water were dumped through the ­camera hatch of an Ontario Provincial Air Service Beaver airplane (with no appreciable effect on the fire, however). Fast-forward to the summer of 2010 when dozens of air tankers – most designed and built or modified in Canada – and helicopters dropped water, foam, or chemical fire retardant on hundreds of wildfires in Canada (in B.C. alone there were 1,600).  

Thynne Mountain Forest fire near Brookmere, B.C. in August 2009.

Provincial/territorial and national agencies
All provincial and most territorial governments have a forest or wildlands protection agency. In most parts of Canada, wildfire season is between April and September (sometimes extending to October). Occasionally, the number of wildfires in a province or territory is greater than the firefighting resources available in the jurisdiction. Additional resources are brought in from other parts of Canada, and less frequently, from the United States and other nations.

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) provides operational fire-control and management services in wilderness areas. In addition to coordinating services for all of the provinces, ­territories and the federal fire management agencies, CIFFC also coordinates the sharing of wildland firefighting resources with the United States and other countries.

A Diplomatic Note signed by the governments of Canada and the U.S. authorizes cross-border sharing of fire suppression resources. The Canada/United States Reciprocal Forest Fire Fighting Arrangement and other exemptions “allows for quick movement of resources through Customs,” explains CIFFC. The ability to rapidly deploy firefighting resources to either country is crucial, particularly during a severe fire season where resource-sharing is greatly needed. The cross-border agreements detail which firefighting resources can be shared, how they will be made available, what costs will be involved, and the conditions for their return.

Hundreds of Canadian aircraft are available to fight wildfires with water, aqueous foam and chemical retardant.

Within Canada, resources to fight wildfires are shared on a formal basis under the Canadian Interagency Mutual Aid Resources Sharing (MARS) Agreement, which covers three main types of resources: personnel, aircraft, and other equipment. The CIFFC’s 2009 report notes its Coordination Centre in Winnipeg processed 167 Resource Request Orders (RROs) from forest protection agencies. These involved 2,772 personnel, 24 “skimmer” aircraft (airplanes that scoop up water while flying across – “skimming” the surface of – a large body of water), five land-based air tankers, 1,000 pump kits, 18,400 lengths of hose, 1,180 sprinkler heads, three value protection units, and other miscellaneous equipment.

Firefighting “air force”
There are more than 100 aircraft used to fight wildfires in Canada, including dozens of large air tankers. The governments of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia each operate a fleet of firefighting aircraft, entirely fixed-wing in most cases (Nova Scotia’s fleet is comprised solely of helicopters). Alberta and the Northwest Territories have air tankers operated by companies in partnership with the government. British Columbia and the Yukon contract air tanker services from Canadian companies such as Conair Aviation, Buffalo Airways and Air Spray. In many regions, helicopter operators are hired to provide fire suppression and operations support, such as transporting initial attack firefighters and their equipment.

Each air tanker group used to combat wildfires consists of one “bird-dog” airplane and one or more tankers. In the 1940s, the U.S. Army nicknamed its wildfire patrols and firefighting support planes “bird-dogs” (a hunting dog trained to locate and retrieve birds). The term has been applied to fixed-wing aircraft used to coordinate aerial firefighting ever since.

In June, the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch brought back the world’s largest aerial “fire truck,” the Mighty ­Martin Mars – a skimmer-type water bomber – to help douse some of the hundreds of wildfires in the province. Two Martin Mars aircraft are owned and operated by Coulson Flying Tankers of Port Alberni, B.C. These ­massive flying boats, which date back to the Second World War, have a 60-metre wingspan, and can drop 27,216 litres of aqueous foam as often as every seven minutes.

“We’ve been away for three years, working with folks in southern California, and we’ve made significant changes to the aircraft,” said Wayne Coulson, Chief Executive Officer of Coulson Flying Tankers, in an interview with CBC News. For years, the bombers were based on Vancouver Island’s Sproat Lake, near Port Alberni. Jeff Berry of the Kamloops, B.C. Fire Centre added: “Part of what we’re doing with the Mars [water bomber] this year is research. We want to see if the addition of this polymer into the water is going to help give those people on the ground a little more time.”

Contractor and government aircraft are used to wage an annual "war" on wildfires.

The annual “war” on wildfires
The initial attack on a fire begins when the forest protection agency coordination centre notifies a tanker group to launch. The first aircraft to depart is the “bird-dog”; onboard is the pilot and a forest service Air Attack Officer. The pilot circles at 1,500 to 2,000 feet, allowing the officer to assess the fire, develop an attack strategy, look for structures and hazards, and select the first target and bombing run direction. The “bird-dog” then descends to about 150 feet above the trees to conduct an inspection of the tankers’ “bombing” run. At low level, the “bird-dog” team checks for hydro lines, rises in terrain, and other hazards, and notes the turbulence and visibility on the approach to the fire and over it. This information is then communicated to the tanker pilots.

As the “bird-dog” air crew work, the “skimmers” take-off and head toward a lake or other body of water to fill their internal tanks. The time required to fill depends on the aircraft. For example, the Canadair CL-415 water bomber takes about 10 to 12 seconds. The water is usually mixed with a gel concentrate that creates a fire-suppressing foam. Land-based tanker aircraft are typically filled with a red chemical retardant, which acts longer than the foam.

A temporary flight control zone is established around the fire up to 3,000 feet, and the “bird-dog” team controls firefighting aircraft in that zone. Before the tankers commence their run, the “bird-dog” climbs to 500 feet above the run altitude to observe the tankers’ work and direct ground firefighting activities.

“Heli-attack” aircraft carrying initial attack firefighters and their equipment arrive early on. As the pilot hovers close to the ground, firefighters jump out to do “battle.” In mountainous areas, they sometimes have to rappel down to the ground. As the “war” on the wildfire progresses, reconnaissance and mapping aircraft fly above the “bird-dog.”

When a wildfire is larger than five hectares, airspace management becomes increasingly complex and different tactics are used. The preferred tactic is crosswind runs across the head of the fire to stop its advance. Low visibility in smoke and turbulence from the heat can make crosswind runs impossible, in which case the air attack starts at the rear of the fire and works up its flanks to cut off the head.

The Government of Quebec operates a Canadair CL-415 water bomber simulator to train pilots and help them stay proficient.

Advanced technologies
An increasing number of Canadian “bird-dog” aircraft are equipped with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), which allows the Air Attack Officer to see through the smoke and better determine the size of the fire and direction of its advance. Onboard systems record FLIR and video images and transmit data about the fire to base.

Five years ago, staff from Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources’ Aviation and Forest Fire Management team began testing night vision technology for fire detection and management applications such as precise mapping of active fires. Night vision goggles (NVG’s) have been used during emergency extractions of firefighters. NVG’s increase illumination, which can be faint on moonless and overcast nights, by up to 50,000 times. They help pilots to spot even small campfires from several kilometres away.

Whether at night or during the day, forest protection agency coordinators need to be able to track firefighting aircraft in order to orchestrate operations and maximize resource usage. To that end, Automated Flight Following (AFF) was created a generation ago in B.C., home to some of the world’s most challenging aerial firefighting due to the terrain. Over the past 20 years, AFF has evolved and been exported to jurisdictions outside of British Columbia. Its main advantages are aircraft tracking in near-real-time via satellites and enhanced situational awareness, a crucial part of effective aviation asset management. AFF data transfer standards developed in B.C. have been adopted nationally and internationally.

Another technological marvel developed in B.C. is a complex, computer-based system used for resource tracking and management. Called “Dispatch”, it is an integrated decision support system that incorporates aircraft locations, fire reporting, chronological event logging, resource and personnel tracking, electronic requests for assets, geographic information system data and imagery, fire behaviour, and weather.

B.C. Forest Service firefighter hoses down fire spots.

“The BC Forest Service Dispatch System has evolved over the last 15 years from a seed of an idea,” says Steve Newton, the Aviation Management Superintendent of the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range, Wildfire Management Branch (WMB). A product of international collaboration, Dispatch is operationally used by several wildfire management and response agencies. “Over the years, the team has involved private and public sector partners spanning such diverse domains as software development companies, aviation companies, remote weather station manufacturers, provincial and state governments, and international space agencies, to name a few. In the operations realm, Dispatch provides a platform for immediate information transfer and sharing in support of all fire response activities. In the broader context of aviation management, the Dispatch system provides an acute situational awareness that informs many levels of decision-making, at both the tactical and strategic operation levels. View access is available internally to all staff in an open and transparent manner, allowing for an increased organizational awareness, which further influences multiple levels of decision making from the field to the senior management tables.”

Jeff Berry, Superintendent of Air Tanker Operations at the WMB says the Dispatch system is viewed as an “enabling technology, in essence a force multiplier, which facilitates moving aircraft where they are needed most resulting in a more cost effective, efficient air tanker program.” He explains that after an initial wildfire report is received at the Provincial Forest Fire Reporting Centre, the information is forwarded to the system for the appropriate fire centre to respond. Crews and equipment are deployed, and the system transmits and receives incident information at regular intervals, and collates the data for reporting and analysis.

Because much of northern Canada is out of range of ground-based radio transmitters and air crews fighting wildfires must fly close to the ground, SATCOM or satellite communication equipment has been installed in firefighting aircraft. Kelowna, B.C.-based Skytrac is a world leader in SATCOM systems for “bird-dogs,” air tankers, and helicopters used for fire suppression and transport of personnel and equipment.  

Ground crews, including initial attack crews transported by helicopter, coordinate their firefighting activities with aerial assets and each other.

Canadian technological creativity and entrepreneurship have been harnessed to not only develop systems used inside firefighting aircraft, but outside as well. The FAST (Fire Attack Storm Tank) Bucket is an innovative and highly-efficient system developed and brought to market by Absolute Fire Solutions (AFS) of Calgary, Alberta. “The basic concept of the FAST Bucket is simple and ingenious,” says Steve Matthews, the company founder and AFS president. “The weight of the water is used to create the hydraulic pressure required to actuate the release of each load. A conventional bucket with a hydraulic-powered water release valve (requiring up to 60 amps of power for actuation) fights against the weight of the water instead of using it for the drop function. No matter how much water is carried – thousands of kilograms, typically – the FAST Bucket requires only 1.8 amps to release the load.”

The FAST Bucket incorporates Cockpit Volume Control, meaning loads can be increased as fuel is consumed, or split for cleanup operations. This results in “substantial productivity increases for agencies as well as a much lower cost-per-gallon of water applied.”

An international effort
During the past quarter century, Canadian wildfire experts have shared their knowledge with government officials, firefighters, pilots and other professionals from many parts of the world. In B.C. alone, the WMB has provided information to wildfire fighting personnel from 30 countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America via tours of its facilities and other activities.

In December 2006, the governments of British Columbia and the State of Victoria in Australia entered into a resource-sharing agreement. This provides for an “exchange of personnel, knowledge, skills, equipment, technologies and mutual support in the event of an emergency.”

Contractor and government aircraft are used to wage an annual "war" on wildfires.

Australia has used B.C. personnel on their wildfires in 2007 and 2009.

In a reciprocal situation, two Incident Man­age­ment Teams from “down under” – consisting of 22 personnel from Australia and 8 from New Zealand – arrived in British Columbia in 2009 to assist with wildfire suppression efforts during an exceptionally busy fire season. The two teams helped out on fires in Lillooet, Prichard and Notch Hill over a 34-day period.”

From July to September 2009, three officers from the Greek Hellenic Fire Brigade participated in a WMB Initial Attack Practical Attachment. The officers spent 58 days as members of Initial Attack crews in hot, dry central and southern B.C., areas similar to those in Greece during the warmest months. “The purpose of the program was to expose the Greek firefighters to the skills, management, and support processes of the B.C. Initial Attack program so that they can determine what aspects … are applicable in Greece and lead in the development of a trial initial attack program when they return,” a WMB press release said.

Scientific studies have concluded that the risk of more wildfires – including in the Arctic for the first time in recorded history – is rising due to global warming. International cooperation on wildfires and resource-sharing will be increasingly crucial in the future.  

Blair Watson, FrontLine’s contributing editor, is based in Kelowna, British Columbia.
© FrontLine Security 2011



In Fidem: ITAR/EC-Controlled Data
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

Canada and the United Kingdom both enforce similar export regulations through the Controlled Goods Directorate (CGD) and the Export Control Organisation (ECO). Domestic laws restricting exports are known as “Export Control” (EC). A broad range of commercial goods, including ­certain off-the-shelf valves, gauges, electronics, computers, optics, ­sensors, software, and other items of a seemingly commercial nature are EC-regulated. Many of these items do not have to be solely of U.S. origin to be subject to ITAR/EC.

At times, the agencies share overlapping jurisdiction and a license may be required from more than one agency for the same export, service, or other activity. Also, each agency’s regulations set forth its own prohibitions, requirements, and processes. At times, this maze of regulatory red tape seems unfair to companies looking to ­conduct legitimate business abroad.

Using the Wassenaar Arrangement as a common denominator, EC authorities in 40 participating countries restrict exports of a wide range of commercial and military products, information, and services. The Wassenaar Arrangement was established in 1995 to contribute to regional and international security and stability by promoting transparency and greater accountability in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilizing accumulations.

Who should be concerned?
While business management should be concerned with ITAR/EC, IT management – as the custodian of information and information technologies within the business – must sort through the intricacies of such regulations and understand the impact of ITAR/EC requirements. Take a moment to consider the following cases:

  • Trade show presentations
  • Travel overseas with a laptop, removable storage device, or documents
  • Access to IT infrastructure from out-of-country locations
  • Email to a foreign supplier or out-of-country co-worker
  • Storage in out-of-country datacenters
  • Reuse of source code or intellectual property in a non-defence product
  • Allowing a foreign national to visit a lab or a factory
  • Use of global technology services such as software as a service (SaaS) or cloud-based services

IT management should be aware that all of the above activities are possible exports or “deemed” exports, and IT management ­professionals must determine how ITAR/EC requirements apply to the organization.

Why focus on ITAR/EC?
Information and material related to ITAR/EC technology may be shared only with authorized persons unless a license or special exemption is obtained from the government. Heavy fines are imposed not only for tangible transfers of technology and information but also situations in which an export has been “deemed” to occur, such as sales presentations and proposals to unauthorized persons or entities or the accessing of controlled information by authorized personnel when traveling outside the country.

The range of information controlled under ITAR/EC regulations is broad and includes not only the products themselves, but also informational assets: designs, test information, processes, software, communications, and documents.

​ITAR/EC compliance is all about risk management, there are choices to make. One may think that the authorities will use the big stick, but oftentimes it is the competition that will use the law against the unprepared. Since violations can result in criminal ­liability for the company, including imprisonment of the company’s owners and employees, it is imperative for firms to have a clear understanding of ITAR/EC sanctions that individuals and companies face, such as: penalties, criminal fines, debarment, ban on exports, seizure of ­products and information, sanctions and announcements, or contract termination.

ITAR/EC is all well and good, but I’m not in the military business!
If your company is mainly a civil manufacturer, introducing ITAR/EC goods and technologies into its civil programs will adversely impact the merchantability of its civil programs. It is therefore essential that your company’s civil products remain free of EC content, particularly U.S. ITAR content. This leads to the concept of “ITAR-free” goods, information, or services. The ITAR-free label is often used by companies wishing to demonstrate their efforts to avoid contamination.

To address compliance today, most organizations still employ traditional security methods to control ITAR/EC-related informational assets. But IT touches everything in modern businesses, and these types of solutions are not broad enough in scale. They also present fundamental organizational challenges and a competitive disadvantage as the industry moves to IT globalization.

One of the most challenging aspects of ITAR/EC is that unlike other regulations, they clearly identify prohibitions and punishments, but offer no standards, guidelines, or checklists, and provide no amplifying language for IT management professionals.

ITAR/EC is all well and good, but I’m not exporting anything!
Many executives believe the purpose of ITAR/EC is simply to regulate exports. However, EC regulations are far broader, covering a wide variety of purely domestic commercial activities. Even if you are not exporting, you are still subject to certain ITAR/EC requirements. For example, you need to obtain authorization for the import of defence items; you need to avoid data transfers to foreign nationals in the U.S.; and, you need to enforce record keeping even if your only customer is DOD or MOD or NATO or DOD overseas.

Taking action and getting started today
Many companies are subject to ITAR/EC requirements, but few of them take pre-emptive action for lack of proper understanding of the nuts and bolts or uncertainty with respect to the many regulations. Becoming ITAR/EC compliant is a long journey that requires a thoughtful approach. Here are examples of measures your ­company should enforce:

  • Register with the government
  • Prohibit transferring software
  • Do not export without a license
  • Do not import without a temporary import license
  • Enforce record keeping, logging
  • Restrict payment of fees
  • Restrict information transfer with debarred firms

The “wait and see” approach is clearly not an option, as ITAR/EC non-compliance can seriously endanger your business activities. You have a lot to do, so you’d better take action as soon as possible. Furthermore, preparing for ITAR/EC compliance sends a signal to competitors and prospects and can lead to new business opportunities, which is good news.

There is a history of criminal prosecution in the public domain against exporters for ITAR/EC violations. In a recent case, the defendant argued that he was not responsible for ITAR/EC compliance because the laws are too complex to understand. The court disagreed and upheld the conviction while acknowledging that “putting together the pieces of this regulatory puzzle is not easy.”

Given all this, where should IT begin? What problem should it tackle first?

