Letter to the Editor re: Toronto Star article – November 16, 2016

Editor,

The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) is disappointed that today’s headline and story related to our activities fails in many instances to reflect a number of key pieces of information, all of which were provided to the Star in response to its request for information.  First of all, CSE clearly responded that the request for a briefing was made indirectly, through the Office of the Commissioner of CSE, and at no point did the Federal Court directly request a briefing from CSE. We also made clear that we are not aware of any other direct or indirect request or response from the Federal Court related to a CSE briefing since that initial inquiry.  Secondly, as your story did note, CSE has provided briefings to Federal Court designated judges in the past, and would consider doing so again in the future which clearly demonstrates that CSE has no interest in keeping any court “in the dark.”  Also, CSE’s rationale for not providing a briefing at this time is sound and based on a real and legitimate concern about a potential perception of conflict of interest.  And lastly, at no point did the Federal Court request anything other than a “general educational briefing” on our operations. To suggest that the Court’s request for a briefing and CSE’s decision to decline at this time was in any way connected to any other recent ruling is completely incorrect.

Thank you.

Dominic Rochon
Deputy Chief, Policy and Communications