CSEC's signals intelligence program - known as SIGINT - produces intelligence that responds to Canadian government requirements.
CSEC collects foreign intelligence that can be used by the government for strategic warning, policy formulation, decision-making and day-to-day assessment of foreign capabilities and intentions.
The success of this process is founded on CSEC's understanding of the key technologies used within the global information infrastructure.
CSEC relies on its closest foreign intelligence allies - the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand to share the collection burden and the resulting intelligence yield. Canada is a substantial beneficiary of the collaborative effort within the partnership to collect and report on foreign communications.
During the Cold War, CSEC's primary client for signals intelligence was National Defence, and its focus was the military operations of what was then Soviet Union. Since the end of the Cold War, Government of Canada requirements have evolved to include a wide variety of political, defence, and security issues of interest to a much broader range of client departments.
While these continue to be key intelligence priorities for Government of Canada decision-makers, increasing focus on protecting the safety of Canadians is prompting greater interest in intelligence on transnational issues, including terrorism.
CSEC now provides foreign intelligence based on SIGINT to a growing number of senior clients in Government.