Communications Security Establishment

From Academic Kids

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The Communications Security Establishment or CSE is an intelligence agency of the Canadian government, charged with the duty of keeping track of foreign signals intelligence. Part of the Department of National Defence, CSE is forbidden, by law, to intercept domestic communications. When intercepting communications between a domestic and foreign source, the domestic communications are destroyed or otherwise ignored. CSE is bound by all Canadian Laws, including the Criminal Code, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Privacy Act.

CSE relies largely on partner agencies such as the NSA in the United States, and the equivelant agencies in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand to share the collection burden and dissemination of information.

CSE was established in 1946 as the Communications Branch of the National Research Council, and was transferred to the Department of National Defence in 1975 by Order-in-Council. CSE is accountable to the Minister of National Defence through two Deputy Ministers, one of whom is responsible for Administration, the other Policy and Operations. The Minister of National Defence is in turn accountable to the Cabinet and Parliment.

During the Cold War, CSE was primarily responsible for providing SIGINT data to the Department of National Defence regarding the military operations of the Soviet Union. Since then, CSE has diversified and now is the primary Sigint Resource in Canada. CSE provides technical advice, guidance and services to the Government of Canada to maintain the security of its information and information infrastructures.

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