Annex C: Excerpts from the National Defence Act Related to the Mandate of the Communications Security Establishment

The Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) is Canada's national cryptologic agency, providing the Government of Canada with two key services: foreign signals intelligence, and information technology security. CSEC also provides technical and operational assistance to federal law enforcement and security agencies.

CSEC's foreign signals intelligence products and services support government decision-making in the fields of national security, national defence and foreign policy. CSEC's signals intelligence activities relate exclusively to foreign intelligence and are directed by the Government of Canada's intelligence priorities.

CSEC's information technology security products and services enable government departments and agencies to secure their electronic information systems and networks. CSEC also conducts research and development on behalf of the Government of Canada in fields related to communications security.

CSEC's three-part mandate is set out in subsection 273.64(1) of the National Defence Act:

  1. to acquire and use information from the global information infrastructure for the purpose of providing foreign intelligence, in accordance with Government of Canada intelligence priorities;
  2. to provide 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. to provide technical and operational assistance to federal law enforcement and security agencies in the performance of their lawful duties.

CSEC's website is:

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