In the five-year period since my appointment, I have observed the emergence of complex global communications technologies, together with evolving political, social and economic realities. This environment has led to the identification of new threats to Canada's security, defence and national interests and a pressing need for the Government of Canada to determine how to counter these threats.

During this same period, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) has sought to maintain its ability to meet the government's evolving foreign intelligence priorities and to protect the integrity of its communications and information systems.

I believe that a failure to maintain CSE's capabilities would have serious implications for Canada's national interests. For example, if CSE were unable to report on the activities and intentions of foreign states and persons, Canada's political and economic well-being would be at risk. Furthermore, if CSE could no longer protect government information systems and assets, the government's efforts would be crippled in the areas of electronic service delivery and e-commerce, ultimately to the detriment of Canada's economic competitiveness.

Technological advancements will certainly continue and may even accelerate. CSE's senior management has informed me that they are convinced CSE must refocus its efforts to meet its responsibilities to government, or risk lagging behind. As a result, in consultation with its stakeholders, CSE has adopted a renewed strategic approach to its mandate.

This is the environment in which I continue to examine CSE's activities to determine their compliance with the laws of Canada and to assess CSE's efforts to safeguard the privacy of Canadians.

As in my previous annual reports, I will look back in this 2000-2001 Annual Report on CSE's performance over the past year.

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