If an intelligence professional was speaking to you andreferred to the “intelligence community,” regardless of your background itseems like a simple concept to infer. The concept is comprised of two commonwords that would immediately make you think of a group or organization thatworks on intelligence issues. In essence that is what an intelligence communityis when boiled to its simplest form. However, there are numerous complexitiesand intricacies at play in an intelligence community. The RAND Corporation hasa more thorough definition and says an “intelligence community comprises the many agencies and organizationsresponsible for intelligence gathering, analysis, and other activities thataffect foreign policy and national security.
“1 When looking at Canada, ithas an extremely thorough intelligence community that isa key asset in the government’s efforts to protect the interests of Canada andCanadians and to assure public safety.Before delving into what an intelligence community is, it isimportant to first understand intelligence. Essentially security intelligence is theinformation relevant to protecting from external and inside threats as well asthe processes, policies and tools designed to gather and analyze thatinformation.2Within intelligence there are multiple disciplines that include human intelligence (HUMINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT), imagery intelligence (IMINT),measurement and signaturesintelligence (MASINT), and open source intelligence (OSINT).
Any discipline orcombination can be used and contribute to the gathering of information topromote national security. The core work ofan intelligence community is to contribute to the safety and security of thepublic at both a domestic and international level. With respect to Canada, thecommunity must judge the growth or decline of particular threats, providepolitical leaders with well-founded advice, and take appropriate prevention andenforcement actions. It adds value to decision-making and policy-making on thefull range of matters vital to Canada’s interests in foreign relations,defence, the economy and domestic security.3 Someexamples of tasks the community is involved in, but is not limited to, includepreventing people-smuggling, detecting and thwarting potential terroristattacks and cyber threats. Within Canada there are a number of agencies involved in intelligence,all of which play important and specific roles. The following outlines some ofthe major agencies.
Public Safety Canada was created in 2003 with the mandate to”ensure coordination across all federal departments and agencies responsiblefor national security and the safety of Canadians.”i4 Public Safety works on issues relating tonational security, border strategies, countering crime, and emergencymanagement, particularly natural disasters, terrorism, policing, and bordermanagement.ii5The Department works alongside many agencies in order to achieve its objective,particularly the RCMP and CSIS, which reports to Public Safety, and play asignificant role in Canada’s intelligence community; · TheRoyal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is Canada’s national police force. As perthe Royal Canadian Mounted Police Actthe agency is responsible for enforcing Canadian laws, contributing to nationalsecurity, preventing and investigating crime, and maintaining peace, order andsecurity.
iii6 “Under the Security Offences Act the RCMP has primary investigativeresponsibility for offences related to terrorism and espionage as well as foroffences against internationally protected persons, such as foreign ambassadorsaccredited to Canada.”iv7Intelligence collection and analysis is an important component of RCMPinvestigations, including those relating to organized crime, high technologycrime and illegal migration.v · Asper the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) Act of 1984, CSISoperates under the mandate to “investigateactivities suspected of constituting threats to the security of Canada, and toreport on these to the Government of Canada.”vi8 This is achieved through the collection andanalysis of threat related information both domestically and abroad.
vii9″Key threats include terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of massdestruction, espionage, foreign interference and cyber-tampering affectingcritical infrastructure.” viii10 The Criminal Intelligence Service of Canada (CISC) wasestablished in the 1970s as an inter-agency organization mandated to coordinateand share criminal intelligence amongst member police forces, includingfederal, provincial, and municipal law enforcement units.11CISC Central Bureau is responsible for providing criminal intelligence productsand services to the national law enforcement community. The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) was createdin 1975 as the successor of the Communications Branch of the National ResearchCouncil. The CSE is responsible forcollecting foreign SIGINT in support of the Government’s priorities, and”helping protect the computer networks and information of greatest importanceto Canada.”ix12As defined by the National Defence Act, CSEis mandated to acquire and provide foreign intelligence in accordance with theGovernment’s intelligence priorities, to help ensure the protection ofelectronic information and critical infrastructure in Canada, and to provideassistance to federal law enforcement and security agencies in the performanceof their lawful duties.x13 The Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC) wascreated in 2004 in accordance with the 2004 “Securing an OpenSociety: Canada’s National Security Policy (NSP)” strategic framework.
xi14 ITAC operates to prevent and reduce theeffects of terrorist incidents on Canadians and Canadian interests. ITAC achieves this through analyzing securityintelligence received from partner institutions and produces threatassessments; these assessments are “integrated analyses of the intent andcapability of terrorists to carry out attacks”.xii15 The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center ofCanada (FINTRAC) was created in 2000 as an independent agency responsible forfinancial intelligence. The agency operates under the mandate to “facilitatethe detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering and the financingof terrorist activities.”xiii16FINTRAC works alongside the Canada Revenue Agency and the private sector toproduce financial intelligence related to money laundering, terrorist activityand threats to the security of Canada.xiv17It gathers and analyzes data from a variety of information sources that shedlight on trends and patterns in money laundering and terrorist financing.The Canadian Forces Intelligence Command (CFINTCOM) wasestablished in 2004 as the “functional authority with the Department ofNational Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces for defence intelligence.
