25 août 2022 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité, Autre défense

NATO chief tours Arctic defences as Canada comes under pressure to guard the Far North | CBC News

NATO’s secretary general is getting an up-close look at Canada’s northern defences Thursday as he visits the Arctic, a region of escalating geopolitical competition.


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  • Canada should think again about having the ability to use offensive cyber weapons: Expert

    13 juin 2019 | Local, Sécurité, Autre défense

    Canada should think again about having the ability to use offensive cyber weapons: Expert

    Howard Solomon Canada's electronic spy agency will soon get new authority to launch cyber attacks if the government approves legislation that is in the final stages of being debated. There's a good chance it will be proclaimed before the October federal election. But a discussion paper issued Wednesday by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute says Canadians need to debate the pros and cons of using this new power. “This direction not only opens up new possibilities for Canadian defence, it could also represent significant new risks,” says the report. “Without good answers to the difficult questions this new direction could raise, the country could be headed down a very precarious path.” Among the possible problems: Cyber retaliation. Another: While Canada might try to target a cyber attack, the impact might be bigger than expected — in fact, it might boomerang and smack us back. Third is the lack of international agreement on the use of cyber weapons (although this is a double-edged sword: Without an agreement there are no formal limits on what any country is forbidden from doing in cyberspace). “To move forward at this point to implement or even formally endorse a strategy of cyber attack would be risky and premature,” concludes the report's author, computer science professor Ken Barker, who also heads the University of Calgary's Institute for Security, Privacy and Information Assurance. “There are challenging technical controls that must be put in place as well as a critical international discussion on how cyber weaponry fits within the rules of war.” Barker's paper is in response to the 2017 strategy setting out Defence Department goals, where the possibility of Canada having a cyber attack capability first raised. It wasn't written with Bill C-59 in mind — now in its final stage before Parliament — which actually gives Canada's electronic spy agency, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), the power to use what's called “active” as well as defensive cyber operations. In an interview Tuesday, Barker said “in the desire to push this thing they need to have more carefully thought about the questions I raise in this paper.” “Maybe it's late, but at least it's available.” He dismisses the argument that by announcing it has an offensive cyber capability Canada will cause other countries to think twice about attacking us with cyber weapons. “They would attempt to find out what Canada is doing to create cyber attack capabilities,” he argued. “One of the risks once we do endorse this,” he added, “is we open ourselves up to other countries to using Canada as a launching pad for cyber attacks to cover up their involvement, and [then] say ‘That was done by Canada.'” Nation states are already active in cyberspace. Ottawa has blamed China for the 2014 hack of the National Research Council, Washington suspects China was behind the massive hack of employee files at the Office of Personnel Management, and there is strong evidence that Russia mounted a sophisticated social media attack against the U.S. during the 2016 federal election. According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, The U.S. the U.K. and Australia say they have used offensive cyber operations against the Islamic State. The U.S.-based Council on Foreign Relations notes that Germany increased its offensive cyber capability after a 2016 attack on the country's legislature blamed on Russia. Last year the New York Times reported the U.S. Cyber Command has been empowered to be more offensive. Meanwhile in April the CSE warned it's “very likely” there will be some form of foreign cyber interference during the run-up to October's federal election here, The most commonly-cited interference in a country were two cyber attacks that knocked out electrical power in Ukraine — in December 2015 and again in December 2016 — largely believed to have been launched from Russia. All this is why some experts say Canada has to have an offensive cyber capability to at least keep up. In January, Ray Boisvert, former assistant director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), told a parliamentary committee that “the best defence always begins with a good offense ... “When more than five dozen countries are rumoured to be developing active cyber capabilities, in my view that means we must develop capabilities to respond and in some cases that includes outside our borders.” Background In 2017 the Trudeau government announced a new defence strategy that included the promise of “conducting active cyber operations against potential adversaries in the context of government-authorized military missions.” The same year the government introduced Bill C-59, which in part would give the CSE, which is responsible for securing government networks, the ability to take action online to defend Canadian networks and proactively stop cyber threats before they reach systems here. This would be done as part of new legislation governing the CSE called the Communications Security Act. That act would give CSE the ability to conduct defensive and “active” cyber operations. Active operations are defined as anything that could “degrade, disrupt, influence, respond to or interfere with the capabilities, intentions or activities of a foreign individual, state, organization or terrorist group as they relate to international affairs, defence or security.” Both defensive and active cyber operations can't be used against any portion of the global information infrastructure within this country. And they have to be approved by the Minister of Defence. C-59 has been passed by the House of Commons and slightly amended by the Senate. It was scheduled back in the House last night to debate the Senate amendments. Despite all the cyber incidents blamed on nation states, Barker is reluctant to say we're in an era of low-level cyber war right now. Many incidents can be characterized as cyber espionage and not trying cause harm to another state, he argues. https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/canada-should-think-again-about-having-the-ability-to-use-offensive-cyber-weapons-expert/418912

