Communications Security Establishment Act (S.C. 2019, c. 13, s. 76)
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Act current to 2023-05-17 and last amended on 2019-08-01. Previous Versions
Communications Security Establishment Act
S.C. 2019, c. 13, s. 76
Assented to 2019-06-21
An Act to establish the Communications Security Establishment
Whereas the protection of Canada’s national security and of the security of Canadians is a fundamental responsibility of the Government of Canada;
Whereas it is essential, to discharge that responsibility, for Canada to have a communications security establishment;
And whereas it is important that the communications security establishment carry out its activities in accordance with the rule of law and in a manner that respects the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Marginal note:Short title
1 This Act may be cited as the Communications Security Establishment Act.
2 The following definitions apply in this Act.
Canadian means a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or a corporation incorporated or continued under the laws of Canada or a province. (Canadien)
Chief means the Chief of the Establishment appointed under section 8. (chef)
Commissioner means the Intelligence Commissioner appointed under subsection 4(1) of the Intelligence Commissioner Act. (commissaire)
entity means a person, group, trust, partnership or fund or an unincorporated association or organization and includes a state or a political subdivision or agency of a state. (entité)
Establishment means the Communications Security Establishment established under section 5. (Centre)
- federal institution
federal institution includes any of the following institutions of Parliament or the Government of Canada:
(a) the Senate;
(b) the House of Commons;
(c) the Library of Parliament;
(d) the office of the Senate Ethics Officer, the office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, the Parliamentary Protective Service and the office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer;
(e) any federal court;
(f) any board, commission, council, other body or other office established to perform a governmental function by or under an Act of Parliament, or by or under the authority of the Governor in Council;
(g) a department as defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act;
(h) a Crown corporation established by or under an Act of Parliament; and
(i) any other body that is specified by an Act of Parliament to be an agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada or to be subject to the direction of the Governor in Council or a federal minister. (institutions fédérales)
- foreign intelligence
foreign intelligence means information or intelligence about the capabilities, intentions or activities of a foreign individual, state, organization or terrorist group, as they relate to international affairs, defence or security. (renseignement étranger)
- global information infrastructure
global information infrastructure includes electromagnetic emissions, any equipment producing such emissions, communications systems, information technology systems and networks, and any data or technical information carried on, contained in or relating to those emissions, that equipment, those systems or those networks. (infrastructure mondiale de l’information)
Minister means the Minister of National Defence or, if another federal minister is designated under section 4, that minister. (ministre)
- publicly available information
publicly available information means information that has been published or broadcast for public consumption, is accessible to the public on the global information infrastructure or otherwise or is available to the public on request, by subscription or by purchase. It does not include information in respect of which a Canadian or a person in Canada has a reasonable expectation of privacy. (information accessible au public)
- Review Agency
Review Agency means the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency established under section 3 of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency Act. (Office de surveillance)
- terrorist group
terrorist group has the same meaning as in subsection 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code. (groupe terroriste)
unselected, with respect to information, means that the information is acquired, for technical or operational reasons, without the use of terms or criteria to identify information of foreign intelligence interest. (non sélectionnée)
- 2019, c. 13, s. 76 “2”
- 2019, c. 13, s. 91
3 It is in the public interest to ensure that the Establishment may effectively carry out its mandate in accordance with the rule of law and, to that end, to expressly recognize in law a justification for persons who are authorized to carry out activities under this Act to, in the course of carrying out those activities, commit acts or omissions that would otherwise constitute offences.
Designation of Minister
4 The Governor in Council may, by order, designate any federal minister to be the Minister referred to in this Act.
Communications Security Establishment
Establishment and Organization
Marginal note:Establishment established
5 The Communications Security Establishment is established.
Marginal note:Minister is responsible
6 The Minister is responsible for the Establishment.
Marginal note:Head office
7 (1) The head office of the Establishment is to be in the National Capital Region described in the schedule to the National Capital Act.
Marginal note:Other offices
(2) The Chief may, with the approval of the Minister, establish other offices elsewhere in Canada.
Chief of the Communications Security Establishment
8 (1) The Governor in Council must appoint a Chief of the Communications Security Establishment to hold office during pleasure for a term not exceeding five years.
(2) The Chief is eligible to be reappointed at the end of a term of office for a further term not exceeding five years.
Marginal note:Salary and expenses
(3) The Chief is to be paid the salary that is fixed by the Governor in Council and is entitled to payments for reasonable travel and living expenses incurred in the exercise of his or her powers or the performance of his or her duties and functions while absent from his or her ordinary place of work.
(4) The Chief is deemed to be an employee for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and to be employed in the federal public administration for the purposes of any regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.
Marginal note:Absence, incapacity or vacancy
(5) If the Chief is absent or incapacitated or the office of Chief is vacant, the Minister may appoint another person to act as Chief, but must not appoint a person for a term of more than 90 days without the approval of the Governor in Council.
Marginal note:Chief’s powers, duties and functions
9 (1) The Chief, under the direction of the Minister, has the management and control of the Establishment and all matters relating to it.