“xv18 The CFINTCOM consolidated and centralized allintelligence collection capabilities of the CAF and DND. It is responsible for providing intelligenceofficers and integrated intelligence collection services to the CAF and DND. xvi19The Privy Council Office (PCO) is the “hub of non-partisan,public service support to the Prime minister and Cabinet and itsdecision-making structures.”xvii20The PCO has three main roles including as Advisor to the Prime Minister,Secretary to the Cabinet, and leader of the Public Service. The PCO is responsible for supporting thePrime Minister in matters regarding security and intelligence in Canada. Within the PCO, the National SecurityAdvisor (NSA) to the Prime Minister is responsible for providing information,advice, and recommendations on security and intelligence policy matters.
xviii21The NSA is supported by three PCO secretariats, including the SecurityIntelligence Secretariat (SIS), the Intelligence Assessment Secretariat (IAS),and the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat (FDPS), and his duties requirecoordination with members of the security and intelligence community. The SIS provides advice and support to thePM, NSA, and Cabinet; its role includes supporting Cabinet in managing nationalsecurity and intelligence activities; coordinating federal activities withinthe security and intelligence community; and coordinating federal responses toemergencies.xix22It is importantto note that intelligence communities are not autonomous and able to act on itsown will. Like other parts of government, the members of the security and intelligence community are accountablethrough their Ministers to Parliament,and their representatives occasionally appear before parliamentary committees. Eachmember has a clear mandate and is also governed by the rule of law. Thesecurity and intelligence community is also subject to audits by the Auditor General, reviews of information holdings by the PrivacyCommissioner, requests for access todocuments through the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, andexamination by the Officeof the Commissioner of Official Languages and the Human Rights Commission.23Within the aforementioned agencies there are individuals whowork on a daily basis on a wide array of issues that all benefit to protectingCanada and Canadians.
Not all employees are on the front line in a foreigncountry however, there are people working in laboratories, translators,analysts, consultants and many others. Their responsibilities include, but arenot limited to, providing non-partisan advice on specific threats, assess keyinternational issues and events affecting Canada’s interests, develop policy, legislativeand funding proposals to strengthen the community’s effectiveness and undertakeinvestigations to detect and assess threats.24Another important component to the intelligence community iscooperation. Theycooperate amongst one another and with provincial and territorial governmentsand the private sector on such issues as how to protect Canada’s criticalinformation infrastructure.
Cooperation is not only limited to a domestic scale,Canada’sintelligence community helpscontribute to global security. Hackers, terrorists, organized criminals andother threats to Canada’s security make use of the various avenues available tothem to conduct their illegal activities across borders. Therefore, Canada hasmade extensive efforts to build its intelligence community at an internationalscale through organizations like the G7, as well as working relationships withmost countries in the world. Oneorganization that Canada leverages regularly is the Five Eyes.
Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and theUnited States are members of the Five Eyes intelligence community, the mostexclusive intelligence sharing club in the world. It is a complex network oflinked autonomous intelligence agencies. Individual intelligence organizationsthat follow their own nationally legislated mandates, but interact with anaffinity strengthened by their common Anglo-Saxon culture, accepted liberaldemocratic values and complementary national interests, all seasoned with aprofound sense of confidence in each other and a degree of professional trustso strong as to be unique in the world.25This cooperative relationship is not monolithic, but it is certainly morecohesive than is generally known.26It grew from UK-US intelligence cooperation in the Second World War, maturedduring the Cold War, and continues to protect the national interests of allmembers today.27 Going forward, intelligence communities will continueevolve. Historically, either in retaliation or in a proactive manner, intelligencehave continuously evolved to by either adding new members or establishing a newagency to fill a void in intelligence collection.
An evolving internationalsecurity environment signals a need for a growth in international communitiesand an insurance that intelligence agencies are staying current and identifyingpotential threats. The Canadian intelligence community is extremely thorough anencompassing, however, it is far from perfect. New legislation is continuouslyemerging in relation to intelligence and national security, and there arecontinued debates of the limits to which the intelligence community can go.Regardless, if a professional were to refer an intelligence community, it isevident they are referring to a group of intelligence agencies that worktogether to promote public and global security.
1 Rand Corporation. “IntelligenceCommunity.” RAND Corporation, 12 Apr. 2016. www.rand.org/topics/intelligence-community.
html.2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 i Public Safety Canada .”AboutPublic Safety Canada.” Public Safety Canada.
16 Jan. 2016.ii Ibid.iii Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“About the RCMP.” Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 17 Jan. 2016. iv Privy Council Office.
“TheCanadian Security and Intelligence Community: Helping Keep Canada and CanadiansSafe and Secure.” Privy Council Office. 17 Jan.
2016.v Ibid.vi Canadian Security Intelligence Service.”Role of CSIS.
” Canadian Security Intelligence Service. 16 Jan.2016.vii Canadian Security Intelligence Service.”Intelligence Collection and Analysis.” Canadian Security IntelligenceService.
16 Jan. 2016viii Canadian Security Intelligence Service.”Role of CSIS.” Canadian Security Intelligence Service. 16 Jan.2016.ix Communications Security Establishment.
“What We Do and Why We Do It.” Communications Security Establishment.16 Jan. 2016.x Ibid. xi Integrated Terrorism AssessmentCentre.”About ITAC.” Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre.
16 Jan. 2016.xii Ibid.
xiii Financial Transactions and ReportsAnalysis Centre of Canada. “Who We Are.” Financial Transactionsand Reports Analysis Centre of Canada. 16 Jan. 2016.xiv Ibidxv National Defence and the Canadian ArmedForces.
“Establishment of the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command.” NationalDefence and the Canadian Armed Forces.16 Jan. 2016.
xvi Ibid.xvii Privy Council Office. “About thePrivy Council Office.” Privy Council Office. 16 Jan.
2016.xviii Ibid.xix Ibid.