Evolution of CSE

CSE must contend with the revolutionary pace of technological change. The foundation of its activities is technology, which affects CSE, like its partners, in several ways:

The pressures for change

CSE's strategic plan

During the year under review, CSE embarked upon an important strategic exercise to identify alternative approaches to delivering its mandate.

As a starting point, CSE defined its vision: "to be the agency that masters the global information network to enhance Canada's safety and prosperity". In so doing, CSE has effectively returned to its roots with the recognition that its core strength is its ability to understand and protect communications and communications systems. CSE's ability to exploit these systems to provide foreign intelligence flows from this core strength.

In support of its vision, CSE aims to become a centre of excellence that develops and applies its technical expertise and understanding of global communications networks and helps Canada meet its critical information needs.

CSE has adopted three strategic goals for the next 10 years:

As a first step, CSE has strengthened the linkage between its SIGINT and ITS programs. Although their activities are related, they have traditionally operated at arm's length from each other. To achieve its strategic goals, CSE intends to benefit from the synergies created by drawing the two programs closer. By exploring the vulnerabilities of communications and information systems together, SIGINT and ITS experts now pool their knowledge to identify threats to Canadian systems as well as opportunities for foreign intelligence collection.

In June 2000, the Chief of CSE briefed me on this topic. Subsequently, my office has discussed the strategy in detail with CSE's senior management. I do not believe this approach will change how I review CSE's activities in any fundamental way, since my focus will remain on their lawfulness. In the meantime, I have expressed my support of this undertaking.

Date modified: