CSE's response to media coverage of Commissioner's Report

August 23, 2013

In response to the media coverage of the CSE Commissioner's Annual Report, Communications Security Establishment Canada wishes to clarify the following points.

The CSE Commissioner's Annual Report to Parliament concluded that CSE continues to act lawfully in the conduct of its current activities.

In a single historical review, the Commissioner reported that, due to a lack of records, he was unable to reach a definitive conclusion about compliance. This statement refers to a review of a small number of records gathered in the early 2000s, regarding activities directed at a remote location outside Canada. Even this conclusion does not indicate that CSE acted unlawfully at that time; only that the material available from the period is incomplete.

CSE does not direct its activities at Canadians and is prohibited by law from doing so. The Commissioner notes CSE's culture of respect for the law and for the privacy of Canadians. He also continues to make valuable recommendations to improve CSE's processes and practices. This is helping ensure that CSE's commitment to the important principles of lawfulness and respect for Canadians' privacy will continue.

John Forster
Chief, Communications Security Establishment Canada