Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Recent news items

A brief round-up of recent CSE-related news items:

- Bruce Campion-Smith, "Ottawa firefighters cut lock to enter top-secret installation," Toronto Star, 20 January 2015. (The Star gets the unredacted version of what happened during the minor fire at the new CSE complex in November 2013.)

- Ian MacLeod, "Spy agency fire triggered security concerns," Ottawa Citizen, 20 January 2015. (The Citizen gets the redacted version, but also reports some interesting information. They should drop the term ECHELON, however. It didn't mean the whole Five Eyes SIGINT community back in the 1990s, and it certainly doesn't now.)

- Matthew Braga, "A Pair of Bolt Cutters Was All It Took to Break Into Canada's Cyberspy Agency," Motherboard, 20 January 2015. (Motherboard's take on the story.)

All three stories note that CSE's new headquarters was still under construction at the time of the fire, which is true, but the complex was not entirely unoccupied. Pod 1 of the complex, CSE's high-performance computing centre, which was built under the earlier Mid-Term Accommodation Project (MTAP), was occupied by CSE's codebreakers and data-miners in November 2011. A brief discussion of the MTAP, including an artist's rendering of the interior of the building, can be found here.

- Normand Lester, "CSEC, Canada's Electronic Spy Agency, Recruiting Students," Huffington Post Canada, 20 January 2015.

- Matthew Green, "Hopefully the last post I'll ever write on Dual EC DRBG," A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering blog, 14 January 2015. (Cryptographer Matthew Green on the Dual EC DRBG encryption scandal, the Canadian aspect of which was discussed here and here. The particular Canadians involved in approving the standard can be found on this list published with Green's commentary.)

- Craig Forcese, "The Judicialization of Extraterritorial Spying: Gaps and Gap-Fillers in the World of CSIS Foreign Operations," Criminal Law Quarterly, 6 January 2015.


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