Based on real world projects, there are five ITAR/EC challenges for business and IT management professionals:

  1. Delineate a protection perimeter, both logical and physical.
  2. Classify, label, and track ITAR/EC-related informational assets.
  3. Take into account transfers with ­external partners: outsourcing, SaaS, cloud computing.
  4. Dock ITAR/EC compliance to existing compliance frameworks.
  5. Implement efficient and dedicated ­security controls.

ITAR/EC compliance is all about geography: location of datacenters, tracking of assets, employees’ place of birth, email ­destination.

Because every company is different, we have developed a quick way to prioritize solution components. This first step is a 4- to 5-week assessment consisting mainly of a careful risk-mapping process. This approach allows the company to evaluate its maturity and establish internal compliance program objectives. The process is ­tailored to the company’s business model, perimeter, objectives, and processes. The end result is two deliverables: a risk map and an action plan.

After conducting this assessment, the next step is to design and implement an ITAR/EC internal compliance program. In Fidem’s ITAR/EC Information Security Management System (I3SMS) manual was created for this purpose. This document uses recognized referentials such as PCI DSS and ISO 27001 standards as a base. It identifies ten high level compliance tasks:

  1. Delineate a perimeter (logical and physical).
  2. Classify and label informational assets.
  3. Manage human resources.
  4. Manage access to informational assets.
  5. Track informational asset movements.
  6. Maintain a secure IT infrastructure.
  7. Set up a training program.
  8. Monitor & periodically test security systems.
  9. Manage incidents and vulnerabilities.
  10. Integrate asset security into the existing security management framework.

The next step is to set up a tailored compliance program using a prioritized, risk-driven approach that enables you to select the tasks most appropriate to your business. Implementing this customized program can take between 3 and 12 months, depending on the target perimeter (i.e., a project team, a business unit, the whole company).

In addition to providing reliable progress metrics, this approach leads to immediate gains, makes it possible to do the work in steps, and facilitates financial planning.

In many respects, ITAR/EC is just another cost of doing business in today’s global ­marketplace. It cannot be ignored.

Management must ­dedicate the right level of resources and attention to ITAR/EC compliance, stay informed of changes to the regulations (as the August updates to Section 126.18), follow other applicable laws, and adjust each compliance step as needed. While this may all seem very complex, the two simple steps described in this paper are a scalable and organized approach to ITAR/EC compliance that can reduce risk, lower control costs, and help keep your company’s markets open.

Jean Loup Le Roux has a professional background in the military defence, nuclear and aeronautic sectors with a focus on Export Control. He joined In Fidem as an Information Security Consultant.

This article contains general, condensed descriptions of actual legal matters and opinions, and is for information purposes only. It is not meant to be legal advice and is not contractual. Readers with particular needs regarding specific issues should contact In Fidem Inc.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

John is a 40-year-old police officer who recently sought medical attention for repeated nightmares, difficulty sleeping, and vivid flashbacks of a traumatic encounter he experienced over six months ago while on duty.

He was the first to respond to a neighbour’s call to police about domestic abuse at a local apartment building where a husband and wife had been fighting. When John arrived, the man pulled a gun and held him hostage for over three hours before police backups arrived and took the man into custody. Immediately following the event, John was extremely shaken up, and experienced overwhelming feelings of fear as he thought his own death was imminent. Since the event, John has become socially withdrawn. He is not married, nor does he have any children to rely on for support. John always suffered from anxiety, but had previously found that a couple of beers seemed to take the edge off for him. Lately, he needs to drink more and more to try and relieve the high levels of anxiety he feels on a daily basis since that traumatic episode. He states that sometimes it feels as though he is actually reliving the experience. The feeling is so overwhelming that he frequently breaks out in sweat and feels like his heart is going to beat out of his chest. John is demonstrating many of the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Data collected as recently as 2004 suggests that 6.8% of all adults will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. Among some groups, such as military veterans and emergency responders, the prevalence rates tend to be higher – approximately 13% --and even as high as 30% according to one study.. Self-reported symptoms of PTSD in a group of both American and Canadian firefighters were found to be similar to those reported by wounded Vietnam War veterans. A first-responder is six times more likely to experience PTSD symptoms than are crime victims. First-responders’ are put in situations that are more likely to lead to traumatic experiences and high levels of occupational stress than are the typical worker. Frequent exposure to victims of serious injuries and death, and extreme danger such as fires, high-speed chases and gunfire are all occupational hazards for individuals employed as first responders.  Therefore, this population is more likely to suffer from PTSD, and from a resulting number of psychological and physical consequences. Firefighters who develop PTSD, for example, have been found to experience cardiovascular problems, tension, substance abuse issues, and depressive episodes more often than their non-PTSD counterparts. The degrees of symptoms experienced by first-responders are related to both the severity as well as their proximity to the traumatic event.  Long-term exposure, as determined in part by length of time on the job and the number of distressing situations first-responders experience, is also a relevant predictor for developing PTSD. Studies have shown that, once traumatized, individuals are more vulnerable to the debilitating effects of PTSD for future episodes. It is much like a football player who suffers a concussion--the brain becomes more susceptible to future concussions. PTSD sufferers are ill equipped to handle future traumatic experiences.

Carol Russ, a psychologist and staff provider of the Virtual Reality Research Program demonstrates the a virtual reality post-traumatic stress disorder treatment software program.

Law enforcement, EMS and firefighters are all subject to particularly stressful occupations. Stress can arise from an acute event or prolonged exposure. Stressors and stress are often confused, but are not the same thing. Stressors are the environmental events that tax our ability to cope, and stress is our physiological and psychological response to these stressors. Over fifty years ago an endocrinologist, named Hans Selye, noted that the body begins to show the effects of prolonged exposure to extreme stressors in fairly predictable ways. He termed this the General Adaptation Syndrome and it consists of three stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. Exhaustion signals the breaking down of the body’s immune response and we then become prone to sickness.

Only a licensed mental health professional can diagnose someone. To be diagnosed with PTSD, an individual must experience exposure to some traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, assault, combat, or stressors that elicit a strong internal stress response. These can be experienced directly, by witnessing a traumatic event, or indirectly, as in learning from someone else of the event. The trauma also has to be viewed as threatening the life, serious physical injury or the personal integrity of the individual. The individual may experience an intense emotional response involving feelings such as hopelessness and fear, and these thoughts persist over at least a month past the trauma, often in the form of flashbacks. It is important to remember, however, that not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD. Many of the factors that play a role in developing the disorder have to do with the individual coping styles of people.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association and used to classify mental disorders, contains the current criteria necessary for individuals to be diagnosed with one of the most debilitating stress disorders -- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There are three clusters of typical symptoms: (1) An individual’s intense reliving of the trauma, (2) Avoidance and numbing of emotional responses that elicit feelings associated with the trauma, and (3) Hyperarousal, or anxiety-like symptoms experienced by the individual. Frequently, PTSD is accompanied by additional disorders such as depression and substance abuse disorder which can make an accurate diagnosis of PTSD difficult to make by a clinician.

Currently, the most effective forms of treatment for PTSD involve outpatient psychological and behavioral methods, pharmacological interventions, or a combination of the two, in instances such as treating patients with both PTSD and severe depression. Inpatient treatment may be necessary for some individuals who display suicidal tendencies. Treatment usually involves meeting with a therapist once a week for four to six months. Patients suffering from PTSD may be reluctant to seek treatment for a multitude of reasons. For one, they may view discussing their trauma in a therapeutic setting as a reminder of their ordeal that they wish to avoid. In addition, some view mental healthcare as stigmatizing. For these reasons, a crucial first step in treatment is educating patients about PTSD and its high rates of occurrence among survivors of trauma. The reality is that if an individual has PTSD for a year or more, the chances of recovering without any form of therapy or medication are remote.

As a consequence of the stigma surrounding treatment, many PTSD sufferers may fail to seek treatment, often ignoring their symptoms or self-medicating with alcohol and drugs. This approach only leads to drug and alcohol dependency. The National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder reports that up to 75% of individuals who have experienced a violent trauma report some level of drinking problems. PTSD patients often report using alcohol or other substances as a way to cope with the stress induced by the trauma they experienced. However, alcohol can often exacerbate some typical PTSD symptoms such as anger, irritability, depression, and numbing of feelings. By trying to ignore the symptoms associated with PTSD, sufferers make them worse and prolong the suffering when self-medicating with alcohol and drugs. Additional research has shown that when PTSD and substance abuse disorder occur together, treatment outcomes are worse than for either disorder alone. In 2008, 20% of VA patients receiving treatment for PTSD also suffered from substance abuse disorder. Even though this figure can be disheartening, mental health professionals believe that these dual-diagnoses patients can effectively recover and this recovery is more likely to be successful the sooner these patients seek treatment.

Several treatments have proved effective for PTSD. The most common and one of the most effective treatments for patients suffering from PTSD is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT focuses on the reduction of the PTSD symptoms, whereby the ultimate goal for PTSD patients is to understand how to identify trauma-induced stress and the feelings it evokes, and learn how to replace these responses with more adaptive ways of thinking. This approach is commonly referred to as cognitive restructuring. CBT seeks to minimize avoidance-coping techniques many PTSD sufferers employed before seeking treatment, like social isolation and substance abuse. Additionally, antidepressant medications like Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) can be utilized with CBT to improve effectiveness of treatment.

Exposure Therapy is another type of treatment implemented for PTSD. Research has shown that exposing individuals to simulated trauma, like entering a burning building or being involved in a police standoff, presented in a controlled environment can decrease future emotional reactions when individuals face similar situations in real-life scenarios. Using this type of an intervention with emergency responders, who face traumatic events as a part of their career, can help lessen the degree to which these traumas have a lasting negative effect. Repeatedly exposing individuals to scenarios similar to what they will face in the line of duty until their distress decreases has been shown to improve performance, decrease feelings of fear and anxiety, and increase coping effectiveness.

Most importantly, seeking treatment means that individuals are much less likely to engage in a pattern of behavior (e.g. social isolation and substance abuse) that is typical of sufferers and ultimately lead to greater physical and psychological damage. By maintaining healthy lifestyle choices, surrounding oneself with a supportive network of friends and family, and by seeking help if stress becomes overwhelming, first-responders can learn to manage the difficult portion of their jobs and enjoy the rewards they receive from helping their community on a daily basis.

Richard Ogle, Ph.D. is Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department at University of North Carolina Wilmington. His research interests are in the areas of substance abuse, trauma, and psychopathology.

Sarah Henry received her BA in Psychology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2011, and she is currently a first-year student in the Master’s Program in Psychology at UNCW. Her research interests are in the areas of forensic and clinical psychology. 
© FrontLine Security 2011



Security 2035
A Strategic Overview
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

Seldom do Canadians, as a nation, look much beyond next week, next month or next year. We tend to be laid-back and blasé about our future. We engage in a game of self-deception by assuming that the threat of any major harm is restricted solely to a major environmental event, such as blizzards, hurricanes or flooding, created by climate change.

We willingly accept the dictum of Senator Dandurand who exclaimed in 1924 that “Canadians live in a fireproof house, far from inflammable materials.” Sadly, he and a vast number of other public figures were proved wrong when we became involved in World War Two. However, it took the shelling of a B.C. lighthouse by the Imperial Japanese Navy and the sinking of Allied cargo vessels in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence to finally drive the point home. But even then, there were politicians, clerics and civic leaders who downplayed the threat.

The emergence of the Cold War, with atomic weapons of incredible destructive capability potential, together with the bomber and the emergence of the ICBMs, did cause a re-emergence of the general perception of threat for a period of time. But over the course of the Cold War, numerous diplomatic initiatives taken by both sides of the nuclear debate lessened the likelihood of a nuclear-armed conflict. Moreover, the nuclear strategic ­initiative known as MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) made such a conflict unwin­nable. Accordingly, with the threat of a possible nuclear war averted, the belief that Canada could be vulnerable was dismissed.

Of course, the events of September 11, 2001 demonstrated to the world that no city, state or region was safe from any organization that was determined enough to plan and execute a well-thought-out attack (including using non-tradition assets such as civilian airliners). Companioning this event has been a litany of failed or failing states, state-sponsored surrogate criminal activity such as piracy, narco-terrorism and an unbridled rush by dictatorships and fundamentalist theocratic states to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Adding to this instability is the perceived threat by the scientific community that the Earth’s climate is changing dramatically. Analyses of climatic trends suggest that the Earth’s surface temperature will warm as much as 3 to 6 degrees above current temperatures. These changes will change the current climate dynamic resulting in a significant loss of arable land, a rising of ocean levels by 1 to 3 metres and the complete meltdown of glaciers. These assessments set out a catastrophic future for many food producing nations. Many climatologists have forecasted an increasing need for major improvements to humanitarian aid delivery systems such as militarized bulk carriers, hospital ships and ships with an amphibious capability to deliver troops to re-establish order, to counter criminal/terrorist activities and to protect both military and civilian aid givers.

The second great instability is the speed of the dissemination of new technologies and processes. The proliferation technology (such as cell phones, increased-capability computers and programming languages, as well as a plethora of new weapons and continuing improvements to older military technologies), creates an inherent fragility for society. Cell phones, for example, have become the top choice for remotely controlling IEDs and VBIEDs. They are cheap and plentiful, difficult to trace, and easy to dispose of – ensuring anonymity for terrorists. Enhanced computer systems have enabled criminal and terrorist elements to gain access to personal information, credit records... and possibly obtain illicit funds or create false identities. They can also use these systems to secure intelligence or to interfere with normal government operations. Such actions lead to chaos and a loss of trust by the populace in their leaders.

Continuing improvements in weapons design and manufacturing have produced compact kinetic weapons that are, in some cases, more lethal than their larger counterparts. Increasingly, terrorists have been using new and smaller weapons, due to easier concealment qualities. Better optics and ammunition have the unfortunate dual effect of improving the lethality of terrorists and their mercenaries.

Finally, technical advances such as GPS and rocketry hobby kits have made rocket motors and telemetry packages far more precise than in the past, making them dangerous in the hands of the disgruntled.

Canadians tend to be resolute in their demands for action by government. You might recall the response of the Trudeau government during the “October Crisis.” Mobilizing the Armed Forces, he demonstrated just how far he would go to regain control over this small group of dissidents. Although the government of the day during those periods of war may have over-reached its mandate and authority by placing former citizens of an enemy country into detention without a valid trial, it did so with cause.

The third and major factor that comes into play is the emergence of new “Super Power” states that previously existed as moderate economies. “Globalization” and increased “Free Trade” has accelerated their national economies because of their plentiful and cheap labour which have attracted many international manufacturers seeking to reduce production costs. These economies are expanding by 10 to 15% per year, adding a major influx of fiscal resources. This new found prosperity has, in most cases, led to major internal investment and economic diversification. However, prosperity has reawakened previous power aspirations. This has developed into a “quasi cold war” between burgeoning states and resulted in substantial increases in state spending for new military capabilities and weapons systems.

For states that compose the current elite of economic and military powers, these developments are worrisome since they exist outside of the current curbs of the use of nuclear weapons. These developments have also lessened the influence of the current Super Powers and reawakened in First World nations the spectre of nuclear warfare or major conventional warfare that will interfere with the conduct of the world’s commerce as well as a never-ending diplomatic crisis.

How do these changes affect us now? How will they affect us in 2035? In current terms, these emerging trends will have a minor but long term impact on both our nation and our society. However, it is the long term that will face the most significant and societal changing forces. Although the climate is warming (a fact substantiated by most climatologists), most Canadians will not feel any significant changes in the weather in the near term, and it will remain well within the temperature range experienced over the last 150 years. Some regions will experience diminished rainfall but given the current precipitation patterns, severe long-term drought can be easily mitigated in Canada with the construction of water distribution resources.

There still remains a significant area of arable land above the current population distribution pattern – a band of 300 miles which parallels the current U.S.-Canada border. This area has been previously farmed some one hundred years ago but the costs of transportation grew too high for Canadian markets and the absence of major semi-urban centres for support conspired to make farming in the area untenable. With current technology and fiscal resources, these areas could be once again brought into production very quickly.

However, with a more hospitable climate and new arable land opening up, Canada might well face the prospect of becoming one of the world’s greater suppliers of a wide range of raw and processed foods to meet the increasing demand of a world that is losing valuable arable land daily. The warmer the northern areas become, the greater the likelihood of this happening. Imagine the prospect of farming on soil that has been a bog for millions of years, access to large water resources and 20-hour days of sunlight. Together with new agrarian scientific technologies, it could be potentially possible for these more northern farms to render two complete crops per year of cereal grains, root vegetables, legumes and other protein products. If considered with the possibility of being ice-free all year, ports in the North could become the bread basket of the western hemisphere.

Canada may well become a significant player in the world’s economy just in terms of food production. There will have to be a concomitant increase in our ability to protect ourselves, our trade and the merchant ships of other nations. If the ­scenario of Canada as an emerging economic “Super Power” holds true, then the required infrastructure and annual costs of meeting these goals could be easily paid for by increased revenue. However, we cannot wait until these events happen to take the necessary security steps to minimize the potential threat to this future.

Terrorist and criminal agencies will likely continue to operate within Canada, the U.S. and Britain. Current law enforcement and government security agencies have been able to contain these irregular forces adequately and efficiently within allocated resources. However, given the 9/11 attack and the arrest and conviction of recent immigrant and Canadian-born Islamic fundamentalist terrorists and criminals, there has been a heightened awareness of the need for increased security forces.

