[ISN] Cyber-spies needed for Ottawa jobs

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue May 14 2002 - 00:18:39 PDT

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    Forwarded from: William Knowles <wkat_private>
    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 
    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 
    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
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