#CyberFLASH: Canada’s military squeezed out of cyber-defence, emails warn

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OTTAWA — Military advisers working on the cyber-security file warned a year ago that the Canadian Forces were on the verge of being pushed entirely out of the realm of cyber-defence, according to internal emails from the military’s cyber task force.

In a March 5, 2013 email exchange, one Canadian Forces officer argued the military had not pushed hard enough to be the lead digital defence agency and warned that not pushing harder would “drive DND/CF entirely out of the cyber ops business.”

What role the Canadian Forces should play in protecting the country in cyberspace has been debated for years, and the emails give a glimpse into how the military continues to grapple with its place in Canada’s cyber security strategy.

In Canada, Public Safety Canada is the central hub for cyber-security policy and works with provinces, territories, municipalities and the private sector to help them protect their networks. The Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), which has among the most powerful computer resources in the country, is in charge of defending federal government systems and gathering foreign intelligence on potential cyber threats.

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