Special Report to Parliament - page 6

How has the
National Security
Context Changed?
It is important to highlight the impact of political
and societal changes that affect intelligence
work and privacy today
Broadly speaking,
Canadian security experts have summarized
these shifts as follows:
The traditional divide between domestic
and foreign threats has been eroded
with global trends in international
migration and expanded use of Internet
tools. For example, Canadian citizens
have participated in terrorist attacks
The technical capacity for surveillance
has grown exponentially, enhanced by
the unprecedented creation and sharing
of open-source personal information
online. For example, national security
agencies use personal information from
social network sites;
The very exchange of personal
information itself generates still more
personal information through profiles
and metadata. Specifically, online
communications create data trails that
Angela Gendron and Martin Rudner, Assessing Cyber
Threats to Canadian Infrastructure (March 2012) – URL:
pp. 21-34. See also Martin
Rudner, “Canada’s Communication Security
Establishment: From Cold War to Globalization,” Centre
for Security and Defence Studies Occasional Paper, no.
22 (2000) – URL:
pp. 23-
34; Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism.
Security, Freedom and the Complex Terrorist Threat
(2011) – URL:
pp. 9-22.
can paint a detailed picture of
National security threats, traditionally
attached to specific adversarial states
such as the Soviet Union during the
Cold War, have become pluralized and
dispersed. For example, some
individuals, as part of the general
population, have become radicalized
and may pose a threat to national
With surveillance capacity increasing,
thanks to new technologies and tools,
far greater scales of collection are
possible. For example, closed circuit
televisions have become ubiquitous;
Meanwhile, individuals who pose a
threat themselves exploit personal
information to further their own ends.
For example, the use of stolen identities
and communicating by the Internet.
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