Barring a major increase of recent arrivals from terrorist-supporting or failed states, there remains little chance of the development of a major indigenous terrorist threat. However, there have been numerous reports of “westerners” who have converted to the Muslim faith who are willing to undertake terrorist training in the Middle East for terrorist operations within Canada, the U.S., Britain and Australia.   
Although it is not possible to completely stop the import or export of new small sized, covert automatic weapons systems or improved superior weapon optics, useful for sniping or intelligence gathering, or even the new more lethal types of ammunition intended to offer a “one shot, one kill” option to legitimate authorities, yet there must be some type of control mechanism. The importation of these lethal systems must be controlled and such shipments must carefully tracked with the best security systems available.

Although terrorists and criminals can obtain modern military-standard weapons through legitimate dealers, they are not as easy to obtain as weapons and equipment that are not subject to import, export, buying and selling controls. The law enforcement community is hard pressed to control such criminal activity.

Enhanced electronic devices remain available but often contain sophisticated miniature markings that provide critical information such as manufacturing data, contract and order number to aid in the tracing of the equipment and ultimately to the end purchaser. However, in the skilful hands of a well trained technician these safeguards can be worked around. Again, items of this nature must be controlled.

In concert with the control of weapons, we may see a return to the system of barred immigration from countries where the terrorists are actively supported. New legislation should be passed which would empower governments to de-naturalize convicted members of organizations (and their immediate and extended family members) who are bent on destroying the structure of Canadian society. There will be also a demand for the full integration of immigrants into Canadian society. Many European states have an immigration policy that provides for the testing of all immigrants within a specified period of time for their ability to communicate in that nation’s language, be able to cogently explain how the government of that country works and the nation’s customs and beliefs. There have been reports that Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisians who have resided in France since the 1960s could have their French citizenship revoked if they fail to meet the government’s testing norms. Even if such comments are unfounded, they still serve to illustrate the changing tolerance for those immigrants who refuse to participate in the mainstream of a nation’s culture and institutions from partial acceptance to ­outright hostility.

While there remains a valid potential threat to some aspects of Canadian society, Canada has been blessed with a huge land mass, abundant raw resources and a vibrant and dynamic society. At a 2010 NATO meeting, a briefer summed up the impact of global change by saying if you want to live where you will suffer the least from global warming, you should start making plans to move to Canada.

All in all, when we look over the time horizon with our various analytical tools, I think that NATO briefer was on the mark – in a world of geographical, religious and criminal turmoil, Canada will be perhaps among the last safe havens from those ravages.

Rob Day is a former logistics officer with the Canadian Forces.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Helping Out in Times of Crisis
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

Our hearts go out to all these people, and we want to help. Often, we tweet $10 to the Red Cross or write a check to our favourite charity; this is valuable help and indicative of a community of caring coming together.

Red Cross volunteer out in New Jersey.

So many of us want to help in person. We want to reach out and touch the women, men, and children who are suffering. Those opportunities are not always available immediately – but there are longer-term ways to help. Volunteers still travel to the New Orleans area to replace houses demolished by Katrina.

Numbers of volunteers soar at times of tragedy, but in my experience, the volunteer tradition is proud and strong among Americans on a daily basis. Surprisingly often, people have taken a break from work to volunteer for an extended time. It’s a type of sabbatical, or what some call a ‘Reboot Break.’ People make plans and arrangements to leave their jobs to volunteer for a period of weeks or months. They may take the sabbatical from a job and return to it, or they may do it in between jobs. Others take a volunteering break before retirement, to explore their retirement options.

Margaret and Mark have loved volunteering throughout their married life. In the 80s, they traveled in Sudan and fell in love with the people. When the devastating famine struck there later, they raised money in their hometown of Ketchum, Idaho, and went to Sudan to help. They founded a food and medical clinic and added a special program for street kids. They also have volunteered extensively in their home community. The last ­several winters, the two have gone to Mexico to explore where they would like to retire. They’ve found the ­perfect town, drawn there in large part by several compelling volunteer opportunities from which to choose as the center of their new life.

It’s common to combine volunteering with other ways to spend a sabbatical. It can be satisfying to fill the days with different types of activities. Someone may spend time with an ill friend or family member while also volunteering at the local animal shelter or reading to kids, plus taking time for exercise and having fun with friends.

Betsy, a doctor in North Carolina, took a sabbatical to volunteer in South Africa. The other doctors in her small practice group were skeptical, but she arranged for a new doctor to take her patients for several months. Her time in South Africa was everything she hoped for personally, and she knew she was making a real contribution there through her skills. Before and after her travel to Africa, she used the time to reacquaint with family and friends and start jogging again. Today, she has a thriving medical practice and a better life balance, which includes volunteering in her own community.

WHO-Trained volunteers assist Haitian women and children. (Photo: UN)

Rita says that volunteer work has always been one of her passions, but it took a ‘Reboot Break’ to ­satisfy her desire to become more deeply involved. “Though I contributed financially to several non-profit organizations and was on the board of one, I started to crave spending more time on work that seemed so important to me,” said Rita. “When my company announced that it was moving its headquarters to another part of the country, it was the perfect time to take a sabbatical. I immersed myself in microfinance, a field where the results are immediate, tangible, and scalable. I was soon asked to become chair of Pro Mujer, a non-profit organization that gives $170 loans and business training to women in Latin America whose families earn under $2 a day. They also receive health services for the whole family. It changes their lives. I was able to bring my business knowledge and experience to bear on several strategic areas for the organization. Since I wasn’t working at an 8-6 (or 24/7) job, I had time to travel to meet the women in the ­programs in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Peru, and Mexico, and to help start a program in Argentina. My life is so enriched by all the amazing South American women I met on that sabbatical. They and their children inspire me every day.”

Reaching out to others isn’t confined to baby boomers like Betsy, Rita, Mark, and Margaret. How many young people do you know who volunteered for a summer overseas or for a few months before, during, or after high school or college? I know several who spent time in Africa as volunteers and are now working there.

Many corporations encourage volunteering as part of their Social Responsibility initiative. Some give paid corporate sabbaticals to employees who want to give back. Even if there is no formal program, people yearning to volunteer overseas may find their company receptive to paying them for such a sabbatical.

The beauty is, you don’t have to be a doctor or teacher or have other specialized training. Any kind of giving of oneself is a way to help. We cannot all go to humanitarian crisis zones overseas, though many of us will. As part of the “new volunteerism” industry, we can find organized volunteer programs in countries that are not necessarily in crisis zones. People of all ages can go online, find an opportunity almost anywhere in the world, and sign up. The participants are individuals on sabbatical, groups of friends, and families on vacation.

Closer to home, we can work on humanitarian crises or everyday problems by collecting clothes, filling food banks, driving, helping organize efforts, assisting in communication through language or technology, loading and unloading trucks, helping to rescue animals separated from their owners.

Red Cross volunteers in Haiti. (Photo: UN)

Our workdays are full from morning to bedtime. We are always “on” and accountable to our computers or smart phones – our horizons narrowing to the screen and our immediate concerns. Taking time to volunteer and give back is multi-dimensional. It is a chance to step back and also to expand. It’s a gift of time for oneself and for others. Helping out in times of tragedy gives us all the opportunities to prove we are part of the human community.

Nancy Bearg is a co-author of Reboot Your Life: Energize Your Career and Life by Taking a Break. She has worked on humanitarian crises in her national security public policy professional career and is an avid volunteer.
© FrontLine Security 2011



SecureTech Roundup
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

With a long history of defence trade show success with behind it, the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) was challenged with how to do the same for the security industry. CANSEC has rapidly grown over the years to be the largest defence trade show in Canada.

Business executives and managers from a wide variety of organizations flocked to the sobering presentations on the state of preparedness in Canada and world-wide.

As the dynamics within the security industry are so different from defence, organizers knew the format for a security event would have to be fresh and new. Different buyers, jurisdictional regimes, budgets and different end users all underline a need to develop a unique platform that would be distinct from CANSEC. With that understanding, SecureTech 2011 organizers went to work, creating a multi-track conference/trade show event with a focus on Canada, the UK and the United States. Most of the people I spoke with gave the event passing marks for its first year.

In security there are issues around the differences mentioned above. These issues need to be presented and debated, at least in terms of the solutions available. And, the fact that CADSI is perfectly positioned to provide the link between government and industry, it was challenged to design and execute a conference program that would draw in both the subject matter experts to address the key issues, and the users and buyers of solutions.

Certainly from the point of view of a slate of relevant topics, SecureTech hit the mark. Six content tracks were used to examine various elements of a totally resilient society – an ideal for sure but still one that needs pursuit. Here’s the way SecureTech dealt with these six tracks:

Critical Infrastructure
No discussion on national security could take place without the foundational perspective of critical infrastructure protection (CIP). The panelists represented Public Safety Canada, of course, and through participation by the energy sector and the DHS representative from the U.S., the point was made clearly that interdependencies are inter-sectoral and international, especially vis-à-vis the U.S. The term “resilience” was born out of the CIP discourse and pervaded the discussion on this panel – and rightly so!

Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison talks about the economic effects of piracy to a rapt audience.

Transportation Security
Multi modal transportation systems are a key component to public safety and security and are accurately positioned as one of the major critical infrastructure components with numerous interdependencies. The discussions centered mostly around air transport and particularly on what is happening at CATSA. New solutions in air transport security are hard to come by these days and the panelist in this track struggled for new ideas. Next year it would make more sense to look for more progressive solutions that not only react to events with screening technologies but look to positive developments that will speed up international commerce through trust solutions.

Maritime Security
This component of national security attracted the keynote from the Maritime Commander in Canada, Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison. Admiral Maddison spoke of the need for cooperation with world governments and with industry to ensure safety and security on the world waterways. The panelists that followed did a deep dive into two of the major components of Maritime Security – Maritime Domain Awareness and Port Security, which was also the focus of the last edition of FrontLine Security. As with many of the other discussions on security from an international perspective, the focus here was on the importance of safe shipping lanes, without which economic prosperity is in jeopardy for many nations.

Disaster Management and Emergency Planning
Most of the action around this track was on the issue of interoperability among first responders. This topic was the best choice for a discussion on disaster management and emergency planning because it brought in the roles of the Tri-services and tied in with that the benefits that come from industry. Working with organizations like the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, the first responders have identified the need to lobby the government to preserve communications spectrum to enable interoperable, high bandwidth applications for life saving operations.

Cyber Security
Given the international incidents of cyber attacks, this was a timely topic for discussion by an international panel of experts from government and industry. The escalating incidence of cyber attacks coupled with the stakes at play surrounded this theme with a particular air growing concern. Panel presentations from the leaders in industry served to offer confidence that the threats are being vigorously defended – but it’s a war out there and continued vigilance is the order of the day.

Identity and Access Management
One of the most interesting discussions at the conference was the debate on access management and the role of biometrics in providing certainty in credentialing and access. This is an area where the leading technology companies in Canada and internationally are working on solutions that will speed up commerce and provide the confidence that travelers and workers are safe and secure. It sounds like we can expect much more development in this area in the future.

FrontLine Editor, Edward R. Myers, attended the inaugural SecureTech event at the Ottawa Convention Centre. Next year’s event will be held at the same location from October 30-31, 2012.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Training Police in Afghanistan
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

The morning view is always spectacular as I head out to my 4.5-ton Mercedes G-wagon (armoured vehicle) for the start of another work day. The area where I stand, a fairly flat plateau at 1250 metres above sea level, is surrounded by mountain peaks that are now covered in snow.

Sgt. Sadler mentors ANP officers on course.

A piece of history lies beneath my feet; the Russian Army had staffed this base and airport during the invasion and subsequent Afghanistan War. Remnants of that period of time surround us, from derelict hulls of armoured vehicles, to the now-abandoned outpost on the crest above. Everywhere is a reminder of war, both past and present, the tragic legacy of 30 years of conflict in Afghanistan.

I arrived in Afghanistan in June 2011, as part of a larger contingent of Canadian Police Officers drawn from across the country. A serving Sergeant with the Toronto Police Service, I am now contracted to work for the RCMP over the next year. The June deployment is comprised of retired and serving police officers from stations across the country, such as the Calgary Police Service. We joined other Canadians already deployed here in the mission, augmenting the total number of officers currently deployed.

Our role is to train the Afghan National Police (ANP) in various aspects of policing their people. Some of our members work with ISAF (the International Security Assistance Force), the Canadian Embassy, or the NATO Training Mission, and the remainder work with EUPOL (the European Union Police Mission).

Child clutches his Izzy doll.

My partner Derrick Gaudet (also from the Toronto Police Service) and I are posted in Feyzabad, approximately 300 km north of Kabul. It is the northern-most base, in the northern-most province of Afghanistan. The area is actually closer to Tajikistan and China than to most other towns in Afghanistan. The terrain is not what I expected – the hills around the city are lush and green for most of the year; a fast-moving river draws water from the mountain slopes before it courses through the countryside into Feyzabad. This is the major water supply for the city of approximately 70,000 (population estimates are difficult to determine in this country).

My station is a PRT, or Provincial Reconstruction Centre, staffed by the ­German Army and a few other “internationals”, as we are called. My current position is within EUPOL, which draws from EU nations, and now Canada, for policing re­quirements. In this position, I have been working with multi-national partners, including officers from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Romania, and Germany.

The role of EUPOL at this base is to implement the City Police and Justice Program (CPJP) in this area. The team is divided into ‘Rule of Law’ and ‘Policing’ mentors and advisors. We mentor and advise provincial Chief of Police from the province of Badakshan, his ­various Chiefs of Staff, and other senior ANP members from Badakshan.

Work Environment
The focus of our current project is to implement a community policing model for this area and, hopefully, to expand it throughout the entire province. At the behest of the Ministry of Interior, the entire policing community is destined to transition from the current role of counter-insurgency efforts to a more traditional policing role as might be seen in Canada or Europe. The civil war that occurred after the Russian occupation, as well as the reign of the Taliban, destroyed any formal professional police force that had existed here before. Canada began its role in Afghanistan some 10 years ago, and has continuously participated in a determined effort to rebuild the police service.

Sgt. Derrick Gaudet (left) and members of the German Police Project Team prepare ANP officers for a foot patrol.

I work at PHQ (Police Headquarters) where the majority of Chiefs of Police have their offices. On my way into the city, I pass all manner of domiciles and buildings, from the mud adorned walls and huts of the past, to the new living spaces rising in mortar and brick. There are cars everywhere, a massive increase over the past few years, mainly old Toyotas from wherever they can get them shipped. A mix of right hand and left hand drive, the cars fight for space on the road – which is still the main route for herding goats and sheep through the city. Cattle graze at the roadside, or in the middle of the road, wandering without apparent ownership through the streets.

The city is in the midst of a building and construction boom, the result of a massive influx of cash from the international community combined with a true sense of entrepreneurship in the people.

Off the highway, the roads are ill-maintained dirt and rock thoroughfares which deteriorate into mud sloughs after any rain. As we travel towards the PHQ, legions of children run beside the vehicles, making shapes with their hands to indicate soccer balls. Prior to my arrival, a national vehicle had provided some balls to the children, and now they hope for more. When a vehicle does stop, as I have done, to hand out Izzy Dolls (a soft crocheted doll, originally made by the mother of a Canadian soldier who was killed in Croatia in 1994, and now being made for dispersal across the country) or school supplies, it is quickly swarmed by children who appear from out of nowhere. Try as we may, we cannot fill the massive need of these kids, and there is never enough to go around for all of them.

Remnants from the Russian occupation litter the countryside.

Upon arrival at the PHQ with our Language Assistants (to translate the Dari language), we attend meetings with various department heads and plan educational opportunities for the police, or assist in the acquisition of much needed office and policing supplies. Using the approved course list from EUPOL, we set up training that the ANP feel is required to assist them in their march to modernity. Since our arrival, we have instituted training in Police Command and Control; an introduction to map reading; a community policing program; and most recently, a Call Takers course for the Community Phone Line project.

As part of the adoption of community policing, we have designed a model which targets the implementation of two programs for this area. The first will be the introduction of a Community Phone Line (where locals can phone and talk to a trained police officer, to ask for assistance or provide information, or to lodge a complaint). A second program will place police officers in the schools – in a training role, but also in an attempt to increase the level of trust between the children and police.

Both of these programs are familiar back in Canada, but is a totally new concept over here. It is hoped that the ­successful implementation of these two programs will spread throughout the country. Through the EUPOL training cells in Kabul, this model has been exported to other PRTs throughout Afghanistan.

Measured Progress
Concurrent with these programs is the education of all local police officers (both in stations or traffic positions) on the benefits of community policing, and how this model can assist policing efforts as well as community concerns. Through successive courses over the next few months, we hope to reach a majority of the police officers in the area.

DND Photo: MCPl Pierre Thriault, Canadian Forces

Members of the German Police Project Team (GPPT) are stationed with us. Their training efforts are dedicated to new police recruits at the German-built Provincial Training Centre (PTC) which will soon be augmented by a second building. The PTC program transforms raw police recruits into officers with rudimentary skill sets. After this eight week period, they are ready to take on ­further challenges and courses.

We have partnered with the GPPT for several courses and programs, and look forward to their assistance in the community police training as we move forward.

To date, we have completed five “Introduction to Community Policing” courses. The students were fully engaged throughout the program, asked many questions, and remained active in all exercises. All students were successful in the program, and will soon receive a certificate for the course from the Ministry of the Interior. These certificates are very important to them, as these and other factors determine to a great degree their career progression.

An ANP officer completes an obstacle course.

At the conclusion of the program, ­Captain Sayed Abid, a Program Manager who will later be running the School Liaison Program, stood and thanked us on behalf of the entire class, indicating that the pace was appropriate and that the material was both ­relevant and informative.

