Canadian Security Magazine

Spy agency chief says new powers would help stop cyberattacks before they happen

By The Canadian Press   

News Data Security bill c59 communications security establishment cse greta bossenmaier harjit sajjan

OTTAWA — The head of Canada's cyberspy agency says new powers proposed by the Trudeau government would let her institution stop cyberattacks before they are launched — instead of having to sit back and wait for them to happen.

Communications Security Establishment chief Greta Bossenmaier made the comments to a parliamentary committee in which she revealed the agency has been working overtime to block attacks on federal networks.

The problem includes up to one billion attempts to compromise federal government information systems every day, which includes everything from poking to malware to dedicated hacking.

Bossenmaier says Bill C-59 would help nip some of those attacks in the bud as well as target terrorist groups and support military missions by giving the CSE the power to launch its own offensive cyber operations.

The government’s plan to let the CSE to launch cyberattacks has raised a variety of questions over the last year, including the process for authorizing such an operation and how the agency will ensure it doesn’t target Canadians.


Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and CSE officials told the committee that there were strict approval processes and oversight provisions within the legislation, and that the law forbids any action against Canadians or targets in Canada.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2018

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