Threat Surveillance

OFSI tackling interference

Foreign interference and national-security issues in Canada’s banking and insurance sectors are in the sights of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. “Over the two years that I’ve been Superintendent, geopolitical risk and its offshoots have increased in significance,” says Peter Routledge. “There’s a possibility that that intensity metastasizes over into the financial system, and we want our institutions ready to adapt.” [node:read-more:link]

EU fine a potential bellwether

Chinese-controlled TikTok has been fined €345 million by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission after a two-year investigation into the social media platforms’ compliance with privacy rules. There are suggestions that Canada could follow suit in a bid to protect younger users’ privacy. [node:read-more:link]

More Canada-U.S. cooperation urged

Ontario Conservative MP Michael Chong told a congressional group today that Canada and the U.S. need to cooperate more against Chinese interference. He said a joint “suite” of measures is needed to protect “our economy, our long-term prosperity, social cohesion, our Parliament and our elections.” [node:read-more:link]

RCMP radio gear cleared

The RCMP last year suspended a contract for radio-frequency filtering technology supplied by a B.C. company owned by Chinese interests, but an internal audit, which recommending changes to the procurement process, has concluded there were no security concerns. [node:read-more:link]

Public inquiry commissioner named

Quebec Court of Appeal Justice Marie-Josée Hogue, was confirmed today as the commissioner of a federal public inquiry into Chinese, Russian and other foreign interference in Canada’s electoral processes. Her court biography shows that Hogue’s legal practice, before her June 2015 appointment during Conservative PM Stephen Harper’s administration, was in corporate commercial and civil litigation as well as professional liability. [node:read-more:link]

Cyberthreat escalating

The Communications Security Establishment has singled out Russia and Iran as cybercrime safe havens where criminals can operate with impunity against foreign targets. It says in a new report today that this poses a threat to Canada’s national security and economic prosperity over the next two years. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign interference: an update

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said today that it is taking longer than expected to find someone to lead a public inquiry into foreign interference. The focus now is on sitting judges whom the government must approach through Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Richard Wagner. [node:read-more:link]

Kiwis beefing up threat response

Acting on a royal commission recommendation in December 2022, New Zealand has confirmed plans for a National Security & Intelligence Agency in the hope of facilitating faster responses to threats. It will be over and above the current Security Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Security Bureau. [node:read-more:link]

New Zealand outlines priorities

Three defence and national security documents released by New Zealand Defence Minister Andrew Little outline the general challenges facing his country as well as military principles and ways to improve the forces. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign interference inquiry hindered?

The New Democrat Party’s call for the list of countries accused of interfering in Canada to be expanded is being frustrated by other parties, says NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. House leaders have been meeting over the summer to set the terms and timeline for the inquiry and to appoint a potential leader and the NDP would like to see India, Iran and Russia join China on the list. [node:read-more:link]

Global Affairs criticized by NSICOP

The National Security & Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians has “identified significant weaknesses” in Global Affairs Canada’s governance, especially on intelligence activities. NSICOP said July 19 that while GAC has appropriate consultation structures in place with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications Security Establishment, its relations with the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are “largely informal.” [node:read-more:link]

Political consensus on inquiry?

Multiparty negotiations on a public inquiry into foreign interference in Canadian politics evidently are bearing fruit. The Liberals and Conservatives, at loggerheads for months, have agreed on terms of reference and, according to a Conservative official, “all parties have shared their suggested names for a potential commissioner.” [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa neo-Nazi advocate charged

Patrick Gordon Macdonald, 26, of Ottawa is the first in Canada to be charged with terrorism and hate propaganda offences for advocating violent neo-Nazi ideology. RCMP announced today that they had arrested him because he had helped to develop material for the U.S.-based but international Atomwaffen Division. [node:read-more:link]

Intel leaker sought by government

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security advisor expects that the security official who leaked sensitive information to the news media about attempted Chinese interference in Canadian electoral processes will be caught and punished. “The law has been broken; sources, techniques have been put at risk,” Jody Thomas says, adding that Canada’s credibility with its Five Allies also has been jeopardized [node:read-more:link]

Calgary man faces terrorism charges

A Calgary man has been remanded in custody on four terrorism-related charges following a national investigation. Zakarya Rida Hussein, 20, appeared in court June 16, charged with two counts of facilitating a terrorist activity and two of participating or contributing to a terrorist group’s activity. [node:read-more:link]


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