The mandate of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner is threefold:
to review the activities of the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC)* for compliance with the law and to advise the Minister of National Defence and the Attorney General of Canada of any CSEC activity that the Commissioner believes may not be in compliance with the law;
to receive complaints about the lawfulness of CSEC activities; and
to carry out specific duties under the 'public interest defence' provisions of the Security of Information Act.
* CSEC's legislative mandate includes three key functions: (1) it acquires and uses information from the global information infrastructure for the purpose of providing foreign intelligence, in accordance with Government of Canada intelligence priorities; (2) it provides advice, guidance and services to help ensure the protection of electronic information and of information infrastructures of importance to the Government of Canada; and (3) it provides technical and operational assistance to federal law enforcement and security agencies in the performance of their lawful duties. (National Defence Act, Part V.1, section 273.64 (1).)