Intelligence Collection and Analysis

Intelligence Collection

The people who work at CSIS collect information in Canada and abroad and use it as the basis for providing advice to the Government of Canada in the form of intelligence reports about activities that may constitute a threat to the security of Canada. This information is collected from many sources, including:

  • members of the public
  • foreign governments
  • human sources 
  • technical interception of telecommunications 
  • open sources including newspapers, periodicals, academic journals, foreign and domestic broadcasts, official documents, and other published material.

In planning and conducting an investigation, care is taken to ensure an appropriate balance between the degree of intrusiveness of an investigation and the rights and freedoms of those being investigated. Investigations that require use of more intrusive techniques, such as the interception of telecommunications, are subject to a rigorous process of challenge and controls, including the use of a Federal Court warrant. For more information about this process, see Accountability and Review.

Analysis

CSIS analysts use their knowledge of regional, national, and global issues to assess the quality of information gathered, and to convert the information into useful security intelligence that is shared within the Canadian government and with partners in the security and intelligence community.

On a strategic level, CSIS produces reports on emerging trends and issues that could affect the security of Canada and that provide context to specific threats and their security implications. Strategic assessments-which focus on thematic, global, and potential threats-are particularly useful to policy analysts and strategic decision-makers.

On a tactical level, CSIS analyzes, publishes, and disseminates intelligence products that address current threats to the security of Canada. Tactical analyses—which focus on case-specific or country-specific threats—typically support a specific client or purpose. 

What is "intelligence"?

In the present context, "intelligence" refers to the product resulting from the collection, collation, evaluation and analysis of information with respect to issues covered under the CSIS mandate.

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