Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Project SPRINGTHAW

David Pugliese reports that the Canadian Forces Information Operations Group has a project underway to replace and enhance one or more of its legacy SIGINT systems ("Defence Department upgrades spy technology," Postmedia News, 25 November 2013):
The Canadian Forces is buying new equipment to improve its ability to intercept communications at home and on international missions, according to documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen.

Project SPRINGTHAW, to replace and upgrade the military's existing signals intelligence systems, was approved by the Conservative government in 2012.

The Department of National Defence, citing the need for secrecy, declined to provide information on how much program will cost taxpayers or from whom the new systems are being purchased. But the project has sparked concerns about what the equipment will ultimately be used for.

"The SPRINGTHAW project will replace and enhance the department's existing legacy signals intelligence systems located at (name censored) with a scalable signals intelligence technology that can be expanded to incorporate new and evolving capabilities in support of domestic and international missions," stated the May 2012 briefing for then associate defence minister Julian Fantino.

The heavily censored documents on SPRINGTHAW were declassified and released under the Access to Information process. An email from the DND to the Citizen stated the project is to be completed by December 2015.

The project is being co-ordinated through the Canadian Forces Information Operations Group and the purchase handled by the government's electronic eavesdropping agency, the Communications Security Establishment.

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