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Security bill will boost Canada’s cyber capabilities

Monday, July 3, 2017

Subject

Bill C-59 and Canadian national security legislation.

Significance

Canada’s governing Liberals have introduced Bill C-59, omnibus national security legislation that promises to be the most significant overhaul of the national security and intelligence architecture since the creation of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) in 1984. The proposed legislation follows through on a campaign promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to remove unpopular elements from Bill C-51, a legacy of the Conservative government of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper that drew criticism on rights grounds for sweeping powers granted to law enforcement and intelligence to assiste counterterrorism efforts.

Impacts

  • Privacy concerns will be a persistent obstacle to Ottawa increasing cyber cooperation with the United States.
  • The bureaucratic overhaul is likely to improve the efficacy of surveillance operations and intelligence analysis.
  • China following through on its recent pledge not to hack Canadian commercial secrets probably depends on bilateral ties warming.
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