  • Statement from Minister Blair on the Third Biannual Report of External Monitor Jocelyne Therrien

    16 mai 2024 | Local, Terrestre

    Statement from Minister Blair on the Third Biannual Report of External Monitor Jocelyne Therrien

    The Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Bill Blair, issued the following statement today regarding the External Monitor’s third status report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Independent External Comprehensive Review (IECR).

  • Liberals rush to sign Canadian Surface Combatant contract- deal could be signed by Friday

    7 février 2019 | Local, Naval

    Liberals rush to sign Canadian Surface Combatant contract- deal could be signed by Friday

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN The Liberal government is pushing ahead to try to get the Canadian Surface Combatant deal signed with Irving and the Lockheed Martin-BAE consortium either Thursday or Friday, sources say. That $60 billion project will see the eventual construction of 15 warships in the largest single government purchase in Canadian history. Lockheed is offering Canada the Type 26 warship designed by BAE in the United Kingdom. Irving is the prime contractor and the vessels will be built at its yard on the east coast. Public Services and Procurement Canada did not respond to a request for comment. But some industry representatives are questioning why the government is moving so quickly to get the contract signed. They say with a deal of such financial size – and potential risk to the taxpayer – federal bureaucrats should move slowly and carefully. The entry of the BAE Type 26 warship in the competition was controversial from the start and sparked complaints the procurement process was skewed to favour that vessel. Previously the Liberal government had said only mature existing designs or designs of ships already in service with other navies would be accepted, on the grounds they could be built faster and would be less risky. Unproven designs can face challenges as problems are found once the vessel is in the water and operating. But that criteria was changed and the government and Irving accepted the BAE design, though at the time it existed only on the drawing board. Construction began on the first Type 26 frigate in the summer of 2017 for Britain's Royal Navy, but it has not yet been completed. Company claims about what the Type 26 ship can do, including how fast it can go, are based on simulations or projections. The two other bidders in the Canadian program had ships actually in service with other navies so their capabilities are known. Both Irving and the federal government have insisted the procurement was conducted in a way that ensures all bidders are treated equally, overseen by a fairness monitor with no unfair advantage given to any individual bidder. Nonetheless, while three consortiums submitted bids for the surface combatant program, several European shipbuilders decided against participating because of concerns about the fairness of the process. Others raised concerns about BAE's closeness with the Halifax firm. The Canadian Surface Combatant program has already faced rising costs. In 2008 the then-Conservative government estimated the project would cost roughly $26 billion. But in 2015, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, then commander of the navy, voiced concern that taxpayers may not have been given all the information about the program, publicly predicting the cost for the warships alone would approach $30 billion. Last year, Alion, one of the companies that submitted a bid on the project, filed a complaint with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal alleging the process was flawed and that BAE's Type 26 can't meet Canadian requirements. Alion has also filed a legal challenge in federal court, asking for a judicial review of the decision by Irving and the government to select the BAE design. Alion argued the Type 26 cannot meet the stated mandatory requirements, including speed, that Canada set out for the new warship, so it should be disqualified. The CITT, however, rejected that complaint on Jan. 30. “The Canadian International Trade Tribunal has determined that Alion Science and Technology Canada Corporation and Alion Science and Technology Corporation did not have standing to file a complaint before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal,” it noted in a statement. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/liberals-rush-to-sign-canadian-surface-combatant-contract-deal-expected-to-be-signed-by-friday

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