Marginal note:Rank of deputy head
(2) The Chief has the rank and all the powers of a deputy head of a department.
Marginal note:Delegation by Chief
(3) The Chief may delegate to any person any power, duty or function conferred on the Chief under this Act, except the power to delegate under this subsection.
Marginal note:Establishment’s powers, duties and functions
10 The powers, duties and functions of the Establishment may be exercised or performed by any person who is appointed to serve in the Establishment in a capacity appropriate to the exercise of the power or the performance of the duty or function.
Marginal note:Directions by Minister
11 (1) The Minister may issue written directions to the Chief respecting the performance of the Chief’s duties and functions.
Marginal note:Statutory Instruments Act
(2) Directions issued under subsection (1) are not statutory instruments within the meaning of the Statutory Instruments Act.
12 (1) The Chief has exclusive authority to
(a) appoint or lay off the Establishment’s employees, revoke their appointment or terminate their employment; and
(b) establish standards, procedures and processes governing staffing, including governing the appointment of employees, lay-off of employees, revocation of their appointment or termination of their employment otherwise than for cause.
Marginal note:Right of employer
(2) Nothing in the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act is to be construed so as to affect the right or authority of the Chief to deal with the matters referred to in subsection (1).
Marginal note:Powers of the Chief
13 In exercising his or her authority under subsection 12(1), the Chief may
(a) determine the human resources requirements of the Establishment and provide for the allocation and effective utilization of human resources in the Establishment;
(b) provide for the classification of positions and of the Establishment’s employees;
(c) after consultation with the President of the Treasury Board, determine and regulate the pay to which the Establishment’s employees are entitled for services rendered, their hours of work and their leave and any related matters;
(d) after consultation with the President of the Treasury Board, determine and regulate the payments that may be made to the Establishment’s employees by way of reimbursement for travel or other expenses and by way of allowances in respect of expenses and conditions arising out of their employment;
(e) determine the learning, training and development requirements of the Establishment’s employees and fix the terms on which the learning, training and development may be carried out;
(f) provide for the awards that may be made to the Establishment’s employees for outstanding performance of their duties, for other meritorious achievement in relation to their duties or for inventions or practical suggestions for improvements;
(g) establish standards of discipline and set penalties, including termination of employment, suspension, demotion to a position at a lower maximum rate of pay and financial penalties;
(h) provide for the termination of employment, or the demotion to a position at a lower maximum rate of pay, of the Establishment’s employees for reasons other than breaches of discipline or misconduct;
(i) establish policies respecting the exercise of the powers granted by this section; and
(j) provide for any other matters, including terms and conditions of employment not otherwise specifically provided for in this section, that the Chief considers necessary for effective human resources management in the Establishment.
Marginal note:Negotiation of collective agreements
14 Before entering into collective bargaining with the bargaining agent for a bargaining unit composed of Establishment employees, the Chief must have the Establishment’s negotiating mandate approved by the President of the Treasury Board.
15 (1) The Establishment is the national signals intelligence agency for foreign intelligence and the technical authority for cybersecurity and information assurance.
Marginal note:Aspects of the mandate
(2) The Establishment’s mandate has five aspects: foreign intelligence, cybersecurity and information assurance, defensive cyber operations, active cyber operations and technical and operational assistance.
Marginal note:Foreign intelligence
16 The foreign intelligence aspect of the Establishment’s mandate is to acquire, covertly or otherwise, information from or through the global information infrastructure, including by engaging or interacting with foreign entities located outside Canada or by using any other method of acquiring information, and to use, analyse and disseminate the information for the purpose of providing foreign intelligence, in accordance with the Government of Canada’s intelligence priorities.
Marginal note:Cybersecurity and information assurance
17 The cybersecurity and information assurance aspect of the Establishment’s mandate is to
(a) provide advice, guidance and services to help protect
(i) federal institutions’ electronic information and information infrastructures, and
(ii) electronic information and information infrastructures designated under subsection 21(1) as being of importance to the Government of Canada; and
(b) acquire, use and analyse information from the global information infrastructure or from other sources in order to provide such advice, guidance and services.
Marginal note:Defensive cyber operations
18 The defensive cyber operations aspect of the Establishment’s mandate is to carry out activities on or through the global information infrastructure to help protect
(a) federal institutions’ electronic information and information infrastructures; and
(b) electronic information and information infrastructures designated under subsection 21(1) as being of importance to the Government of Canada.
Marginal note:Active cyber operations
19 The active cyber operations aspect of the Establishment’s mandate is to carry out activities on or through the global information infrastructure to 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.
Marginal note:Technical and operational assistance
20 The technical and operational assistance aspect of the Establishment’s mandate is to provide technical and operational assistance to federal law enforcement and security agencies, the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence.
21 (1) The Minister may, by order, designate any electronic information, any information infrastructures or any class of electronic information or information infrastructures as electronic information or information infrastructures — as the case may be — of importance to the Government of Canada.
Marginal note:Statutory Instruments Act
(2) An order made under subsection (1) is not a statutory instrument within the meaning of the Statutory Instruments Act.
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