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A Canadian Foreign Intelligence Service

Underway

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Should Canada Have a Foreign Intelligence Service?

Personally, I think it should. The return of great power competition frankly is the signal. Our interests often do not align with our closest allies, and the only intelligence organization that will look out for our interests is one of our own.

I would start with a cyber-spying capability at first. Then move over to humint and conversion. It could work against foreign criminal organizations as well as foreign governments.
 

Remius

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Are you talking more targeting as opposed to just intelligence gathering? Does CSE not already covers the cyber-spying (intelligence gathering).
 

OldSolduer

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Also don't announce it to the world we're doing this. Let the rest of the world think we're clueless hosers when it comes to intel.
Yes of course you and I realize that but the Boy Blunder is just naive enough to want to tell the world, despite being told not to
 

CBH99

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What about passing the legislation & mission focus of the CSE, and expand their capabilities to deal with both defensive & offensive cyber operations. If there is one group of people who would be well suited for that, I would think its the folks at CSE. (Who could probably do more damage with a keyboard than I could with a fleet of jets & tanks)

Expand the mandate of CSIS to include foreign intelligence gathering also, slowly expanding capabilities as able.


If these capabilities and focuses are done with realistic foresight, funding, and - I can't stress this enough - the right people at the helm, it could be a success story. Expand slowly, engage our allies for assistance along the way, and make sure that the expansion - while slow, is high quality.

(I'm thinking along the lines of CANSOF. When CSOR was being built from the ground up, they had a very clear mission and focus, knew the kind of people they wanted in the unit, funded it appropriately, procured what they wanted & thought was best, and had JTF2 to assist in training and experience. If something similar could be done with the NSA and CSE, or MI-6 and CIA with CSIS, it would be a great way to learn.)


0.02
 

QV

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This is a step in the right direction 40 years too late.
 

CBH99

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But ofcourse. I'm sure the comment section of CBC will be full of well articulated, well informed opinions that don't mention political parties at all. If there is one thing I've learned from reading the comment section of CBC, it's that Canadians are a smart bunch when it comes to anything political. (y)



On a serious note, back to the topic at hand...

- What would Canada gain, that is doesn't already have access to via 5 Eyes?

- What general types of intelligence gathering would we be interested in, as it pertains to keeping Canadians safe? (Is it gathering information on peer states, who may wish us harm during a time of conflict? Or are we looking to expand DND military intelligence & CSE assets to be able to conduct offensive/defensive cyber warfare? Are we primarily interested in individuals who may be coming into the country for criminal or terrorist reasons? If it is the latter, does CBSA and RCMP not have intelligence assets dedicated to these types of threats?)


Genuinely curious about the above. Could be interesting. So far, I'm for it.
 

Kirkhill

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The British thought this way prior to World War Two - ungentlemanly old chap!!!

I think I would contest that. Certainly there were elements in society that saw things in those terms. But I don't think they ever included the government. Britain has worked end runs around the vagaries of the laws as well as any country.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Rebuild Camp X! I don't see us being to good at Humint, but likely could recruit good talent for Cyber stuff. We need to exempt them from the current hiring practices so we don't start hiring PR from mainland China that suddenly appear with just the right qualifications or girlfriends of known HA members.
 

Kirkhill

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We have lots of government buildings with lots of government departments and lots of little cubby holes. Why would we do anything other than quietly expand the duties of some of the staff.

The politicians will catch on eventually.
 

lenaitch

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But ofcourse. I'm sure the comment section of CBC will be full of well articulated, well informed opinions that don't mention political parties at all. If there is one thing I've learned from reading the comment section of CBC, it's that Canadians are a smart bunch when it comes to anything political. (y)



On a serious note, back to the topic at hand...

- What would Canada gain, that is doesn't already have access to via 5 Eyes?

- What general types of intelligence gathering would we be interested in, as it pertains to keeping Canadians safe? (Is it gathering information on peer states, who may wish us harm during a time of conflict? Or are we looking to expand DND military intelligence & CSE assets to be able to conduct offensive/defensive cyber warfare? Are we primarily interested in individuals who may be coming into the country for criminal or terrorist reasons? If it is the latter, does CBSA and RCMP not have intelligence assets dedicated to these types of threats?)


Genuinely curious about the above. Could be interesting. So far, I'm for it.
I think the linked article is pretty clear that it is talking about security intelligence - espionage, not criminal intelligence.

The self-absorbed chattering classes would choke on their pearls.
 

CBH99

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The article was clear.

I was more or less curious to hear about what you guys & gals thought of the idea, in general, and expand on things. The people who work & run in our circles tend to have a different perspective than politicians and the public.

I was moreso curious about what some thoughts were on how the general idea would be/could be executed in practice, ideas/suggestions/concerns, etc.
 

quadrapiper

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The British thought this way prior to World War Two - ungentlemanly old chap!!!
Actually paying spies is cheating, French, or both, and regardless is the sort of thing you presumably have to do if you haven't infested the world with consuls, traders, factors, correspondents, expats, advisors, etc. all of whom to varying degrees write home. Nothing so beastly as spying.

Re: the actual thread topic, yes, absolutely, wherever and however it'll benefit Canada, and preferably as invisibly as possible.
 

Underway

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1624017584350.png

It's an excellent book. I suggest a read. However its more about organizing assasinations, sabatoge and commando raids then it is about intelligence. The destruction of the heavy water plant in Norway, freeing prisoners in France, the invention of the PIAT and limet mine. All in there and a good book to read at the cottage on in the hammok.
 

lenaitch

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The article was clear.

I was more or less curious to hear about what you guys & gals thought of the idea, in general, and expand on things. The people who work & run in our circles tend to have a different perspective than politicians and the public.

I was moreso curious about what some thoughts were on how the general idea would be/could be executed in practice, ideas/suggestions/concerns, etc.

Ya, not knowledgeable enough to pass judgement other than to say, as a member of 'we the people', I think it is a good idea to protect our national interests. If we want to be partners in grand alliances, when they are organizing the big dinner party, we can't always be the one bringing the napkins and expecting to sit at the adult's table.

The bureaucracy, lobbyists and special interest groups will no doubt want to strangle it in committees and endless public oversight.
 

Blackadder1916

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An interesting article. What Canada probably needs the most is better quality "political intelligence". And no, that doesn't refer to the abilities of Canadian politicians but to foreign governments. Undoubtedly, there are some intelligence functions carried out by GAC, whether or not being formally so designated as such, but the tendency of diplomats may be to hold such information close for their own purposes. However, the most likely target (or what should be the most likely target) of most of those intelligence operations may not be very pleased, and the USA would probably respond negatively.
 
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