Over the last decade, Canada’s electronic eavesdropping agency has doubled in size, thanks in part to the rising prominence of its policy and communications branch and the vigorous growth of its corporate services branch, an Embassy analysis shows.
CSEC’s staff size grew from roughly 900 in 2000 to more than 2,100 in 2014, Treasury board documents show, and its budget has grown from $140 million in 2001 to almost half a billion dollars now.
In 2000, the agency had no separate communications branch, only a “policy, plans and financial management” group under its “corporate services” branch, Public Service Labour Relations Board filings show.
In the years that followed, policy rose into the branch title, as part of “corporate services, policy and communications,” according to partly-redacted presentations from 2012 released under access to information legislation. “Since 9/11 we have almost doubled in size and greatly diversified our workforce,” reads a slide from that document.
By December 2013, policy and communications had become its own branch, other access to information documents show. As of December, that branch had subgroups such as “operational and corporate policy,” “public affairs and communications services” and “strategic policy.”
The document shows CSEC’s director general of policy and communications was Dominic Rochon, and his director of public affairs and communications services was Andrew McLaughlin. The other two positions are censored. Mr. Rochon had direct access to CSEC Chief John Forster.
As well, corporate services, which as of December encompassed agency elements like finance, human resources, resource management, and property, went from six subgroups in 2000 to 17 subgroups in 2013. Corporate services was headed by deputy chief Bruce Hirst.
The agency also made moves to connect more directly with its intelligence partners of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Beginning in 2009, a new liaison officer was stationed in the Australian capital of Canberra, in addition to British and American offices.
The document censors many names, as well as a whole swath of its signals intelligence branch.