As a surprise, and in honour of the first community policing class, my partner ­Derrick gave each student a small plastic Canadian flag pin. The gift was received as if we had passed out gold bars – they truly appreciate such tokens. After the class, Captain Abid said something I will always remember. Translated by my Language Assistant, he said “if you cannot appreciate the apple, you will never appreciate the orchard”… a sage comment full of wisdom and meaning, and proof of the benefit of such gifts.

I am fascinated by the Afghan people here. Victims of countless conflicts and deprivations, they survive in astonishing ways, adapting as required. When we teach them, a spark is ignited in many of them, giving us gratification in the knowledge that the product we have delivered has been understood, and perhaps absorbed. We have met with many of the local people here, and they are earnest when they greet you, like the reunion of old friends. I believe most are genuine in this regard, and they truly enjoy the engagement they get with most of the members of the international community.

With only 27 females in the entire province, having women in the class is real progress.

The Canadian Contingent, in partnership with other police officers from around the world, is making positive changes in Afghanistan. There continues to be value in our efforts to assist in rebuilding their National Police Force. I have no idea of what will happen after 2014, but the optimist in me hopes there will be strong and positive residual effects from our effort.

I am proud to be a Canadian serving in this country. Though I surely miss my family and friends during my one year deployment here, I am hopeful that my efforts here will prove fruitful, both for the Police of Afghanistan and for my own future and well-being.

Many will ask what is to be learned while on a mission here… the best lesson I can think of would be patience, as most changes in Afghanistan move at a glacial pace. This knowledge in itself, learned by a truly impatient man, will assist me in many ways when I finally return home!

This mission is yet another opportunity for Canadians to wave our flag proudly yet again, as we have done so many times, in countless locations around the world. It is also a way to demonstrate our pride in Canadian policing and allows us to share our knowledge for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan.

Steve Sadler, a Sergeant with the Toronto Police Service, is serving in Afghanistan. Contact him at:[email protected].
The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the Toronto Police Service, the RCMP, DND/CF, or the Government of Canada.
All non-DND photos were taken by Sgt Sadler.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Arctic SAR Agreement
© 2011 FrontLine Defence (Vol 8, No 5)

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In May 2011, Canada and the other seven members of the Arctic Council nations signed an international Arctic Search and Rescue (SAR) agreement. It calls on the signatory nations to solidify cooperation, collaboration and research on Arctic SAR. This year has seen the amount of sea ice decrease almost to the record shattering 2007 levels when the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean Basin was the least is ever been since meteorological records have been maintained. With actual statistics outpacing the climate model predictions, there is no argument that sea-ice is getting thinner and multi-year ice is melting.

This lack of sea-ice opens the Arctic to increased economic and tourism activity, and shipping in particular. It is both a problem and an opportunity, with implications for all Arctic Nations. For instance, during the 2011 shipping season, there were over 90 ­foreign flag vessels operating in and around Russia’s NE Sea Route.

With the number of passenger flights increasing, new mineral exploration and hydrocarbon development taking place, plus increased cruise vessel activities, there is clearly an expanded requirement for Arctic search and rescue capability around the Arctic Ocean Basin. This was reflected in the speed by which the international agreement was reached.

The diminishing and thinning sea ice has also created a situation where the traditional use of sea ice for winter travel and hunting has led to incidents. The local population, highly experienced in ­traveling on sea-ice, are finding the ice is not adhering to previous norms and they have been accidentally breaking through ice which traditionally allowed movement at those times of year. Interestingly, the Inuit have always considered the land and the sea-ice as one unit. This generates SAR incidents. In one 2008 case in Hudson’s Bay near Digges Island, off Nunavik, six experienced caribou hunters from the village of Ivujivik went through the ice on their snowmobiles in a place where, traditionally, the waters should have been frozen at that time of the year. In that case, Adami Mangiuk, now a Nunivak elder and member of the Makivik Corporation’s Board of Directors, was instrumental in ­rescuing the hunters. Time-honoured skills of harpooning and a rope toss, passed down from generation to ­generation, helped Adami save the men in the near darkness off Digges Sound.

These Arctic SAR issues are real. They exist at the local, regional national and international level. All of the countries recognize the current lack of SAR capability, including the United States. The Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Admiral Papp, freely admits the lack of U.S. capability that exists for Arctic search and rescue. The USCG presently only has one icebreaker available, the research vessel USCGC Healey. At a recent Arctic conference in Russia, President Putin announced that his country would ­create new SAR bases and the construction of icebreakers for  the development of the NE sea route which goes along the top of Russia.

As part of implementing the international agreement, Canada hosted an Arctic Council Search and Rescue Table Top Exercise in Whitehorse on 5 and 6 October 2011. This is the first of a series of international exercises. The event brought all of the eight member countries to participate in the exercise and share strategic and operational information on Arctic SAR. Canada Command coordinated the aeronautical and marine SAR effort at the international level.

In the Canadian Arctic, Arctic SAR needs to be expanded to include the local regional and national levels. The National SAR Secretariat has been working on an Arctic SAR strategy at the policy level, but this needs to be expanded into an operational local, regional and national approach.

Dialogue Needed
This international Arctic SAR agreement has focused attention on these developing obligations. However, we first need to look closely at our SAR capability within Canada which will now become linked to these international obligations. That discussion has not yet taken place, and clearly needs to occur. The ever increasing number of cruise ships navigating in Canadian Arctic waters potentially creates a challenging mass casualty situation yet there is no legal requirement to alert the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centres of the routes or schedules of these vessels.

The potential for catastrophic, though low-probability, incidents occurring in the Arctic has been dismissed by planners as unimportant. However, low-probability accidents happen and we need to be better prepared. For instance, during the annual Canadian Forces’ Operation Nanook, which has been growing in scope and magnitude each year, a 737-200C combo jet aircraft owned by First Air, a northern-based company with controlling interest held by Makivik Corporation, crashed attempting to land in heavy fog at Resolute Bay. The incident that everyone hoped would never happen – a jet crashing in the Arctic – had occurred, with a loss of 12 lives. An Op Nanook radio crackled with “No Duff” to indicate this was no drill but the real thing – a heavy jet was down in the Arctic. Canadian Rangers, augmented by the other members of the Canadian Forces, RCMP and other government agencies responded quickly – including, ironically, Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigators who were taking part in a simulated aircraft investigation. Three people miraculously survived the complete disintegration of the aircraft. With 15 minutes, they received emergency medical attention, were triaged and sent by C-17 aircraft (quickly reconfigured to became a medical emergency flight) with personnel from 435 SAR Squadron from Trenton.

It was a miracle that this 737 crash had occurred at Resolute Bay. At any other time or any other Northern location, any who may have survived the initial impact would have been waiting for up to 14 hours before help arrived from Canadian Forces’ SAR resources based in Southern Canada to arrive on scene. That is not to say a response could not have been mobilized from northern Canada with local volunteers. Our Joint Rescue Coordination Centre controllers at Victoria, Trenton and Halifax, and the important subcentres at Quebec City and St. John’s, are equipped to ensure all available resources will respond to an incident. These increasingly include the Canadian Rangers in the Arctic.

The fact remains that there are no federal ­dedicated SAR assets located in the North.

The Prime Minister, who was traveling to Resolute Bay to view Operation Nanook at the time, was quoted in journalist Chris Wattie’s report from Nunavut:

“Deployment of full emergency resources across Canada’s North is impossible, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday after meeting with rescue workers who responded to a fatal plane crash last weekend.

“Part of the drill here is how quickly things can be moved up and deployed from the south as well,” said Harper, who is on his sixth annual summer tour of the region.
“We have to be realistic. There is no possible way in the vastness of the Canadian Arctic we could ever have all of the resources necessary close by. It’s just impossible.”
Is that really the case? Is that the best we can do as a nation? Is it really impossible? Prime Minister Harper was quoted in the past as saying “we either use it or lose it,” referring to the Arctic. The same can be applied to search and rescue – if we don’t develop capability in the North, we will lose lives, both foreign and domestic.

Canada now has international legal obligations to provide a basic level of SAR service. And this responsibility extends right to the North Pole.

We have to meet basic levels of service that are comparable at least to what the other Arctic nations provide – especially if we are going to use a robust SAR response to exert our sovereignty in the Arctic.

Canada needs to develop the competencies and capability to project SAR out into the Arctic Ocean Basin to be able to assist other Arctic nations. This will take a great deal of effort but is necessary to fulfill our obligations.

When it comes to search and rescue – does it make a difference if it is domestic or international SAR? I don’t think so, but we need to have this discussion. We owe it to the survivors and victims of that crash.

It is important to do an internal lessons learned analysis before we look at what our international obligations are. We need to create a robust and resilience SAR response which is inclusive of the North communities and the potential secondary assets SAR that exist in the North. We need to closely examine what other Arctic nations are doing with respect to service delivery and response times.

We need to examine all options in the North and empower the northern communities through a variety of creative means. Canadians have never shied away from solving a problem. We need to discuss these issues openly and frankly. SAR needs to be a cornerstone of our Northern Strategy.

Leading Seaman Krysta Montreuil, Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic, helps her team climb onto an iceberg that will be used as a diving platform for Canadian military and U.S. Coast Guard divers during Operation Nanook 11.

A strong SAR response at the local, regional and provincial level will buttress Canada’s international obligations and can empower Canada Command to increase SAR capability and capacity in the Arctic. Canada can lead the way with an integrated SAR model at the next international exercise and build on the October International Table Top Exercise in Whitehorse.

Prime Minister Harper may be right – it may be impossible to have full emergency response – but we can develop a made-in-Canada solution that will be the envy of the world. Our country is founded on action and we can make this a reality. Good ideas come to fruition when we have ­dialogue and lively debate around a wide variety and combination of options.

The Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, also the commander-in-chief of the Canadian Forces, recently gave a speech supporting the important role of volunteers in Canada (which he has made a priority). The GG reportedly stated that Canada has a different sense of volunteering than other countries – a deeply entrenched history of volunteering that stems from pioneer days when settlers couldn’t survive without the help of their neighbours.

In the search and rescue community, volunteers play a critical role. The training of these volunteer professionals has often been more recently updated than the paid professionals who call them in to assist. In the North, volunteers are often the first to respond. Without that kind of speed, search subjects can seldom survive long enough for help to arrive from southern Canada.

We have seen recently, in British Columbia and the Yukon, the important role the volunteer Canadian Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) search group plays in lengthy aviation searches by providing aircraft and spotters.

The seamless interaction between ­volunteers and Canadian Forces SAR techs and air crews works well and serves as a surge capability for the Canada Forces – plus it allows Canada to provide SAR services on a cost-effective basis. It is a system that works, and Canadians need to learn more about these dedicated volunteers who are willing give of their time and countless hours of private aircraft time so that others may live. It is worth mentioning that the volunteer Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary is not yet present in the Arctic.

We also need to examine alternative service delivery and consider how that could work in the North. This starts with discussion and dialogue. Given our international legal obligations, we can no longer accept the fact that the level of SAR service delivery is adequate in the Arctic. This is especially obvious with the expanded and increased SAR capability that Russia has just announced.

Canadians should not wait for another disaster to start this discussion This vast land surrounded by big oceans will be safer and stronger if we can build this capability and capacity, and we must. We owe it to the First Air crash victims and survivors to have this discussion and make it a reality. It can be known as the First Air International Arctic SAR doctrine on cooperation and collaboration.
Joe Spears is the principal of HBMG.
Reach him at [email protected]
© FrontLine Defence 2011



When Academia Meets Public Safety
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

Can a local university make a significant difference in regional first responder and homeland security efforts? The answer is yes – if done right. Universities often have the reputation (sometimes deserved, sometimes not) of being intellectually and physically distant from the surrounding community, the classic “ivory tower” analogy. This is somewhat understandable since the historical dual-pronged mission of higher education institutions is to first, educate our post-secondary students, and second, contribute to the continuously expanding body of scholarly knowledge. But universities are also magnificent repositories of untapped transferable skills, knowledge, and technology.

Increasingly, they are expected to engage more with their communities. In some sectors, such as medicine, nursing, and law, the possibilities seem obvious. Less obvious, however, are ways to contribute to regional security and public safety concerns. This article profiles one highly successful effort by a university to engage with its community at this level. A number of “lessons learned” are also discussed.

San Diego County, located in Southern California, is home to about three ­million people. From a 1st responder and homeland security perspective, San Diego is somewhat unique. The region has experienced a number of critical incidents in the recent past, including the Cedar Fire in 2003. The fire, the largest in California’s history at that time, burned 2,820 buildings and killed a number of people in its 280,278-acre path. An even larger wildfire occurred in 2007, burning over 325,000 acres and forcing the evacuation of ½ million people. San Diego is also subject to significant earth movements, which can be a “swarm” of smaller earthquakes, or a high magnitude event with aftershocks. Adding to the security mosaic are the area’s large defense presence and its major port for both commercial and Navy operations. Finally, San Diego County is home to the world’s busiest international land border crossing – along the U.S. I-5 highway into Tijuana, Mexico. The border situation is of particular concern with the high incidence of human smuggling and the ever increasing violence associated with drug cartel activity.

As a major metropolitan region, San Diego is home to several universities, with San Diego State University being the oldest and largest in the region. In 1999, a collaborative partnership was formed between San Diego State University (SDSU), the University of California San Diego, SPAWAR Systems Center in San Diego, and a local defense contractor, ORINCON Corporation, with the objective of bringing highly advanced technology developed in regional academic, government, and small business laboratories to the first responder and homeland security market place. Named the Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT), initial funding from the U.S. Congress was received in 2001. This was the start of a broader effort by San Diego State University to support regional 1st responder, public safety, and homeland security efforts that has now spanned a decade.

Today, San Diego State University’s effort, combined with significant support from other partners and sponsors, has resulted in four major university-based support efforts for the public safety and homeland security communities: an expanded CCAT mission, a Regional Technology Center, a graduate degree program in Homeland Security, and an Immersive Visualization Center.

Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT)

SDSU’s CCAT, founded in 2001 is considered the grandfather of the university’s major engagement effort with the 1st responder and homeland security community. Originally supported by the Office of Naval Research with Congressional funding, the core model of CCAT was to take highly advanced technology developed by small business, university laboratories, and government laboratories for national defense purposes, or under government national defense grants, and assist in the commercialization of these technologies for the broader 1st responder market. This involved offering competitive grant funding to assist in technology development as well as providing market research and commercialization plans for the grant-awarded CCAT clients. While the mission of CCAT has expanded over the years, this primary mission and use of competitive solicitations and grant funding for technology development still remains.

One important key to CCAT is its ­public-private partnerships. This includes the SDSU Research Foundation which is responsible for program management; the SDSU Entrepreneurial Management Center which is responsible for market research and business plans for CCAT clients; San Diego’s “Connect” organization which is responsible for business development, ­mentoring, and angel/venture capital funding contacts for CCAT clients; the University of California San Diego’s von Liebig Center for engineering advice, SPAWAR Systems Center-Pacific for program management, contracting, and technology transition services; and a network of other agencies and groups, such as the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, that provide specialized research and consulting to CCAT clients on a contract basis.

Over the years, the sponsoring agencies and partners for CCAT has expanded to include the Office of Secretary of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security’s TechSolutions, various private equity funding groups such as Tech Coast Angels and Chart Investments that formally consider investing in selected CCAT clients’ development efforts, outreach activities provided by First Link and the DoD Tech Match programs, and government technology licensing agencies such as Tech Link located at the University of Montana. In all, the combination of CCAT sponsors and partners create a “one-stop shopping” for funding and services required to accelerate technology development for the 1st responder, public safety and homeland security communities. In addition, a second CCAT sister effort was established in 2002 at the California State University in San Bernardino to service the greater Los Angeles and Inland Empire region of Southern California. Currently, SDSU’s CCAT has three major efforts:

  • To accelerate the fielding of cutting edge technology to military personnel in ­support of homeland defense and U.S. Department of Defense-defined requirements;
  • To promote the multi-use development of technology for use in emergencies, ­critical incidents and disasters of mass proportions; and
  • To provide a competitive opportunity and comprehensive approach to fast-track the commercialization into the healthcare and public safety markets of Department of Defense sponsored technological advances from academia, industry, and government.

To facilitate these efforts, several programs are underway at CCAT. One program is in collaboration with the Office of Naval Research Technology Transfer (T2) initiative. The key objectives of CCAT’s T2 program are to facilitate the licensing of government-sponsored technologies, expedite the transition of advances in technology to government and commercial market places, and promote economic development and recovery through the establishment of new companies and commercial products. This process is accomplished by nationwide solicitations for grant funding in particular focus areas. Competitive grant funding of up to $150,000 is offered to accelerate the development of the technology, as well as market research and business assistance if required. More than simply funding, the acceleration effort is enhanced by CCATs close management of the development process, and being able to call upon the various engineering, private equity funding, and research support partners as needed. CCAT strives to take a promising 1st responder technology from the laboratory to the customer within 12 to 18 months.

Another program at CCAT is in collaboration with the Department of Defense Preparedness Support (DPS) initiative of the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs. Initiated in 2008, the CCAT’s DPS program defines first responder capabilities and technology gaps, conducts nationwide solicitations for technology solutions, facilitates testing and evaluations for selected technologies, and provides detailed recommendations to facilitate the transition of viable technologies to the first responder marketplace. Another CCAT effort is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program. Founded in 2010, CCAT’s DHS program is designed to specifically identify, fund, and accelerate existing near term technology enhancements for specific 1st responder needs.

