Canadian Security Intelligence Service

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Image:CSIS Crest.jpg
The CSIS crest

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) is a civilian intelligence agency of Canada's federal government that collects, monitors and analyzes information that may affect national security. CSIS activities encompass security intelligence of both national and international scope.

CSIS may also be referred to by its French name: Service canadien du renseignement de sécurité (SCRS).


[edit] Mission

CSIS's official mission statement declares: "The people of CSIS are dedicated to the protection of Canada's national security interests and the safety of Canadians".

CSIS acts solely as a domestic service to collect intelligence to protect Canada from internal and external threats. Canada is the only developed nation not to have an active foreign intelligence department. CSIS officers and surveillance personnel may sometimes work internationally in their efforts to monitor and counter threats to Canadian security.

CSIS is an entirely civilian agency, and thus officers and personnel do not carry firearms, in contrast with the equivalent Special Branch agencies in other Commonwealth nations and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.

[edit] History

CSIS was founded in 1984 by an act of the Parliament of Canada, following a recommendation of the McDonald Commission. That Commission advised removing responsibility for intelligence from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, specifically the RCMP Security Service. Prior to the establishment of CSIS, the RCMP, which is Canada's federal police service, was responsible for intelligence and counterintelligence activities.

The agency officially commenced operations on 16 July 1984, with Thomas D'Arcy "Ted" Finn appointed as its first Director.

[edit] Headquarters

Image:Max csishq.jpg
CSIS Headquarters, Ottawa, Ontario

CSIS National Headquarters is located at 1941 Ogilvie Road, in Ottawa, Ontario. There are several branch offices throughout Canada.

After its 1984 evolution from the RCMP Security Services branch, CSIS found itself needing a new headquarters and commissioned the Osbaldeston Report in 1987 to examine the issue. The report recommended "An immediate solution to the CSIS accommodation problem must be found, bringing all headquarters functions together in a building that can be adapted to meet the needs of CSIS, both human and technological"

September 1988 saw Cabinet approve the recommendations for a new structure, rather than trying to salvage the operations of the eight existing structures, and the following April saw the Treasury Board designate the funds necessary for its construction.

The first phase of construction was completed in 1991, and the second phase in February 1995. CSIS formally relocated to the new headquarters in November 1995. <ref></ref>

[edit] Directors

Previous directors of CSIS are:

From To Name
1984 1988 Thomas D'Arcy "Ted" Finn
1988 1992 Reid Morden
1992 1994 Ray Protti
1994 31 May 2004 Ward P.D. Elcock
31 May 29 November 2004 Dale Neufeld
29 November 2004 Present Jim Judd

[edit] Programs

The Operational Programs of CSIS include:

CSIS works closely with the intelligence agencies of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Under the post-WWII Quadpartite Pact all intelligence information is shared between the intelligence agencies of these four countries. While largely relying on information gathered by other countries, CSIS performs its own analysis.

Permission to put a subject under surveillance is granted by the Target Approval and Review Committee.

Security Liaison Officers (SLOs) of CSIS are posted at Canadian embassies and consulates to gather security-related intelligence from other nations. This information may be gathered from other national intelligence agencies, law enforcement services and public sources. SLOs also assess potential immigrants to Canada for security issues.

As a civilian agency rather than a law enforcement agency, CSIS employees neither have arrest powers nor may they carry weapons.

[edit] Oversight

The activities of CSIS are regularly reviewed on behalf of Parliament by the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC). It is also under the portfolio of the federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Canada).

[edit] Controversies

CSIS has occaisionally come under criticism, such as in the apparent bungling of the investigation into the 1985 Air India bombing. [1]

In 1999, classified documents were stolen from the car of a CSIS agent who was attending a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game. The Security Intelligence Review Committee reportedly investigated this incident. [2] [3]

[edit] See also

[edit] Trivia

Underfunded, a made for television show, depicts the exploits of an agent from the fictional Canadian Secret Service.

[edit] Notes

  1.   See Wikipedia:Air India Flight 182#Destroyed_evidence
  2.   Edited Hansard (Debates of the House of Commons of Canada), 36th Parliament, 2nd Session, Number 20, 15 November 1999, 1425 [4]
  3.   Edited Hansard (Debates of the House of Commons of Canada), 36th Parliament, 2nd Session, Number 22, 17 November 1999, 1455 [5]

[edit] External links

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