Announcement of 2011-2012 Annual Report

OTTAWA - Commissioner's report on reviewing the activities of the Communications Security Establishment Canada is tabled in Parliament.

July 18, 2012 – The Annual Report of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner, the Honourable Robert Décary, Q.C. was tabled in Parliament today by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. The Commissioner's report outlines his activities during the fiscal year 2011-2012. The Commissioner, a retired Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal, was appointed on June 18, 2010.

The purpose of the Commissioner's review mandate is to ensure that the activities of the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) comply with the law and that CSEC effectively applies satisfactory measures to protect the privacy of Canadians.  This year's report is different in that it provides a greater level of detail concerning the roles and mandates of CSEC and its interaction with other Canadian government security and intelligence agencies.  This continues the Commissioner's efforts begun last year.   “In my opinion", he writes, "it is possible, without going into details it would be inappropriate to divulge, to employ simpler and more comprehensible language and thus ensure that public debates are not held on false premises."    

Commissioner Décary makes a number of suggestions to CSEC to improve certain policies and practices to better protect the privacy of Canadians. He notes however, that the activities reviewed during the 2011-2012 fiscal year - including those related to information technology security and foreign signals intelligence collection - complied with the law.

CSEC has demonstrated that it takes the Commissioner's findings seriously.  Indeed, some past recommendations have contributed to CSEC suspending activities so it can re-examine how the activities are conducted.  CSEC has accepted and implemented 93% of the 133 recommendations made since the Commissioner's office was established in 1996.

The Commissioner concludes his report by noting that he is deeply disappointed at the time that has passed without Parliament addressing the ambiguities in the National Defence Act which have been noted for many years now and which should not, to his mind, raise any controversy.

The report is available at

For more information, please contact:
J. William Galbraith
Executive Director
Office of the CSE Commissioner
(613) 992-3044

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