In December 2001 the government passed omnibus bill C-36 into law as the Anti-terrorism Act. The new act amended portions of the National Defence Act and officially recognized CSEC's three-part mandate:
- To acquire and use information from the global information infrastructure for the purpose of providing foreign intelligence, in accordance with Government of Canada intelligence priorities
- To provide advice, guidance and services to help ensure the protection of electronic information and of information infrastructures of importance to the Government of Canada
- To provide technical and operational assistance to federal law enforcement and security agencies in the performance of their lawful duties.
The Anti-Terrorism Act also strengthened CSEC's capacity to engage in the war on terrorism by providing needed authorities to fulfill its mandate.