Foreign and Domestic Cooperation

Information-sharing arrangements give CSIS access to timely information linked to potential threats to the security of Canada. Through these relationships, CSIS advances its own investigations into threats to the security of Canada and gains a greater understanding of the scope and nature of threats. The terrorist threat facing Canada and our partners is not restricted by municipal, provincial or national borders. With international travel becoming an increasing central element of global violent extremism, CSIS cooperation with our domestic and international partners is crucial to countering this threat.

CSIS has more than 300 foreign relationships in some 150 countries and territories, each authorized by the Minister of Public Safety and supported by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in accordance with s.17(1)(b) of the CSIS Act. The process to establish arrangements with foreign agencies is stringent and takes into consideration a wide range of issues, including Canadian security requirements, respect for human rights and the reliability of the agency.

CSIS assesses all of its foreign arrangements, including human rights reputations of the country and agency with which we have an established an arrangement. CSIS applies human rights caveats on information shared with foreign partners which make clear expectations with regard to human rights. CSIS also seeks broader human rights assurances from foreign agencies when required and applies restrictions on engagement where there are serious concerns regarding potential mistreatment.

CSIS assesses potential risks of sharing with foreign entities and, where possible, measures are taken to mitigate risks of mistreatment. When a substantial risk of mistreatment cannot be mitigated, information is not shared. This decision-making process includes a senior-level committee known as the Information Sharing Evaluation Committee (ISEC) that is convened as required to assess whether there is a substantial risk of mistreatment as a result of sharing information with a foreign partner; and if so, whether that risk could be mitigated.

CSIS has strong and well-established relationships with many domestic partners throughout the Government of Canada as well as provincial and local law enforcement. Today’s global threat environment requires that each partner use their mandate and legal authorities to protect Canada and Canadians from threats at home.

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