Since 2001 SDSU’s CCAT has sponsored over thirty nationwide solicitations and evaluated almost 1,000 applications. Over 120 technologies from private industry, universities and government laboratories have received close to $25 million in awards and services to facilitate technology commercialization. Because of this effort, CCAT’s clients have achieved over $200 million of technology sales and 3rd party investments, with many more technologies currently at near market stages. In addition, thirteen technologies from academia and government laboratories have been licensed and eight new startup companies have been formed. Examples of CCATs current support for 1st responder technologies include Pixon Imaging and a personal dead reckoning location system from the University of Michigan.

Pixon Imaging offers a high performance processor for improved video for security surveillance. The technology provides real time improved quality of video in fog, haze, and smoke. CCAT funded the miniaturization of the technology to fit into security cameras, fire fighter helmets, and helicopters. The development was completed in 2009, and the new product, called the PX-40B, has been integrated with Hitachi security camera and is being marketing into border and port security applications.

The University of Michigan is assisting in developing a personal dead reckoning location identification system for 1st responders. Currently designed for soldiers, the system uses accelerometers and gyros to identify a person’s location to off-site supervisors. The system works well when walking forwards, backwards, sideways, jogging, running, and hopping and is currently integrated into the heal of a soldier’s boot. However, the system does not currently work well when crawling on hands and knees, an important strategy for fire fighters. In addition, an in-heel solution for firefighter boots is more problematic because of the need for protection against puncture and extreme heat. CCAT is funding enhancement of the technology to allow integration into firefighter boots.

SDSU Regional Technology Center

Regional Technology Center (RTC)

SDSU’s RTC was created in 2003 and functions as a 3rd party support organization to the region’s public safety agencies. The stated mission of the SDSU RTC is to be a “neutral organization” working in partnership with San Diego’s regional public safety community to provide expertise in various technology need areas. Unlike CCAT, which has a technology commercialization mission, the RTC has a clear regional “support” focus, and thus its governance structure has become an important part of defining the RTC’s success. The regional governance structure affecting SDSU’s RTC is the Regional Technology Partnership made up of members of the region’s 1st responder and emergency service agencies, including Fire Chiefs, Police Chiefs, the Director of the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services, and the Director of the San Diego County Office of Homeland Security. The Director of SDSU’s RTC is also a member of the RTP. The RTP advises various governmental policy committees, but also defines the scope and priorities for SDSU’s RTC including developing a “Regional Strategic Technology Plan.” The Regional Strategic Technology Plan defines the key technology related issues and needs for the region. For San Diego, this includes the following five technology need areas that have become the core mission of the SDSU RTC.  

Interoperable Communications. The SDSU RTC has evaluated and recommended suitable wireless technologies for the region and assisted with the development and implemented new regional communications systems including 3Cs, P25 radio systems and mobile data systems.

Geographic Information Systems. The SDSU RTC has been a major force in establishing the San Diego Regional Emergency Geospatial Information Network (SDREGIN). The SDREGIN offers a standardized homeland security data and geospatial model repository. The SDSU RTC also conducts regional special mapping projects, and prepares grant requests for development of GIS data and applications.

Regional Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Interoperability. There are currently about 15 CAD systems across the San Diego region, with interoperability between systems accomplished primarily by phone with little ability for digital sharing. The RTC has developed a five phase project to integrate these systems to provide a more complete common operational picture within the region.

Regional Technology Clearinghouse. The SDSU RTC is specifically designed to maintain awareness of new technologies available on the market that may be useful to the region’s Public Safety agencies. The SDSU RTC also responds to community or vendor requests — about 150 relevant technologies have been analyzed in response to these requests. Detailed information about relevant technologies is maintained in a Technology Assist Database which is available to the San Diego Public Safety community via a protected internet access. Non-San Diego communities can access this information upon approval.

Homeland Security Science and Technology Testbed. This focus area was implemented in 2008, with a mission of testing new technologies under various field conditions. The SDSU RTC, in ­partnership with SPAWAR-Pacific, Walsh Analytics, and the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute, operates the testbed. To date, several different technologies have been tested in real life emergency applications; the results of these tests are being used to both verify their usefulness, and provide recommendations for appropriate technical modifications for successful commercialization in the Public Safety marketplace.

The SDSU Graduate Program in Homeland Security (HSEC)

Established in 2003, the mission of the SDSU graduate program in Homeland Security is, “to produce leaders from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds who can effectively and efficiently identify, design, and mobilize the appropriate community resources to prevent, deter, preempt, defend against, and respond to terrorist attacks and/or other critical incidents and emergencies on the local, regional, national and international levels.” Over the years, the program has trained and placed graduate students in numerous local, national, and international agencies. Currently the HSEC program has international programs in Baja California Norte in Mexico; Warsaw in Poland; and Chennai, Tamil Nadu in India. Specializations within the Homeland Security graduate program at SDSU include, a) border security and governance, b) information security, c) infrastructure and homeland security, d) law and homeland security, and e) terrorism and irregular warfare.

Immersive Visualization Center. ­Associated with the HSEC Program, the SDSU Immersive Visualization (Viz) Center is similar to a “war room” environment providing real-time data collection, management, and analysis; sensors; data fusion; visualization; communication; and decision support for humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and homeland security.

Emergency related data sources into the Viz Center includes military and civilian aircraft reconnaissance information, satellite imaging, remotely piloted high altitude low-speed drone and low altitude high-speed UAV videos, synthetic aperture radar data, hyperspectral and infrared filtered data, various 3-D mapping technologies, specialized emergency related software that interpret the data as needed, and even data from individual 1st responder hand-held GPS devices.

The lab allows both scenario generation for HSEC students, and real-time visualization and disaster mapping of emerging critical incidents for 1st responders and public safety professionals throughout the United States. It provides an illuminating picture for emergency management supervisors who need to quickly pinpoint trouble spots, interpret fast-changing developments, and assess the effect of different strategies in mitigating critical incidents. For example, the SDSU Viz Center has generated geospatial imagery used by first responders and decision-makers during various wildfires.

Using a process of layered geographic mapping and satellite information combined with sophisticated data fusion software, the Viz Center can track in real-time flame height, fire temperatures, and whether vegetation is burned or not. It can then create different impact scenarios of wind direction changes and various suppression techniques. Critical information and GPS data – such as a fire moving up a unseen hill behind individual firefighters, a blaze splitting off that might threaten a house, or hot spots that have been missed and need additional suppression – can then be transmitted to on-site fire chiefs and individual fire fighters.

Disasters such as earthquakes and oil spills around the world can also be examined in real time. For example, the Viz Center provided three-dimensional imagery in the recent Haiti disaster for the U.S. Navy’s humanitarian efforts. The Viz Center has also hosted various homeland security training sessions including Coalition Warrior Interoperability demonstrations.

Lessons Learned and Best Practices
San Diego State University offers an interesting, and to date, successful effort for ­significant collaboration between an institution of higher learning and the 1st responder, homeland security, and emergency management communities. Given that this level of engagement has occurred over only 10 years, several lessons have been learned.

There is tremendous opportunity for productive and cost effective engagement between universities and the public safety community, however, the relationship must be carefully constructed and strategically planned.

Each region is unique. The model described in this article may not be appropriate for all regions. Different universities have different skills. Different regions have different public safety organizations, different formal and informal political structures, different levels of integration, different technology needs, and different funding opportunities. The key issue is to develop a university engagement process that fits the unique personality of each community.

Any successful university engagement process in the public safety arena must include significant public-private relationships supported by organizations from different sectors. Developing these relationships takes time and significant leadership talent.

When the university engagement involves a “support” function, the governance structure becomes critical in both defining the needs, and thus the core mission, for the support organizations as well as achieving the all-important “buy-in” from the local 1st responder and public safety communities.

To execute a strategy of support, the university must be in direct partnership with the relevant communities. Regional 1st responders, emergency management directors, public safety officials, and homeland security organizations need to tell the university what they need first. Then the university has to go through an iterative process of developing and testing, perhaps through several iterations until an acceptable support organization design is achieved.

Similarly, any technology development effort must be structured with a series of iterations which allows the 1st responder community to provide continuous input into the design process. This is required because the public safety and 1st responder community often doesn’t know what is possible from a technology stand point.

When the university engagement process involves the development of new product capabilities for first responders, the partner relationships also become important in order to create a “one-stop-shopping” process. Identifying high potential 1st responder technologies, obtaining funding for technology enhancements, beta testing technologies with 1st responders in field conditions, performing appropriate market research, mentoring the client as needed, selecting the right commercialization strategies, getting engineering support, and developing customer or licensee contacts are all important for the successful acceleration of 1st responder technologies. A successful technology development engagement needs to develop a package of partner relationships that can cover all needs. Not everything needs to be “in-house.” Many of these components can be developed in association with other organizations, such as CCAT or Techlink.

The target region needs to be large and populous enough to make the engagement effort cost effective. Smaller regions and rural areas should consider partnering with existing, well established organizations.

Universities often use student teams as resources for research and support. From experience, however, these teams need to be closely monitored and supervised by faculty members that are intimately familiar with the 1st responder and homeland security communities and the process of commercialization if the project involves elements of technology development.

If a local university is just beginning the process of engaging with the region’s 1st responder and homeland security communities, the directors should seek advice from universities that have experience in this area. There is, indeed, a steep learning curve in this area.

Craig S. Galbraith is with the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina, in Wilmington.
Lou Kelly, with the San Diego State University Research Foundation, is also Chair of the Executive Board for the Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Electronic Surveillance
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 2)

Technology has made it possible for anybody to buy very sophisticated electronic devices from a local spy shop or simply online. Such low-cost gadgets can cost your company millions of dollars. Industrial Espionage is more common than we tend to believe -- billions of dollars are lost every year. While many things can be done to prevent the theft of information, it is very difficult to guard against listening devices.

Have You Been Bugged?
Here are 10 common signs that you may have been bugged:

  1. Sensitive information, trade secrets and knowledge of ­business activities appear in places that should not have such access.
  2. Maintenance people show up without appointments or without being called. Utility vehicles are parked outside and no work seems to have been done.
  3. Doors or window locks appear to have been tampered with and suddenly start to malfunction or are found unlocked.
  4. Furniture or other items in the room seem to have been moved around just a bit.
  5. You experience a break-in but nothing appears to have been taken.
  6. Your phone starts to act strangely. There is static or scratching on the line. The signal level is different than normal (i.e. like when a third person is on the line). You hear sound coming from your phone when the handset is on its cradle. You experience interference on your television and/or am-fm radio.
  7. You find evidence suggesting that ceiling tiles or access panels have been removed and/or opened. Small debris is found on the floor.
  8. There is a sudden appearance of new objects in the room.
  9. Electrical, telephone and switches plate covers appear to have been removed.
  10. You receive a gift from a vendor in the mail such as a clock, cd player, desk radio, television, etc, and when you call to thank the vendor, they know nothing about it.

If you suspect a bugging, it is prudent to call for a professional TRA (Threat and Risk Assessment). A good TRA should assess two aspects: Threat To (what needs to be protected) and Threat From (who wants to hurt you). It will help you identify the gap between your current level of protection and the required level of protection you should have, based on those aspects. A good TRA will also ­provide you with a list of who would be interested in what you are trying to protect.

One absolutely crucial fact here will be to identify if the threat comes from outside, from within corporate walls, or both. The fact is, most corporate espionage cases include at least one insider as part of the overall team.

After the TRA, if you suspect you have been “bugged”, the best tool for counter-espionage is TSCM or Technical Security Counter Measures. The TSCM team’s initial investigation will consist of an interview with the key stakeholders to determine the possible level of the threat and review the findings of the TRA. The investigator will then focus on the information and/or materiel deemed to be of potential interest, particularly:

  • Where and how this information and/or material is stored and secured?
  • Who has access to the information?
  • What are the general security features of the building and sensitive rooms?
  • And the big question, who would want this information and how would they get access?

This analysis will highlight the areas and systems that could have been compromised and need to be inspected. This tends to boil down to areas where sensitive information and material are discussed and/or stored (e.g., conference rooms, executive and senior management offices, research and development areas and laboratories). From there, the TSCM inspection will usually be broken down into three distinct phases:

  1. The physical search. The TSCM team physically searches the entire room(s). Every wall plate, and all fixtures are removed, and a visual inspection is carried out to search for any item or wire that should not be in there. The ceiling tiles are removed, and junction boxes opened. Any unidentified system or wire is tagged for further inspection. All access points or holes are investigated to identify suspicious objects. All furniture, decorative objects, pictures or other items (water bottles, pens, cell phones, etc.) are inspected to make sure that nothing has been inserted in them that could serve as an eavesdropping device.
  2. The electronic inspection starts only after the physical inspection is completed. The team will use sophisticated equipment to look for the electronic ­signature of listening devices imbedded in furniture, walls, doors or any other objects of interest. If the investigator has a “hit,” he will dismantle or open the offending item in an effort to locate the source of the signal. All telephones sets, intercom equipment, computer equipment and any other electronic devices are opened and checked for added components and circuits. They will also electronically verify any wires in the room for possible illicit signals. Any unidentified signal on these wires will be investigated for its source, and eliminated if required.
  3. The RF (Radio Frequency) search. During this phase, the investigator will analyse the Radio Frequency spectrum for the presence of any signals that can direct him to an eavesdropping device that uses RF to haul back any information from the room. Any signals that cannot be identified or look suspicious will be tracked back to its source to confirm if the signal comes from inside or outside the premises.

If you suspect that you have been bugged:

  1. Don’t try to find it yourself. You don’t have the necessary equipment and knowledge, and may miss a key area or system.
  2. Don’t discuss the matter in the office. If your corporate protocol requires you to report the suspicion to someone, ask that person to go for coffee and leave the building to find a secure place to discuss.
  3. Don’t contact help using your office phone, your cellular phone or your corporate internet.
  4. Always be aware that the threat may have come from inside – so be careful with whom you discuss this issue.

In terms of response, different approaches can be planned depending if the TRA reveals that the possible threat is from inside or outside your company. The type of premises will also determine the type and the approach of the inspection. If the client owns the entire building, the inspection will be easier to do than if the client shares offices on the same floor. Common walls may cause certain hits due to electronic devices on the other side of the wall and access might be difficult to obtain.

Yvon (Sparky) Deslauriers is formerly the Head of TSCM for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and currently in charge of the TSCM program at The Northgate Group Corp.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Emergency Management by Tablet Top
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

“In an emergency situation, we need be able to get a common operating picture quickly,” says Sampson. “Using the map feature on the tablet, I can view a satellite image of the site or even zoom-in to a street level view and assess the surrounding area before even arriving on scene.”

As Deputy Chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, a part of the Calgary Fire Department, Sampson was issued a tablet on a trial basis along with the Fire Chief and Deputies. The 64 GB tablets with Wi-Fi and 3G are connected the City of Calgary network allowing the tablet to be used as desk-top computer for all intents and purposes. However, being much smaller than even a laptop computer, the tablet is less cumbersome allowing for quick and easy access.

“You can carry a smart phone, but frankly they’re too small to really see the whole scene in a map view. This is workable from a size perspective. Several emergency responders can view it on the tablet at once.”

In August, Calgary Emergency Management Agency was called to Airdrie, Alberta to aid in the response to a train derailment. While in unfamiliar territory, the map feature immediately became an invaluable tool to assess the potential impact of the derailment on the surrounding area.

“It wasn’t our home city so we didn’t know the surrounding area,” says Sampson. Using the tablet, I was able to look at the satellite view and immediately see the nearby roadways, assess transportation impacts, find out where the local population was situated and even view hills and near by water that might be affected.”

Having quick access to accurate maps means more than just giving emergency management a lay of the land. Using the technology available through the mapping software, Sampson has also been able to see a scene in detail prior to arriving.

"Recently as Duty Deputy for the Calgary Fire Department, I was called at home for a two-alarm fire in a strip mall. By simply inputting the address, I was able to look at the structure and the respective exposures. I was on the phone with dispatch at the same time as I was looking at the buildings."

One of the goals of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency is to adapt commercial technology for use in emergency management and response applications.

“There’s an application program called Timmy ME,” says Sampson, “Where you can simply pull up a list of every Tim Hortons in the area. It tells you where can find the nearest coffee. What if we created a similar application to tell you where the nearest potential emergency reception centres are located?”

Sampson says the City of Calgary has vast information to populate maps. Calgary has the information to show best evacuation routes, reception and evacuation centres with details such as wheelchair access, number of square feet and more.

“If we use a similar kind of applications as the Timmy ME we would be able to click on the map of a nearby gymnasium and know how many evacuees it could hold, if it had showers or access to a kitchen.”

Sampson says that plans are underway to work with information technology experts to begin development of applications that would have the information in an interactive map with overlays relevant to emergency management.

“We know where the schools are already. If we had that in an application we could simply click on high-schools, elementary schools or even senior’s centres and it would help us determine the transportation and other needs for an evacuation.”

As one of the first emergency management services in Canada using tablets, the Deputy Chief was recently able to demonstrate the technology while attending a Canada Task Force 2 training exercise in Ottawa. Joining the Canada Task Force teams from across Canada, Sampson was immediately able to pull up the area of the exercises and had a quick view of a virtual 360° size-up.

With this kind of technology in hand Sampson says the potential gain will have a positive impact on all emergency response. This will allow emergency responders the ability to quickly view hospitals and access detailed information about them, view critical infrastructure and even show where the population is located at any time. Sampson says there is great potential for plume analysis and wind and weather data.

