Collecting and sharing intelligence

CSIS investigators use a variety of methods to collect information on individuals and groups whose activities are suspected of constituting a threat to national security.

The information necessary to conduct an investigation is collected from various sources, including:

  • open sources such as newspapers, periodicals, academic journals, foreign and domestic broadcasts, official documents, and other published material; and 
  • members of the public, human sources, foreign governments, Canadian partners, as well as through technical interception of communications and inquiry. Investigations that rely on these techniques of information collection are subject to a rigorous process of accountability and review.

Information on global trends that might have Canadian security implications are collected by security liaison officers posted at Canadian diplomatic missions abroad. These officers consult with foreign police and security intelligence agencies, collect and analyze open-source information, and conduct security screening assessments of prospective immigrants and visitors.

CSIS provides hundreds of briefings each year to law enforcement and other security intelligence agencies, academia, Canadian, provincial, territorial and municipal government departments and agencies as well as the public.

CSIS works in close collaboration with Canada's allies and shares pertinent intelligence to counter the global threat of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. CSIS also cooperates with a number of other countries and provides information to selected foreign agencies. Strict standards and guidelines govern relationships with foreign entities and the sharing of intelligence. Prior to entering into such agreements, all CSIS' foreign arrangements must be reviewed by the Minister of Global Affairs and approved by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

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