June 2013 CSE staff size
(If you click through on the link and get a different figure, it's probably because the Canada Public Service Agency has updated its website; they update the numbers once a month.)
Monitoring Canadian signals intelligence (SIGINT) activities past and present.
But Canada is among a small group of nations the U.S. National Security Agency calls “2nd party partners” that are exempt from such snooping, according to a top-secret document cited by German news magazine Der Spiegel.Technical aside here: All the UKUSA (AKA Five Eyes) SIGINT agencies refer to their partners as Second Parties. Even the mighty NSA is a Second Party to CSE, DSD, GCHQ, etc. (See, e.g., PDF page 121 here.)
“The NSA does NOT target its 2nd party partners, nor request that 2nd parties do anything that is inherently illegal for NSA to do,” the document reportedly reads.
The others are the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, who together with the U.S. and Canada comprise what is called the Five Eyes partnership.
Wesley Wark, a leading intelligence expert at the University of Ottawa, said there are likely some instances of Five Eyes members spying on each other, but that would be the extreme exception rather than the rule.I think what Wark says is correct, but I'd very much like to see a good explanation for the Boundless Informant "heatmap" that the Guardian published recently. As I noted here, the map shows that in March 2013 the NSA was able to access nearly as much Internet-related metadata (and possibly much of the actual data as well) sourced to Canada as it did metadata sourced to Mexico. Which is more, by the way, than that sourced to many European Union states, although not France or Germany.
“The rule among the Five Eyes partners is that they don’t spy on each other, and that’s a long-standing convention that goes back decades,” Wark said. “There’s never really been any evidence in the public domain that that convention has ever been systematically broken.”