“Our goal has to be to gather and use the data. It’s no excuse to have the information we needed but not to be able to use it when an emergency arises.”

Using data effectively can make the difference between a catastrophic event and a well managed emergency. He says about 80% of everything you need to know in an emergency is geospatial – almost everything can be placed on a map.

“Good decisions come from good information,” says Sampson. “These are the kinds of technologies we should be creating and using at a national level to develop our capacity to respond anywhere in Canada.”

Tom Sampson was appointed Deputy Chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency in March 2009 after serving more than 24 years in emergency services – 11 of those as Chief of Emergency Medical Services. His years as a Chief of first responders and involvement on the governing committee for Public Safety ­Communications has equipped him with a ­collaborative nature essential in his role of overseeing Calgary Emergency Management Agency operations.

Building and fostering strong relationships is a cornerstone of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency. Calgary Emergency Management Agency is responsible for ensuring a coordinated response to crisis situations that may affect Calgarians – their health, properties or livelihoods. This entails engaging 30 member agencies that deal with all aspects of emergency response from Calgary Police Services, Fire, EMS to City water services, Emergency Social Services, corporate communications, provincial authorities as well as local utility providers and educational institutions.

Ensuring a coordinated and effective response during a major crisis is only one of Chief Sampson’s critical accountabilities. Community preparedness through awareness and education is also a priority. Ensuring citizens are in a position to help themselves and their families in a crisis situation means stronger resilience to the devastation that may be the result of a ­disaster.

Currently Chief Sampson is a member of the Conference Board of Canada Centre for National Security and the Council on Emergency Management. He looks forward to establishing Calgary Emergency Management Agency as a leader in municipal emergency management and has every confidence of accomplishing this with his dedicated team.  

© FrontLine Security 2011



Atlantic Police Academy
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

Across the vast expanse of the Arctic coast, on Great Slave Lake and in the Mackenzie Delta, boaters in distress look to members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA) for assistance. In the Northwest Territories, the all-volunteer CCGA has units in Aklavik, Inuvik, Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Resolution, Fort Chipewyan and Fort McMurray. In the eastern Arctic, Nunavut, there are units in Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet and Pangnirtung. Jack Kruger has been Director of the CCGA Arctic District since 1994, and he coordinates the activities and training of more than 100 volunteers.

“The rescue work covers a wide range of activity, from the Arctic Ocean to the big fresh water lakes further south,” Kruger notes. The organization responds to everything from natural disasters to human crises. He gives an example from Hay River when, a few years ago, “two meteorological lows met in a perfect storm and put 15-foot waves on Great Slave Lake. A fisherman’s rudder had broken while he was bringing a load of fish across, so we had to have him bail out of a 45 foot boat into our Zodiacs and abandon his boat.” In contrast to that, the CCGA “recently responded to a stabbing incident in the Mackenzie Delta and gave first aid in the middle of the night when nobody else could find the place.”

One of the newest CCGA groups in the eastern Arctic, Unit 523, serves the Pangnirtung and Cumberland Sound Area of Baffin Island. As leader Peter Kilabuk reports, the unit’s four members operate two 27-foot aluminum welded vessels, both powered by twin outboard motors. It should be noted that some boats in the Coast Guard Auxiliary fleet belong to the RCMP, others are community-owned and still others are privately owned – all have the necessary equipment and communications gear and all are registered as search and rescue assets with the Coast Guard.

Kilabuk says Unit 523 carried out four taskings last summer. Twice, members towed disabled boats back to Pangnirtung and the most recent tasking was in November, when a boat called for assistance after losing the lower gear by hitting a rock about 70 kilometres northwest of Pangnirtung. “The vessel in distress was occupied by the owner, hunting partner and his 12 year old son. So our unit was called to attend to the vessel in distress during the night dark hours but safely returned them to Pangnirtung at late night.”

Kilabuk and his team members formed the group because there is no other Marine Search and Rescue provider in the community. “We know that there is no other SAR provider we can fall back on to offer and handle these critical services. I do know that the local authorities dependend on our unit as the only SAR service providers in the Pangnirtung and Cumberland Sound Area. People are becoming a lot more reliant on our unit.” He says the unit has built a respected reputation by completing all of their taskings “with due diligence and care” for the people they work with.

In the western Arctic community of Aklavik, CCGA Unit leader Steve Johnson, an RCMP member, logged 11 marine searches last year, some of which lasted several hours and others several days. ­”Fortunately all the SAR’s resulted with in a positive outcome, locating the missing person or missing group in good health, but without the CCGA volunteers the outcome could have been fatal for some of these people,” Johnson reveals.

The river systems of the Mackenzie Delta attracts bootleggers bringing alcohol into isolated communities, Johnson’s police role has sometimes overlapped with general marine patrols of his fellow CCGA volunteers and led to the seizure of large amounts of alcohol being transported for illegal resale within the community.

Each community is different and Jack Kruger says the membership of the auxiliary units is representative of the communities they serve. “Pretty much all the members in the eastern Arctic are Inuit. In Pangnirtung and in Clyde River, where we are looking at opening a unit, that would be all Inuit. Cambridge Bay, is primarily Inuit. Kugluktuk where we hope to open a Unit is again primarily Inuit. Then, in the Northwest Territories, when we look at Aklavik, I am going to say it is 80 percent Inuvialuit, and Inuvik would be about fifty-fifty. As you come south, Yellowknife would be primarily non-aboriginal. The Hay River Unit is primarily non-aboriginal.”

“It’s the members of these communities that make the CCGA work” Johnson explaines. “In these small Arctic communities everyone knows everyone, there is a cohesiveness – and they are the most eager set of volunteers that I have ever come across ready to do what is needed, drop what they are doing, leave their jobs, get up in the middle of the night and go at a moment’s notice anytime of the day, without question.”

Like other Coast Guard Auxiliary units in Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard formally recognizes and sanctions northern CCGA units. Like their colleagues in the south, they are reimbursed only for costs incurred when they are actually performing searches and rescue missions. The national program is officially “community supported.” Only about a third of CCGA funding comes from government, under a Treasury Board Contribution Agreement, which specifically outlines what units can utilize the funding for. The Canadian Coast Guard administers these funds, which does not cover the purchase of SAR equipment but will pay for computers. CCG does not purchase equipment for the CCGA although they have transfered surplus assets to the CCGA, such as used Zodiacs. Many Units have to raise funds themselves (through hosting bingos and other events) for Personal Flotation Devices, GPS’s, Radios, and other essential safety items.

The Yellowknife Unit, for example, managed to raise enough funds locally to purchase new outboard motors and sponsons for their Zodiac. Occasionally, CCGA units are successful in obtaining grant funding, such as from the International Polar Year Program which helped purchase GPS devices, SAT phones, and PFDs.

The CCGA provides members in northern communities with some marine and SAR training, and Johnson notes that often a local unit will pay to bring a trainer into the community or send a few CCGA volunteers out of the community to a central location for training that will benefit the home unit. While the CCGA does provide members with some equipment, many use their own money or undertake fundraising activities to buy marine radios, floater suits, GPS units, Personal Flotation Devices and other equipment. Some of that equipment is loaned out, along with the appropriate training, to travelers from local communities, and unit members teach hunters and trappers to make trip plans safer and travel with basic survival gear.

The CCGA takes certifications of its members very seriously. “The training is great for unit cohesion, and it really builds self confidence. It is also important for liability insurance. In fact, I would move that up to the top of the heap,” Kruger says. When working with other SAR groups, communications skills are critical. “Everybody who signs up with us has a year to get the Transport Canada Restricted Radio Operator certification and that allows them to speak the same language and use the right words when a Hercules from Trenton or Winnipeg arrives on the scene and we are talking to a marine asset. Those are the things we put the emphasis on.”

Throughout the year, in both the NWT and Nunavut, training programs provide members with training in vessel operation, navigation, SAR, Marine Radio Certification and First Aid.

Growing numbers of visitors to the Arctic mean more work for CCGA units. These days, adventurers in sailboats and even kayaks are becoming more prevalent. “The eastern Arctic seems to get more of them, but they are showing up in the west as well,” says Kruger. “Some people seem to think that just because some scientists believe the Arctic ice is melting, that it is safe to take pleasure craft there. They say it is melting, so it attracts the European and Asian crowd that want to kayak through, but no, it’s not quite that way.”

Richard Bray is FrontLine’s Senior Writer.
© FrontLine Security 2011



The Rebuilding of Egypt

© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

In the first week following Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s ousting from office, the residents of Cairo celebrated the promise of a new and democratic state. In a country that has known a central government for 6000 years, the aftermath of the February Revolution marks the first time in Egypt’s political history that the people may have the opportunity to elect their own leader. In this crucial and delicate post-revolutionary phase, the military’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has taken control of the country. Despite being a military Junta, the armed forces are enjoying a swell of popular support plus acceptance from the international community.

The state of tourism was so bad that stable owners near the pyramids had to cut food rations for their horses and camels because the feed was too costly.

While the revolution was a political victory, it was not without casualties. No fewer than 365 men and women lost their lives. Their images are now emblazoned on shirts and assorted paraphernalia, peddled by street vendors seeing an opportunity for quick cash. The revolution has become a lucrative market unto itself mere days after Mubarak’s departure from office. The curbside commercialization of the dead may seem predatory to a degree, but is not without justification. Egyptians are keen to commemorate their heroes and find symbols that will distance themselves from any association with President Mubarak. Ultimately, the thin t-shirts and badly printed cards are indicative of how desperate the population is to make money through any means available.

The poor economy and vast unemployment was a central spark in igniting Egypt’s revolutionary embers. Despite the political success of the revolution, it has created an even worse immediate post-Mubarak economy by killing foreign investment and devastating Egypt’s all-important tourism industry. The already impoverished country where 20% live below the poverty line is losing 400 million Euros a day, largely from a lack of tourists. The daily average of visitors to the pyramids has fallen dramatically from 5000 to under 10. The state of tourism is so bad that stable owners near the pyramids have cut food rations for their horses and camels in recent weeks, because the feed is too costly.

In the face of this economic crisis, protests and workers strikes are increasing. Egyptians are exercising their new-found freedom of demonstration to demand raises and secure concessions from the junta, despite a military decree against strikes. However, such actions are symptomatic of greater problems facing the young democracy.

Tech savvy and worldly youth were primary leaders of the protests, but the foot soldiers in Tahrir Square were mostly the uneducated and jobless. The intelligentsia easily communicated to the masses that the revolution would see the removal of an autocratic leader and new freedoms. Beyond that, any expectations were of one’s own making and imagining. Though the protesters were not purposefully mislead or manipulated, they have now begun to demand instant financial gains as their revolutionary reward – gains that are impossible for employers and the junta to deliver.

Striking a Balance
The escalating walkouts and demonstrations pose a troubling dilemma for the military. They must allow Egyptians to protest, however they must also revive the shattered Egyptian economy. Having a workforce on strike will only hinder financial growth, although it may for a time be politically necessary. The junta must also decide to what extent is can dismantle the state structures, a key demand of the continued protests. Egyptians are anxious to see all of Mubarak’s associates fired or imprisoned. With any regime change an expunging of the old guard is an understandable desire of the oppressed and victimized. To keep favour with the population, the Junta has and will continue to arrest the most corrupt and disposable public figures. However, it needs to strike a balance between justice and a witch-hunt, if only for acceptance by the international community. Moreover, the military knowingly does not have the expertise to take over all governing roles and must rely on both Mubarak’s own appointed cabinet and the Mubarak-era bureaucrats who run institutions such as the state TV and myriad infrastructure services. Meanwhile, the world is carefully monitoring the Egyptian military’s ability to exercise the same restraint it showed during the revolution and to ultimately give up its governing powers in six months. Thus far, the military seems limited to speaking out against continuing strikes and can do little more than appeal to the long-term common sense of citizens.

Adding to this vicious cycle of political-economic deconstruction, any and all demonstrations only remind potential tourists that Egypt remains unstable and unsafe. The junta is all too aware of the negative optics associated with widespread protests and a pronounced military presence in the streets. During the victory celebrations in Tahrir Square, tanks were strategically tucked into nearby alleys and side streets, out of view of the world’s cameras. Freshly designed posters and banners were then distributed throughout the crowd in a variety of languages, urging tourists to return. It was a marketing ploy that failed to gain much media coverage while revealing just how important the tourism industry will be in propping up Egypt’s burgeoning democracy.

The commitment of the population to building a new state is the crux of Egypt’s democratic future, but it may falter before it can be realized. In a butchers’ market near Tahrir Square young men prepare frozen meat for local restaurants. They are proud of their country’s achievement but seem to care little about becoming involved in the creation of a new state. Their priority is getting information on how to move away from Egypt to North America or Europe. Their belief is that in a post-revolutionary atmosphere, Western governments will drop visa restrictions out of an interest in helping Egypt’s youth prosper. These beliefs are echoed by young and old in the impoverished suburbs of Cairo. Ironically, the population is filled with national pride, yet also a desire to take advantage of the situation to move away.

The Post-Mubarak Egypt is one of great euphoria, vast unknowns, and immense potential. Alongside the challenges that face them, Egypt’s citizens have been handed enormous democratic opportunities. Meeting the responsibilities of democracy will depend on the politically untested youth who fuelled the revolution and the understanding of the working classes that immediate change is impossible. Most tangible improvements will take years, if not generations to materialize. However, the initial benchmark will be Egypt’s first free elections in 6 millennia and the withdrawal of the military from politics so that the old regime does not rebuild under a new name. While the world can watch and advise, it will be the Egyptians themselves who, rightfully, govern the outcome.

Christopher Bobyn, FrontLine’s European correspondent, visited Cairo in the immediate aftermath of the successful demonstrations.
© FrontLine Security 2011



One Last Thing
Reality of Cyber Espionage
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 3)

My introduction to the world of state espionage in Canada began in the mid 90’s with a phone call from a Liberal Cabinet Minister looking for help. The Minister had been alerted to some extremely serious, and substantiated, evidence of coordinated hostile activity by a foreign ­government within Canada. The evidence actually came from dedicated Canadian government officials and it exposed an incredibly complex web of organized crime, “business” investment, deliberate infiltration of institutions and disturbing political associations. Astonishingly for my straight arrow Ministerial friend, instead of prompting action from responsible officials, no one within Government seemed interested in hearing about these alarming revelations, much less doing anything about them.

At the time, I was the Executive Officer of the Canadian Police Association, and much of my job involved unravelling the purposely obtuse intricacies of the Canadian justice system to explain why changes were necessary. I’d previously served as a Crown Prosecutor in Alberta and been involved in covert police investigations, biker prosecutions and the special joy that is dealing with informants. As such, I figured that meeting with the Minister and his ‘source’ would simply be a matter of getting the details straightened out and positioned to tell the story and generate action. Sort of like Chinese checkers.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Fast forward 15 years and we are still officially tip toeing around harmful espionage activities in Canada which have evolved in complexity and scope to the detriment of our national security. As such, it is heartening to see Canada’s first ever Conference on protecting against espionage, because acknowledging reality is the first step in confronting it.

First of all, the classic definition of ­’espionage’ is out of date. The targets have expanded because our adversaries have ­correctly assessed that there is strategic value in acquiring business intelligence – if only for the economic advantage and the leverage it provides.

Second, ‘spying’ is no longer the exclusive mandate of state professionals. Countries like China have adopted a strategy that any of their citizens, especially those in Canada, are assets to be exploited in a variety of roles, from the mundane to the murky. It must also be acknowledged that, for whatever reason, there are far too many who don’t say ‘no’ the Motherland.

Modern espionage has also moved beyond acquiring sensitive information. It now includes securing political and even bureaucratic influence which is not simply reflected in actions taken but also includes having persons in authority decide that looking the other way is in their own personal best interests. How many politicians and senior officials have realized, after the fact, that maybe being in that picture with those nice people ‘sponsoring’ the event wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Protecting our security also means removing people from positions of potential influence, now or in the future, if they’re not capable of appreciating what a ‘honey pot’ is and resisting the urge to get in one.

Today’s espionage, in Canada and elsewhere, also features an especially alarming exploitation of our utterly reckless cyber dependency. Whether it’s hacking into systems to steal information or to disable critical infrastructure, now or in the future, espionage has a new front which we have walked into eyes wide closed. Acknowledging the truly critical state of our cyber vulnerability in Canada is long overdue, and changing the bureaucratic nameplates or issuing a new Strategy Paper claiming ‘leadership’ simply isn’t enough this time. We know how, where and why we’re vulnerable; it’s time to take effective action.

Another challenge is that modern espionage now includes actions that are intended to undermine the interests, security and stability of our country. This kind of deliberate, if sometimes subtle, subversion includes foreign states like China, and non state actors such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its multiple derivative organizations.

We need to put aide our arrogance and start thinking the way these hostile actors do, especially by recognizing that our ­cherished freedoms are viewed by others as weaknesses to be exploited. That requires fully understanding exactly who we’re dealing with and not blindly ­assuming good faith.

Fifteen years ago, the meeting with the Minister and a brilliant and honourable ­public servant named Brian McAdam led to an RCMP and CSIS investigation into the extent of Chinese espionage activities in Canada, including the deliberate cultivation of politicians. The Report was called ‘Project Sidewinder’ and its findings, which were dismissed and (unsuccessfully) ordered destroyed by CSIS, have proven to be both accurate and prophetic.

For years thereafter, this issue was driven by careerist self interest that ­concluded that the political powers that be didn’t want to hear about this threat, so ‘look the other way’ became the best way to get ahead. Fortunately, recent CSIS Directors Jim Judd and Richard Fadden appear to have rejected this approach. Their public warnings about the Chinese espionage threat have been blunt and unequivocal. They’ve also been accurate.

