Sharing intelligence and cooperation, both at the national and international levels, is essential to effectively gauge current and future threats to the security of Canada and to analyze terrorist trends.
Sharing Intelligence Nationally
At the national level, CSIS provides hundreds of briefings each year to various communities including law enforcement and other security intelligence agencies; academia; Canadian government departments and agencies; provincial, territorial, and municipal governments; and the public.
Specific mechanisms for sharing intelligence include the following:
- Government Liaison Unit is responsible for maintaining regular contact with Canadian government departments and agencies in order to determine their security intelligence requirements. This enables CSIS to provide client-focussed service and timely, value-added security intelligence advice.
- Threat Assessments, one of CSIS' key products, are evaluations about the scope and immediacy of a variety of threats posed by individuals and groups in Canada and abroad. Threat Assessments are used by Canadian organizations such as:
- The RCMP, to determine the level of security required to protect foreign diplomatic missions in Canada and Canadian VIPs;
- Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, to determine the proper level of protection required for Canadian missions and overseas personnel; and
- Transport Canada, when considering security concerns for the travelling public.
- CSIS is also an active participant in the Government of Canada's Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC), which produces comprehensive threat assessments on terrorism that reflect information and intelligence collected by all players in the Canadian intelligence community.
- Threat and Risk Assessments (TRAs) are conducted by government departments and agencies. CSIS provides assistance for their preparation when requested.
- CSIS supplies information to the Enforcement Information Index, an automated system administered by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that alerts immigration and customs officers about the threat posed to national security by suspected and known terrorists, and foreign intelligence officers seeking admission to Canada. The information enables Canadian immigration officials to refuse applications from these suspects, effectively barring their entry to Canada. (More information about the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
- Canadian immigration officials launch formal judicial proceedings, in cooperation with CSIS, to have individuals who are deemed inadmissible on national security grounds removed from Canada. Security Certificates are issued jointly by the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and reviewed by the Federal Court, after which the subject may be deported.
- In the course of its investigations, CSIS often obtains ancillary information regarding criminal matters, which may be turned over to law enforcement agencies. Extensive and timely liaison with the RCMP and other police authorities has helped to apprehend criminals and prevent the threat posed by organized crime.
Sharing Intelligence Internationally
At the international level, CSIS works in close collaboration with Canada's traditional allies and shares pertinent intelligence to counter the global threat of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. CSIS also cooperates with a number of other countries and provides information to selected foreign agencies. Strict standards and guidelines govern relationships with foreign entities and the sharing of intelligence. Prior to entering into such agreements, all CSIS' foreign arrangements must be reviewed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and approved by the Minister of Public Safety Canada. In addition, the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) and the Office of the Inspector General carefully examine these arrangements and monitor the exchange of information to ensure that the terms of the arrangements are upheld. For more information, see Accountability and Review.
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