Forwarded from: William Knowles <wkat_private> http://www.nationalpost.com/home/story.html?f=/stories/20020513/207625.html Kathryn May and Jim Bronskill Ottawa Citizen and Southam News May 13, 2002 OTTAWA - Canada's electronic spy agency is coming out of the shadows for its biggest recruitment campaign since the Cold War. The clandestine Communications Security Establishment expects to expand its workforce of cyber-spies and high-tech whizzes by at least one-third over the next 18 months, a surge of unprecedented growth for the agency whose roots stretch back to the Second World War. The Ottawa-based CSE, a secretive wing of the Defence Department, monitors foreign radio, telephone, fax, satellite and computer traffic for information of interest to Canada. The intelligence is used in support of federal crime-fighting, defence and trade policies. CSE's other key role is the protection of federal computer systems and information networks, including the new "government online" project so Canadians can securely do any two-way transaction with government when completed by 2005. It's also a key player in protecting Canada's critical infrastructure, from power grids to telecommunication networks, that increasingly relies on information technology. Demand for the agency's expertise has mushroomed since security jumped to the top of the national agenda in the aftermath of the September terrorist attacks on the United States. "Since Sept. 11, working for national security has become attractive for people, they feel like they're doing something vital for the country," said Simon Gauthier, CSE's deputy chief of information technology security. The government gave the agency, expert in making and breaking code, an additional $280-million in the last budget to be used over the next six years. Half has been earmarked for staff and salaries, said Barbara Gibbons, director general of CSE's corporate services. Already splitting at the seams, with nearly 1,000 employees, the agency is also looking for new office space. "To our knowledge, this is the biggest [recruitment] in our history," Ms. Gibbons said. Bill Robinson, a defence policy expert and long-time observer of CSE, said the hiring drive marks the third major expansion in the spy agency's history, the previous ones coming in the early years of the Cold War and during the global military buildup of the Reagan era. "It's huge, it's a really big change." CSE is seeking highly skilled specialists, often the most advanced in their fields, whose talents can be adapted to both intelligence gathering and protecting government information and networks. It is also facing a major turnover among executives when more than half retire in the next several years. It's looking for computer scientists, programmers and developers; engineers, mathematicians, IT security consultants, language analysts, physicists, intelligence and policy analysts, cryptologists, and linguists fluent in Asian, African, Middle Eastern and European languages. CSE computer specialists, math whizzes and language experts sift through intercepted data to create thousands of intelligence reports for government agencies annually. Military listening posts across the country assist the agency's efforts to eavesdrop on suspected spies, terrorists and other criminals as well as process information helpful to Canada's foreign policy interests and troop deployments abroad. A federal report warned last year that easily obtainable encryption technology was suddenly making it extremely difficult for CSE to monitor communications. Claude Bisson, watchdog over the spy agency, said rapid advances in wireless, fibre-optic and Internet technologies were helping criminals and other targets shield their messages from interception. The dizzying change has also made it a challenge to stay a step ahead of the hackers and cyber-terrorists who could threaten Canada's computer infrastructure. That means CSE not only has to attract the hottest cryptologists and computer programmers but also make sure existing workers are up-to-date on the latest advances. This week, CSE is hosting a major IT security symposium in Ottawa, bringing in industry leaders to discuss the latest security challenges and possible solutions. A conference that attracted barely 125 people 14 years ago is bursting this year with more than 1,500 registrants. But few Canadians have even heard of CSE. It is not listed in the phone book. *==============================================================* "Communications without intelligence is noise; Intelligence without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC ================================================================ C4I.org - Computer Security, & Intelligence - http://www.c4i.org *==============================================================* - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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