The current espionage threat to Canada is real and undeniable. What’s called for now is the courage and integrity to set aside past ­inaction and the perceived risk from acknowledging that by candidly identifying what’s going on and who’s involved. Let’s follow the truth no matter where it takes us or who is involved.

Scott Newark is FrontLine’s Associate Editor.
© FrontLine Security 2011



Fighting BioTerror
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

The spraying of the deadly Ebola virus into a crowded subway, for example, could kill or injure hundreds of civilians. Or, as in the movies “Contagion” and “Outbreak,” entire towns might be quarantined and millions infected by a virulent, mutated bat virus or an Ebola-like virus, respectively.

Shocking Lack of Preparedness
Yet the United States – a key target – still lags badly in planning for bio attacks. It must be remembered, of course, that any such attack on the United States could affect Canada as well. Various scientific and government committees have issued “report cards” rating the American preparations as ‘failing’ in many cases, and no ­better than a ‘B’ in others. For instance, in October, the Bipartisan WMD Terrorism Research Centre – a nonprofit orgnization composed of former politicians, retired military officials, and public health experts – released a report entitled 21st Century Biological Threats that gave the United States 15 Fs, 15 Ds, 7 Cs, and 8 Bs (and disturbingly, no As), in areas such as development and dispensing of medical responses, vaccines, and antidotes. The report warns that “the United States is unprepared to respond to a global outbreak of a deadly virus for which we have no medical countermeasures.” A presidential commission on weapons of mass destruction last year gave the U.S. government similarly low rankings.

To cope with the threat, the U.S. Department of Defence has established a special program – the Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) – to seek out and finance research into biological countermeasures. Already, several projects are underway, including a multimillion-dollar contract with a Canadian company from Burnaby, British Columbia and an American company headquartered in Bothell, Washington. The key problem, obviously, is ­testing. It would be unethical to deliberately infect people with Ebola and other fatal viruses in order to test a new drug, therefore, how can researchers be certain that their medications will work?

The Swiss Option
Evolva, a small biotech company near Basel, Switzerland, may have come up with a unique answer: a drug that will be effective against both influenza and Ebola. It has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to launch human influenza trials, along with a US$27 million, five-year grant from the Defence agency for animal trials for Ebola.

There’s obviously no ethical problem with testing people who have the flu. Evolva will be “using the influenza trials to gain information,” says president Alexandra Sorensen, “and we can use that to build the Ebola case.”

Evolva’s secret? Most flu medicines target a specific strain of the virus; Evolva’s drug focuses instead on mechanism the human immune system uses to fight viral attacks in general. Indeed, the drug could – in theory – be effective against other viruses besides flu and Ebola.

That fits in nicely with the DTRA’s mandate which looks for “broad-spectrum approaches to developing medical countermeasures,” according to Alan S. Rudolph, director of the agency’s chemical and biological technologies directorate. As he explains, it’s not cost-effective “to develop products for specific agents on specific lists. There are too many threats, and the threats are too dynamic.”

However, even under stringent legal restrictions, research into bioterror medicines is not totally impossible. Bioterror drugs – like all drugs that come before the FDA – can, and indeed must be tested for safety on healthy humans, and for effectiveness on animals that are deliberately infected with the disease. Normally, drugs are then tested for effectiveness on humans who have the disease. Because of the ethical risks of testing humans in cases like Ebola (a fatal disease with no cure), a special FDA rule allows approval solely on the basis of human-safety and animal-efficacy tests, without human-efficacy trials. This rule is for “a potentially lethal or permanently disabling toxic substance or organism” and is the standard that most researchers are following in the DTRA program. Still, the evidence would be a lot stronger if the drug could be tested for effectiveness on people.

Drugs are just one aspect of the seven-year-old biotech company’s operations. It has about US$27.5 million in 10 partnerships with chemical, pharmaceutical, and other companies, plus the Danish Council for Strategic Research and the U.S. Defence Department, to develop products ranging from food flavourings to crop protection to medicines. The vanilla flavouring molecule, for example, which Evolva has been working on with New York-based company International Flavours and Fragrances, could be available for sale by 2014. Yet, despite the variety, all this research is based on ordinary baker’s yeast. Evolva concocts artificial chromosomes that are injected into the yeast to create the various specialized molecules.

Electron micrographic photo of Ebola virus.

The potential bioterror antidote is a drug called EV-077. Essentially, it blocks the thromboxane (TP) receptor, a versatile mechanism that can perform a range of functions – mainly negative ones – in ­different human tissues.

One such function involves Type II diabetes, where the receptor spurs an increase of platelets in the bloodstream, which in turn raises the risk of heart attack and inflammation. Evolva is testing EV-077 for treating coronary side effects of that disease (not the disease itself). The company finished Phase I safety trials this summer, and is now seeking a large pharmaceutical manufacturer to help it conduct Phase II ­trials for efficacy, to be conducted on up to 64 people at one site. Both trials are taking place in Germany.

The TP receptor is also a factor in the human immune system. In order for the body to fight off a viral attack – including from the influenza or Ebola viruses – two types of immune cells must interact in a certain way. Scientists believe that viruses (and other disease-causing microorganisms) can interfere with this interaction through a complex process that ultimately stimulates the TP receptors.

The first step was to expose animals to the influenza virus and test the drug on them. In trial results published a year ago, animals that were given EV-077 experienced fewer symptoms, compared with control subjects that got the standard flu drug Tamiflu.

The next step is safety trials on about 20 healthy people. (Even though the drug’s safety has already been proved with diabetes, company officials explain that more trials are needed for the influenza indication, because diabetes is a chronic condition, while flu is acute.)

After that, the crucial question is human efficacy – whether EV-077 can have the same beneficial effect on humans who have the flu as it did on animals. And how about Ebola fever? Although the two diseases attack different physiological processes (flu lowers the level of the hormone cortisol, while Ebola interferes with blood coagulation), the body’s immune response to both is similar – and, according to Evolva scientists, that’s one reason for hope.

More hope comes from some unusual results in the animal testing. Normally, scientists might expect to rejigger the dosage when comparing two diseases like flu and Ebola. Assuming the influenza tests on people showed efficacy, says Neil Goldsmith, Evolva’s chief executive, “you will look at the dose response in humans for flu, and then you will look at the same points measured in animals for Ebola, and you will extrapolate from the human data to the animal data, in an effort to predict a human dose [for Ebola].” However, in this case such an adjustment may not be necessary. When animals (the company won’t disclose what type) were infected with Ebola, “the dose that is efficacious for flu models is quite similar to the dose that is efficacious for Ebola,” says company president Sorensen.

The possibility of multipronged testing and approvals carries several advantages. As with other bioterror drugs, if it passes the human safety trials and the animal efficacy trials, the FDA could approve EV-077 for Ebola under the “animal rule.” But in addition, the regulators could authorize it for influenza in the standard way, based on eventual human efficacy trials – and ditto for diabetes, for that matter.

As soon as it’s authorized for one disease, EV-077 could be legally prescribed “off-label” for any other condition – such as a bioterror attack – without awaiting further regulatory approval, according to American law. This happens with nearly half of the prescriptions written in the United States, especially those for cancer, certain mental illnesses, and rare diseases.

Another advantage to the multiple usage lies in the profit potential. Goldsmith estimates that EV-077 could bring in more than US$500 million a year as a flu treatment and as much as US$2 billion for diabetes. By contrast, the bioterror use – essentially, purchases by the Pentagon for stockpiling – would probably come to just “tens to low hundreds of millions of dollars,” Goldsmith says. He estimates that the stockpiles might have to be replaced every two years.

The Defence Department grant covered only the activity through preclinical testing, and expired in January. However, if the company can get next-stage funding, it may find a more active government partner. Critics assert that the grants and research have produced paltry results to date. “We had been perhaps more of a strictly funding source,” doing fairly cursory reviews, admits Dr. Rudolph of the Pentagon. The agency has now established a new translational medical division, and is “getting more engaged to help guide companies in managing the appropriate technology studies, preclinical design, and efficacy studies.”

Other firms are also winning Pentagon funding to work on Ebola countermeasures, and some of them have already progressed further than Evolva, For instance, the agency has given Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company in British Columbia, US$34.7 million to investigate manipulating three crucial Ebola genes. The company, working with scientists from Boston University, has achieved preliminary success with two different dosages on seven rhesus monkeys that were infected with Ebola. The biggest grant (US$291 million) has gone to a company based in Washington State, AVI BioPharma, which is investigating both Ebola and another deadly viral disease – ­Marburg Fever. That company has started Phase I safety trials on people, however, all of these other products suffer from the typical testing problems, because they attack a specific virus, rather than a general virus.

The Challenges
Even with its advantages, EV-077 faces plenty of hurdles. Most likely, at least half a dozen years and dozens of trials lie ahead. And it may fail in ordinary ways.

For starters, as with any drug, trials may uncover unexpected and serious side effects. Or the medication may not effectively fight the disease – either flu in humans or Ebola in animals. Then, even if it passes those tests, the animal results may not be completely applicable to people. “You can only draw very limited inferences from animal models,” warns Jonathan Kimmelman, an associate professor of biomedical ethics at McGill University in Montreal. After all, he points out, all drugs begin by being tested on animals, yet only 11% of those that pass the animal testing ever make it to market.

But what’s the alternative? Two other standard methods of bypassing human trials – testing on cell cultures or utilizing computer modeling options – are even less applicable in the real world. “I can tell you many times where a compound does wonderful things in cell cultures and does nothing in humans,” Kimmelman remarks.

Another possibility is to wait for an outbreak to occur. However, and luckily, those are rare. Moreover, they usually ­happen in remote locales in Africa or Asia, which present logistical and cultural problems. For instance, when Pfizer in 1996 conducted field tests of the experimental meningitis medication Trovan on 200 children in Nigeria, 11 children died, dozens more were harmed, and the company was accused of violating international law by not fully informing the children’s families of the risks. Pfizer claimed that it acted out of philanthropic motives and that the victims died of the original meningitis, not Trovan; however, in 2009 the drug maker signed a US$75 million settlement with the local government. (This controversy is considered the inspiration for John le Carre’s 2005 novel, The Constant Gardener, which was later made into an award-winning movie.)

Beyond the political controversy, there are basic scientific problems with field tests, because the living conditions are far different from those in the American or European cities that are most likely to be bioterror targets. Western urban residents have different illnesses, diets, and cultural habits that could affect the way a drug works, compared with people in the areas where Ebola might occur naturally, Kimmelman of McGill notes. “Unless you’ve actually tested in the exact disease, you cannot draw any inferences.”

Thus, for all the obstacles, we can take comfort in the knowledge that medical scientists, in labs around the world, continue to search for a verifiable Ebola treatment. And any kind of testing would seem better than waiting for a bioterror attack.

Fran Hawthorne is an award-winning author and journalist, specializing in health care and business ethics at Beacon Press. Her most recent book, The Overloaded Liberal, has received excellent reviews.
© FrontLine Security 2011



One Last Thing
The Case for a National Security Coordinator
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

As this issue of FrontLine Security forcefully demonstrates, when it comes to security related matters, coordination of activities is an essential element of success. This is so because the subject matter involved frequently involves both the private and public sector, all three levels of government and multiple inter-connected infrastructures or activities. Put differently, notwithstanding the wishes of some for a single, all powerful, government entity that is in charge of everything, that’s not reality – nor, thankfully, is it ever going to be. That does, however, create challenges.

The desire for a conscious coordination role has been expressed repeatedly since 9-11 by critical infrastructure operators and emergency responders whose responsibilities epitomize the multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional Canadian environment. While the federal government publicly endorses the concept of coordination, the tangible results are less impressive. It has been noted, on more than one occasion, that having the federal Department of Public Safety proclaim its ‘leadership’ on critical infrastructure protection and EM issues is not the same thing as actually assuming the responsibility for the coordination and the institutional accountability should the coordination not occur.

The broader issue of enhancing coordination of national security activities was a part of the current Government’s 2006 security and criminal justice election platform, when it proposed creating a National Security Commissioner to provide recommendations to Government on how to accomplish defined inter-agency coordination. Despite impressive progress in completing other action items from this agenda, this important national security coordination issue remains unaddressed.

The subject was also vigorously addressed, at great length, in June 2010 in the Air India Report from Justice Major, where the creation of an enhanced National Security Advisor was recommended. Not surprisingly, in light of the origin of the Report, it recommended a fully funded, Privy Council Office based National Security Advisor with operational responsibilities, including resolving and reconciling intelligence gathering with criminal evidence gathering. This was bluntly rejected by the Government in December 2010 as an inappropriate ­creation of yet another bureaucracy.

Less noticed, but potentially more significant, was a recommendation from Justice Major that the proposed National Security Advisor could also serve as both an experience-based security policy generator and an accountability mechanism for Agencies and Departments tasked with national security responsibilities. Although less grandiose than what has been described as a national security “czar,” this concept merits close examination because effective accountability enhances performance, and targeted reforms can have immense systemic ramifications.

A National Security Coordinator of this nature, reporting to the National Security Advisor in the Privy Council Office, (cc’s to relevant Ministers) would benefit from a clear mandate to ensure assigned Agency and Departmental responsibilities are carried out, and that interagency coordination is accomplished as intended. The mandate should also include identifying any problems to coordination of efforts – like claimed legal restrictions on information sharing, and reporting of non performance by Agencies or Departments that have been assigned national security related responsibilities – so senior officials can be required to explain their inaction.

It is interesting to contemplate how this approach might eradicate our ongoing deficiencies in relation to an effective government-wide and industry cyber security strategy. Or in creating clear requirements, including who does what, for operators of critical infrastructure protection and providers of emergency management services. Such an entity, with a clear ‘report back’ role, might have already resolved why Canada still has no modern ‘bad guy’ lookout system deployed at our ports of entry, despite a 2006 Government commitment to do so, and despite three years of ‘study’ by CBSA and the RCMP.

Knowing that a substantively qualified and informed body, which has an obligation to report deficiencies, foot-dragging, risk averse decision-making and outright non performance, might also go a long way to delivering fully resourced border related services, like the Shiprider program, and an intelligence-led, joint-force, mobile border patrol.

A National Security Coordinator, so empowered and supported by representatives from defined Agencies and Departments, would also provide a natural forum for identification and potential resolution of inter-Agency ‘difficulties’, especially when the failure to do so results in reporting ‘up’, rather than the toleration of the status quo.

This model is admittedly less than what was contemplated by Justice Major. By making coordination a measurable deliverable rather than a note on a power point presentation, it may, however, produce more tangible results. Such a National Security Coordinator would not have a direct operational role other than making sure others discharged theirs and identifying when and why, should that not occur.

Accordingly, the National Security Coordinator’s office would have a dual responsibility to ensure national security directions from Government are carried out or reported back, and to serve as a reporting ‘up’ mechanism on problems that need to be addressed, including entirely new issues.

Canada has a long and relatively successful history of joint force operations on law enforcement related matters. This approach has quite properly been adopted in several national security related areas, albeit on an operational level. In light of our experiences, positive and negative, it’s time to enhance that capacity through a National Security Coordinator with a defined follow up and reporting mandate. Accountability is, after all, an incentive to performance and productivity.

Scott Newark is a member of the FrontLine Security Editorial Board. This article is reproduced with permission of iPolitics.ca
© FrontLine Security 2011



Tech Versus Terror
When Common Sense and Courage Are No Longer Enough
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

First responders are on the front lines of counter-terrorism. When terrorists attack, emergency services personnel have no choice but to react. That makes police, fire and medical personnel vulnerable to attackers that can strike anonymously, from a distance, with invisible weapons. The iconic image of terror in our time is the collapse of the World Trade Centre’s twin towers, but to many first responders, the 1995 Tokyo subway attack and the 2001 anthrax attacks in the U.S. are just as compelling. When weapons can’t be seen or smelled, first responders without the correct instrumentation literally don’t know what they’re dealing with.

Terrorism aside, first responders face increasing and varying threats. In recent years, these threats have ranged from toxic methamphetamine chemicals exploding in residential areas, to the Internet-driven trend of ‘chemical suicide’. Some of the ­people who seal homes or vehicles and then mix common household chemicals to create a deadly gas are thoughtful enough to post warning notes for first responders. Many don’t.

Until people on the front line can accurately, and with confidence, identify any toxic materials that may be involved, even minor incidents can trigger major reactions. After 9/11 and the major bombings in London and Madrid, people take terrorist threats seriously. David Hidson, a nuclear scientist with long experience in defence and security, believes uncertainty itself can be a killer. “Radioactivity is great for terrorists because people are so frightened of it. Really, most people would be killed in a stampede or car crashes.” Compared to other unseen threats, radiation is well understood, with technology that can measure ambient levels and give warnings when readings indicate danger. “Solid state detectors can be cheap, effective and give you an indication of what you’re dealing with.” Ideally, first responders would connect to commanders through their personal radios. “That would be the ideal place for them, obviously,” Hidson said.

A major part of first responders’ work today involves reassuring the public and restoring public services as quickly as possible. To do so, they need portable, fast and accurate equipment that can justify an ‘all clear’ notification.

Ryan Clermont of Clermark Inc. supplies civilian and military with equipment to detect and contain hazardous materials.  “It has been important for operators to ­conduct a larger proportion of their threat analysis directly in the hot zone; therefore, the need has increased for equipment that is small, transportable, ruggedized for the field, while continuing to be decontaminable.”

