July 08, 2006

July 8, 2006: $650M into spy gear upgrades

Ottawa to put $650M into spy gear upgrades -- Canadian high-tech firms won't be allowed to bid David Pugliese, CanWest, July 05, 2006

That is probably a wise decision, considering what has been going on for years ...

OTTAWA - The Canadian government is spending more than $650-million to improve its links with the top U.S. spy agency and to upgrade communications systems and codes over the next decade.

The program was started after a decision by the U.S. National Security Agency, the American government's electronic eavesdropping organization, to replace all its cryptographic equipment over a 12-year period. To continue operating with the United States and allies who use such American gear, Canada must adopt a similar upgrade program.

The upgrade will allow the continued exchange of sensitive information between allies and will better protect such data from prying eyes. The Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence operate about 80% of the equipment to be modernized, but other federal agencies are also upgrading their gear.

[....] The upgrades ... co-ordinated by the government's electronic spy agency, the Communications Security Establishment.

[....] Canada has an ageing inventory ... Defence Department ... other federal agencies.

[....] Britain, Australia and New Zealand ... modernizing similar equipment.

[....] buying secure telephones .... involved Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, among other agencies.

Some critics, however, have questioned why Canadian companies have been excluded from the process, noting the country's high-technology firms are capable of building such equipment and have the necessary security clearances for such a project. [My question would be how much they have been compromised by what has gone before ... or is one not supposed to ask? How much technology and communications information has already been bought or stolen?]

[....] approval by U.S. political and military officials as well as by NATO representatives.

[....] Canada wants to buy the Boeing Chinook helicopter, the Boeing C-17 strategic transport aircraft and the Lockheed Martin C-130J transport plane.


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