Saturday, May 09, 2015

"The Espionage Establishment" now available for viewing

The groundbreaking CBC documentary The Fifth Estate: The Espionage Establishment, originally broadcast on January 9th, 1974, is finally available for viewing online.

Among other revelations, The Fifth Estate: The Espionage Establishment was the first to reveal the existence of Canada's signals intelligence agency, then called the Communications Branch of the National Research Council (CBNRC), to the Canadian public and parliament. It even showed CBNRC's director, Kevin O'Neill, as he left his home to go to work (see screen cap above).

CBNRC's exposure led to extensive questioning in parliament and wide coverage in Canadian newspapers, and it is thought to have played an important role in the Trudeau government's 1975 transfer of the agency to the Department of National Defence, where it received its current name, the Communications Security Establishment.

Further comments on the documentary here.

H/T to Anonymous—no, not that one—for tipping me to the link.

Update 26 May 2015:

The CBC posted a brief introduction to the documentary here: Amber Hildebrandt, "How CSE's existence was first revealed by CBC TV," CBC News, 21 May 2015. They have also posted a link to the transcript of the program.


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