According to Clermont, biological threats have always been the most difficult for first responders to detect, but today, with PCR (Polymarase Chain Reaction) instrumentation, investigators can identify biological threats in the field. “Although PCR is recognized as a very accurate means of detecting biological agents in the field, it was deemed too complex a process, requiring an advanced degree of skill and expertise on the part of operators,” remarks Clermont. “It wasn’t until recently that feedback from first responders has led to the development of instruments, such as Idaho Technology’s RAZOR EX, that aim to ­provide the advanced benefits of PCR technology in a portable, ruggedized and easy to use system designed more for firefighters and soldiers than for highly specialized­ ­laboratory operators.”

Matt Scullion, a senior executive with Idaho Technology told FrontLine that his company has made all its bio-terror and bio-warfare equipment rugged, automated and easier to use. “That is more or less all we have done in the last 10 or 12 years, to the point where we essentially make technologies, that are normally found only in laboratories, available to first responders and very minimally trained operators.” He believes the major requirement for detection technology in the future will be: “Ease of use, ease of use, ease of use.”

Scullion suggests that the Sarin gas attacks in Japan forced governments to do a much better job of keeping track of chemical precursors and materials for chemicalweapons, and the ability to make them. “The bio realm is a little bit harder to keep track of because it is easier to get hold of the base materials to grow biological weapons.” Chemical weapons have been identified as one of the major, emerging threats to watch for, and this ties in with other emerging infectious disease threats like the swine and bird flu. Scullion indicates there is considerable overlap in these various biological threats.

The first impulse of many first responders is to rush into an incident scene and begin treating casualties. Laser Detect Systems of Israel uses laser spectroscopy to give emergency crews some distance while they analyze the threat. “The advantage of the laser scanning technology is in the ability to quickly and accurately detect any kind of explosive material in any form – liquid, powder or gas – with no recovery time,” says Laser Detect President Eli Venezia. “Remote scanning sensors can detect such materials in situ or remotely, in a standoff mode – thus potentially saving lives.”

Though chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) incidents or attacks in North America will ­probably be rare, those that do occur will have a very high detrimental impact.

If protection has a cost, so does failure. Most well equipped CBRNE teams are in big cities or serve an entire region. As Ryan Clermont says, “New technologies are most often implemented in organizations that have the greatest capability to pursue new capital procurement programs. When looking at the landscape for emergency ­preparedness in Canada, it would appear that there are numerous municipal responders (Fire Departments) that are using outdated or less advanced biological identifiers than those currently available in the ­marketplace. In multiple cases, we have seen examples of instrumentation needs going unfulfilled due to a lack of funding.”

Eli Venezia does not believe that organi­zations and governments fully understand the danger of the terrorist threat in urban areas. “Unfortunately, budgets allocated for Research Development and the purchase of new equipment are too low. The threat is complex and elusive, and often requires more than a single solution,” he observes.

Detectors mounted on robots and unmanned vehicles give emergency personnel even more stand-off distance from threats, and Venezia thinks combinations of detectors employing different detectors technologies and sensors will ultimately feed data to fused data processing and monitoring centres, in real-time. “At LDS, we believe that any kind of high level solution for law enforcement and first responders will be based on the integration of several technologies of sensors. Each company will push its own technology, but the future is in the integration of several technologies – in one data fusion system, that optimizes each technology.”

The ultimate tool for first responders, the Tricorder, first appeared on October 6, 1996 on a Star Trek episode called The Enemy Within. As any ‘trekkie’ knows, the vital ­tricorder was able to detect any possible hazard to the crew of the Starship Enterprise. Unfortunately, Matt Scullion does not believe today’s technology is even close. “Maybe that will be the case in 30 or 50 years, but we are not quite there yet,” he says. “I don’t think we are quite at the point where first responders are walking around with sensors that light up whenever they come near [a dangerous chemical].”

Richard Bray is the senior staff writer at FrontLine Security.
© FrontLine Security 2011



PTSC-Online Project Report
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 1)

PTSC-Online is Canada’s virtual on line community for emergency manage­ment, business continuity and critical infrastructure protection professionals. It is also a source of emergency management related information for the Canadian public. This report underlines key points of its operation as a test project since mid-year 2010. It also highlights the ­benefits of using and supporting PTSC-Online, identifies the financial needs for its continued operation, and offers options for continued financial support.

Early Successes and Strong Foundations!
Through the past nine months PTSC-Online has demonstrated the value of online collaboration and instant information sharing for Canadian emergency management (EM), business continuity (BC), and critical infrastructure protection (CIP) professionals.

This early success was made possible through the ongoing leadership of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) combined with the financial support of Public Safety Canada.

From the outset, the PTSC-Online’s success was the result of a ­collaboration of Public Safety’s Policy Development Contribution Program (PDCP), the CAFC and two founding sponsors: MacKay Emergency ­Management Consulting Inc. and FrontLine Magazines. Other key groups and individuals have now come on board to provide valuable expertise and contribute to community activities. They have become involved because they see value in PTSC-Online’s long term sustainability.

Advancing Crisis and Emergency Communications Practices
PTSC-Online members undertook a project led by Patrice Cloutier and Barry Radford to address the changing needs of crisis and emergency communication which have taken place because of the increasing use of social media. Collaborating on projects of mutual interest is an important feature of PTSC-Online. Key highlights of the project are:

  • tools are available to help meet the new social media challenges
  • procedures for managing crisis and emergency communication and protocols for the release of information need to change
  • developments in this area are evolving as new technologies come on the scene, so expect more changes to come

This project has attracted a lot of interest and has involved dialogue with other groups such as Crisis Camp Toronto. Visit our web site: www.ptsc-online.ca for additional information, and click on the “advancing emergency and crisis communications practices” tab along the right side.

PTSC-Online Benefits Everyone
The CAFC originally conceived of the PTSC as a way to improve resiliency for Canadians by engaging individual and organizational stakeholders in public safety programs and campaigns in every community. Then, through the PDCP, Public Safety Canada saw a way for the PTSC-Online Community to be developed based on the CAFC conception, as an inexpensive and scalable way to meet some of the Department’s key objectives including support for a program that is dedicated to improving public safety and community resiliency.

For PTSC-Online users, the benefits come in many forms, including the opportunity to communicate directly or in groups with far flung colleagues on issues concerning best practices, lessons learned, self improvement and any other challenges members believe are important to improving their capabilities in Emergency Management, Business Continuity, and Critical Infrastructure Protection.

The public will benefit from standards-based safety programs that are designed, developed, and deployed using Canada’s best EM, BC, and CIP expertise.

Finally, sponsors will find a productive source of world class professionals in the EM, BC, and CIP arenas who will act as resources, collaborators and advisors as each sponsor organization strives to fulfill their own individual mandates relating to public safety.

Financial Requirements
Early success in using the PTSC-Online Community has determined that long term sustainability is important for members and their work. So how much financial support is required to operate, continuously improve and expand PTSC-Online? A bare-bones requirement of $35,000 will host and ­provide minimum administrative support for the site throughout the next year. However, an additional $100,000 is recommended for it to operate most effectively ($80k for online facilitation, $5k for enhancements to our online community and $15k for project support). On line facilitation is one of the most important factors in maintaining a vibrant and effective on line community. Early PTSC-Online outreach was key to the program’s initial successes, and an additional $65,000 will ensure continued growth promotion and outreach.

Sponsorship Options & Benefits
The PTSC-Online sponsorship program provides a range of sponsorship options to suit all potential sponsor’s budget. Each level provides sponsors with access to PTSC-Online’s communication and collaboration tools and increased visibility within PTSC-Online to help sponsors achieve their strategic communication and advertising goals.

By making a commitment to the PTSC-Online Community, sponsors are committing to the causes of EM/BC/CIP professionalism. Sponsorship signals that you have made a commitment of your organization, its values, mission, and objectives to a community of professionals from across Canada who are like minded in the pursuit of common objectives.

As the PTSC-Online Community continues to expand and produce benefits to members, sponsor organizations can count themselves a part of a dedicated group of truly concerned stakeholders reaching out to colleagues to share experiences, ideas, initiatives, and partnerships that will truly provide safer communities throughout Canada.

  • Founding sponsor ($10,000 or 100 hrs). Only available during its first year of operation (July 2010-2011), it allows sponsors to make “in-kind” or financial or combination contributions. In addition to providing the same benefits afforded to gold sponsors, founding sponsors will continue to be recognized for as long as PTSC-Online remains in operation.
  • Gold sponsor ($7500) This option provides sponsors with a dedicated group space and their logo displayed on the home page.
  • Silver sponsor ($5000) This option provides sponsors with the dedicated blog, discussion form and photo gallery and the opportunity to sponsor a section of PTSC-Online.
  • Bronze sponsor ($2500) This option provides sponsors with a dedicated blog or calendar or discussion form or photo gallery and the opportunity to sponsor a specific blog channel.
  • Friends of PTSC-Online ($125) Friends of PTSC-Online receive the common benefits provided to all sponsors.

All sponsors have their category displayed on their member profile and have access to a “sponsors only” blog channel, specifically designed to help those who have financially supported PTSC-Online have provided input to its operation and future direction.

Additional details on sponsorship options are listed in the “Support PTSC” section of PTSC-Online.
Call or e-mail CAFC now:     1-613-270-9138          [email protected]
© FrontLine Security 2011



Solutions Showcase - Shared Services Canada

© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

In her keynote address at Ottawa’s GTEC conference last October, Corinne Charette, the Government of Canada’s CIO, commented that “Our ability to harness and leverage information effectively, within government, across jurisdictions and with our citizens will be the key to our success, not only in modernizing government, but in improving the well-being of society as well.” She went on to say, more specifically, that modernization of government can only be achieved through an IT environment that “connects people, information and knowledge, quickly and securely, across departments and ­jurisdictions, and [also] links in our citizens.”

Such connection brings a new level of responsibility to the Government of Canada and its newly established Shared Services Canada. Data now crosses departments, geographies, and the global community via the internet. This brings a significant risk of network breach, and requires secure solutions with levels of assurance that would have been deemed unecessary as recently as a few years ago. As Shared Services Canada seeks to consolidate and remove redundancy in data centers, streamline email providers, and pare down the thousands of government networks, it will need to ­protect Data Sovereignty to ensure only authorized access for both viewing and use. Goals for a modernized government that provides exceptional service and access to its citizens, the privacy of citizen data and data sovereignty remain critical requirements.

In just five years, we’ve seen malware attacks jump from less than six thousand reported cases to over 56 million. Thus, to achieve Data Sovereignty, we must acknowledge all risk categories, understand new cybercrime opportunities, maintain and apply security policies against carelessness, and select security solutions that will prevent data access or manipulation.

The nature of these attacks continue to evolve as cyber thieves and hackers find new ways to exploit network weaknesses to obtain sensitive and valuable information. Weaknesses – on both commercial and government web sites – can turn them into “virtual minefields.” Disturbingly, news reports in early 2011 noted that cyber attacks, launched by phony email messages, had accessed “protected” information from Treasury Board, the Department of Finance, and the House of Commons.

New security solutions emerge on the marketplace almost as quickly as the numbers of cybercrimes rise. This proliferation of security solutions places yet another burden on Shared Services Canada as it evaluates the effectiveness, maintenance and cost of secure solutions. For instance, many parties may claim to have “secure” communications, however, when compliance with government policies and consequences for loss can be so serious and costly, we must have confidence in the reliability of that security. Thus, it is necessary to validate solutions claims by third party certification. Unisys offers such a third party certification. The Unisys Stealth Security Solution is certified to the Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 4 (EAL–4+) that is administered by the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP). This level signifies that Unisys Stealth offers clients unprecedented protection and is certified to protect up to “Secret” defence-level information.

Unisys Stealth takes an innovative approach to protecting security by “hiding” users from hackers or internal security threats, and by making user data invisible to all but the predefined, authorized parties. Being invisible is not only non-confrontational to hackers; it is a safer position from which to compute. Common IT Security Models fail because they are reactive and respond to known threats, so, when new threats emerge, these models are unable to prevent the attack until updated. They also do not prevent bots from being assimilated into endpoints, allowing the bots to contact “armies of bots” later, resulting in denial of service (DNS) attacks. Traditional perimeter security often fails because organizations may not have a sense of what hackers consider valuable. In contrast, Unisys Stealth Solution provides proven security that establishes an invisible point-to-point connection, securing and isolating user communications from attack. “Stealth” locks down end-points and provides cryptographic isolation of data in motion, which protects users from cyber attacks such as malware, denial of service, man-in-the-middle, and phishing.

A community of interest is a client-determined group of individuals that can be isolated. Such a community can be as large as an entire agency or as small as a group of two individuals. Membership and access rights are determined by the IT security administration.

Unisys Stealth protects by virtualizing networks through these isolated “communities of interest”, meaning that sensitive data is invisible to individuals who are not within that specific community. These protected communities of interest are pertinent to ­protecting data sovereignty within a Shared Services Canada.

These communities become the means by which network assets and network users are cryptographically segregated for specific purposes. Stealth makes data “invisible” to participants outside communities, isolating data and preventing security compromises, and allows agencies and departments within the government of Canada to protect data sovereignty.

Unisys Stealth Security Solution allows users in separate agencies and organizations to work with unprecedented security and within any public or private network. Unisys Stealth provides a viable option for government agencies to be stewards of the data they collect to secure and manage for their citizens’ benefit and well-being.

For more information on the use of Unisys Stealth Security Solution and the protection of data sovereignty, visit www.unisys.com or contact [email protected]
© FrontLine Security 2011



One Last Thing
Emergency Management and Border Security
© 2011 FrontLine Security (Vol 6, No 4)

That same hard truth also exists for much of the world of law enforcement including border security which has been in the news recently in Canada although this time, German arsonists notwithstanding, for some very encouraging reasons, collectively known as the Canada-US ‘Beyond the Border’ Agreement.  

For those of us not blessed with the self-serving, self- proclaimed prescience of David Suzuki or Al Gore, ‘natural’ disasters resulting from earth, wind, fire and ice (and other phenomena) are only predictable in the sense that they’ve happened in the past and we can be relatively certain that they will happen in the future. We don’t necessarily know exactly when or precisely where, things will happen, but we do have a fairly good sense now of what Mother Nature may throw at us in a given circumstance. Pretty much. Most of the time.

What is known is the importance of learning from past incidents, maximizing the productivity of existing resources (including pointing that out on occasion to certain ‘resources’) and making sure that introductions among the players aren’t necessary while racing to the fire scene or getting the rescue teams prepped. The same is true for a specialized enforcement and interdiction activity like border security if it is to be operationally and cost effective, which is a given in today’s world.

In that sense, many of the lessons learned from effective inter agency emergency response and management actions over the past years are directly applicable to border security.

Great work has been done by the various agencies directly involved, and also by the local and provincial governments, in recognizing that it’s truly in everyone’s best interest to put aside parochial  institutional concerns and work to achieve the common goal. This includes basic but ongoing strategic analysis of what to expect – to define how something will be covered off, and by whom.

Checking the legislative authorities is also something best done before the power lines come down, or the request for assistance comes in to interdict that boat, or check the truck for explosives. Not doing so invites operational paralysis from the ‘no can do’ crats and lawyers who see institutional risk avoidance as their ‘Job 1’.

Equally, our history of emergency response and management (and prevention, mitigation, resiliency and recovery) provide a wealth of frontline insights into improvements that need to be made, like finally dedicating the 700MH band to emergency management, ensuring reliable full communications equipment interoperability and identifying and adopting appropriate operational standards rather than needlessly reinventing the wheel at every new incident.

The carryover of this proactive, detail oriented approach is perhaps what is most compelling about the Canada-US Border Agreement. Its dual focus on improved border security measures through intelligence led strategies and expedited clearance of low risk trade and traffic has a practical and informed ‘do what works’ feel to it that is beyond welcome. Not surprisingly, the Agreement specifically recognizes the need for joint or harmonized emergency management planning, measures and standards at ports of entry. It goes beyond this, however, by including cyber security, health issues, emergency response and a myriad of other tangible safety and security concerns that would affect citizens on either side of the 49th parallel.

President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrive to speak in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011.

What is most remarkable about this Agreement and its accompanying Regulatory Cooperation Council plan is the unprecedented detail of what initiatives are to be launched, when they are to be done and who… on both sides of the border… has responsibility for doing what. I’ve been reading (and sometimes writing) enforcement policy documents for decades and I can say, without equivocation, that I have never seen a document covering subjects of this breadth with this level of precision and clarity. Clarity promotes accountability which promotes action and I believe that we have a certain Prime Minister to thank for that feature.

This proactive approach means that there are now tangible deliverables against which non-performance, foot dragging and institutional risk aversion will finally be measured. I’d say we’re about to get that “face recognition biometric bad guy lookout system” to detect and prevent entry of ­persons inadmissible to Canada and the U.S. on criminal, security or past removal grounds. The criminal and deportee legal community may have to forego that extra Mercedes, but such is the sacrifice required in these troubled times.

Intelligence-led enforcement will also mean achieving a full deployment of a cross border, joint force, mobile border patrol supported by the modern technology that is ready to go and has long been championed by the officers on front lines. It will also hopefully mean that CBSA’s highly trained and well-equipped officers will be full participants, and that the Agency will prioritize intelligence, operations and enforcement rather than its own staffing.

In both emergency management and border security the view from the Frontline is being heard and Canadians and Americans will be better off for it.

Scott Newark is FrontLine Security’s Associate Editor.
© FrontLine Security 2011