Canadian forces in Afghanistan, and whatever location those forces are directed to by the Canadian Government to protect Canada at home and its interests around the world, should be supported with intelligence sources that are directly focused on Canadas security needs and objectives.
Foreign intelligence is more than identifying and taking counter-terrorism defence actions. Aaron Shull, a law school graduate who also holds a masters degree in international affairs helps put into perspective the meaning of foreign intelligence vs. The meaning of security intelligence services (Campbell, 13).
“The difference in this country (Canada) is that we separate foreign intelligence and security intelligence. Security intelligence relates to threats against security of Canada and foreign intelligence relates to everything else — political, economic, and trade-related intelligence (13).”
Shull is looking at these definitions in terms of Justice Blanchards ruling, but also the notion that security intelligence and foreign intelligence are perceived as two separate functions has long been the perception of the Canadian Government since it relied largely upon outside agencies for the bulk of its foreign intelligence (13). The difference is perhaps the way in which what should operate as two separate bodies of intelligence gathering sources do with the information they receive.
In a Center for International Policy briefing in 2009, Daniel Livermore points out that ninety percent of foreign intelligence comes from non-classified reporting sources (2). While many might use this as an argument against creating a separate foreign intelligence agency, contending that the lines between foreign and domestic security have been “blurred (Jackson 2009, 149), it is in actuality an argument for the creation of a separate foreign intelligence agency. The credibility of foreign intelligence gathering, that which makes it reliable as a tool for anti-terrorism and counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism responses taken by a country, rests on the analysis of the information that is gathered from the non-classified sources, and classified sources too. Analysis of the information is integral to understanding what level of threat exists and in what form it exists: political, economic, trade-related espionage, or clandestine operations with the intent to bring about an internal disruption of infrastructure. In terms of anti-terrorism, the analysis involves sorting through massive amounts of information, comparing information, and sifting out misinformation which is put out on non-classified networks to deliberately confuse and mislead intelligence agencies. The information gathered by the foreign intelligence agency should be analyzed in a different agency from the security intelligence gathering, and in fact be provided to the security agency only after it has been analyzed and assessed as to the existing threat within the Canadian borders. There is certainly a link that must exist between the two agency operations, but not one which is blurred or obscured by function. The foreign intelligence agency would have by way of its distinct and separate mandate the ability to function in foreign territories, and to act covertly or overtly to mitigate and minimize the threat to Canada within its borders (Kott No Date, 88 of 90). The foreign intelligence agency would have the authority in its mandate to operate at a distance, and that is essential to the security of Canada.
Right now, not only are Canadian troops at risk because of reliance upon other than Canadian foreign intelligence with which they must plan and carry out their missions, but Canada itself is at risk because the opportunity to collect and analyze foreign intelligence is done through the scope of security intelligence, distant from the on-site source of activity that impacts Canadas domestic security. Jackson says:
“The CSIS Act of 1984, which lays out CSISs authorities, is ambiguous in some respects, and this has caused confusion and legal debate in the evolving security climate. It gives the agency the authority to investigate threats “within or relating to Canada” but elsewhere explicitly restricts the gathering of information about foreign states (149).”
A merged agency of interests foreign and domestic would not serve to illuminate the mandates should a foreign component be added to the CSIS by way of updating its mandate, but would only serve to create more confusion and more legal debate that could delay and be the source of risk to Canada as the emerging combination of mandates would be subject to even greater legal debate and challenge. Thus, valuable time in creating the network of a separate foreign intelligence agency network of sources and function that could serve Canadas overall security in the best way possible would be delayed.
The extent to which sources and contacts and valuable information that might be lost to Canada by acting sooner rather than later cannot be measured. What is certain, however, is the fact that Canada now has insufficient tools to act in its own behalf in matters of foreign intelligence, and that its security intelligence is as a result lacking, which puts Canada at risk in a changing global environment.
Other Threats and Purposes
Shull makes the point that foreign intelligence is not just anti-or counter-terrorism. It also blankets political, economic and trade-related intelligence (13). In these aspects, spying is necessary in order to protect Canadas trade interests (13). Spying cannot be done from just canvassing non-classified news and other related sources, but must be done on foreign territories with the authority for the agents to investigate, gather information and even steal that information if necessary to protect Canadas foreign interests (Livesey 2002).
Hedieh Nasheri (2005) talks about efforts made by United Nations agreements in an effort to circumvent economic espionage, and theft of technologically sensitive information from and by friendly nations. Nasheri writes:
“The most extensive multilateral protection of intellectual property was established by the TRIPS Agreement. It requires member countries to protect against acquisition, disclosure, or use of an individual partys undisclosed information. Specifically, it protects confidential information having commercial value. The TRIPS Agreement also protects trade secrets, not as individual intellectual property, but prohibition against unfair competition. It also enhances the IPRs through improved enforcement mechanisms and remedies. The TRIPS Agreement provides a broad exception, however, permitting members to adopt contrary national laws if necessary to protect sectors of vital importance to their socio-economic and technological development . . . The exception may allow countries to avoid specific prohibitions against economic espionage (126).”
Economic espionage and theft of socio-economic and technological products of an individual or national interest threatens the stability of Canadas economy. Right now, there is no component within the CSIS that is sufficiently designed to protect Canadas proprietary economic secrets and developing technology. It is also one area of Canadian interest that Canada cannot expect even its allies in other world affairs to provide them adequate or even nominal information on, especially when it involves that nations own economic interests and future.
Albanese (2007) cites Nasheri further commenting on intellectual property theft and fraud as saying:
“The economic impact of the misuse and theft of intellectual property is far-reaching. The copying of software, movies, video games, and music in ways that deny publishers and authors their legal rights have drawn the most attention, but trademark and patent infringement, corporate espionage, computer intrusions, and transmission of copyrighted materials also have been identified as problems (95).”
While none of this might immediately strike one as a matter of national security, it is indeed that, because it is eroding the economic base of the countrys economy. Canada has a large business sector that covers all of the ranges mentioned by Nasheri, and income lost to the rightful owners of copyrights and patents is income lost to the state. Canada needs to be diligent in protecting its economic base and consumerism, and the CSIS cannot be effective in this regard under its outdated and vague mandate.
In China, piracy of intellectual property has become a billion-dollar industry (Mastel 1997, 83). The Chinese offer no protection to owners of intellectual property residing in foreign nations, nor does it take steps to prevent Chinese entrepreneurs from intellectual piracy. China has grown in its economic wealth, and much of that can be attributed to intellectual piracy. Mastel (1997) says:
“By the 1990s, Chinese intellectual property pirates had become enormously successful producing, selling, and often exporting pirated material primarily from western countries. Most companies operating in China have their own stories of intellectual property piracy; the U.S. automaker Chrysler even had knock-off artists producing illegal copies of its jeeps. Most of the piracy was, however, concentrated upon products, such as agricultural chemicals, films, computer programs, and sound recordings (83).”
The loss to owners of copyrighted materials and patented products was so vast, that in 1992 the United States threatened China with trade sanctions (83). This prompted China to work with the Bush administration to conclude an agreement that at least put the Chinese Government on record of being interested in confronting the problem.