Talk:Canadian Security Intelligence Service

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Canadian Security Intelligence Service:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Article requests : info on Maher Arar, Air India bombing, historical operations, more pictures
  • Expand : The section on history, sections for famous cases
  • Wikify : references, infobox

UK equivalent[edit]

"CSIS, like its UK (BSIS, BSS) counterparts"

What are BSIS and BSS?

Well there ya go. Hope this is useful to someone.


That things logo...[edit] HORRIBLY HORRIBLY UGHLY! Even worse then the Order of Canadia one!!! Thanx 19:43, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

That may be, but this isn't the place to debate it. --20px Spinboy 14:58, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
Enhh, give 'em a break; at least they didn't blank the articel with that sentiment. 04:22, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Pfft, it's way better than the Order of Canada Sherurcij 01:23, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Who can I talk to to get a job with CSIS? Please email me back... Peace

KilpatrickH 16:11, 14 September 2006 (UTC)HANDI

CSIS is a branch of the Canadian Military, so Int Ops and Int Officers both come from the Canadian Forces. Intelegence Operators are mainly promoted from other branches of the forces, but Int Officers are sometimes picked up from the 'Direct Entry Officer Program' (university degree in select humanities studies is required). Apart from that, like most branches of the military, they employ some civilians as well. The CF has information about their hiring processes, but industry magazines, or could both be consulted. Check out classifieds from ottawa or Kingston (where there is a large training facility). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:15, 28 December 2006 (UTC).

CSIS is not part of military intelligence, it is a strictly civilian organization. If you want to work for them go to thier website. Once again this has nothing to do with the direct officer entry program of the Canadian forces. CSIS and CF are independant of each other but cooperated when required. The whole point of CSIS was to insure civilian oversight, as the RCMP is a military organization. But what you said is accurate about the Canadian Forces officers entry program. But you will find no information on the CSIS hiring process. The CSIS process can take up to a year.

Perhaps they were thinking of CSE instead of CSIS, it's part of National Defense.Dan Carkner 14:08, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
And the RCMP is not a military organisation; it is a paramilitary organisation. Taroaldo 19:53, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Lacking Information...[edit]

For such an important page it is sorely lacking information. TDS (talkcontribs) 02:15, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

I would also state that, not only the fact that they aren't well known and that they are much more sneaky than the CIA, but that they aren't very involved in canadian affairs, or well tied in to the prime minister respectively. May 06, (capn' canada)

Covert Entry[edit]

Shouldn't this article mention the allegations made by the book Covert Entry? -- Asdquefty 14:23, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


The last sentence of the first section makes a bold statement, "In 2003, CSIS, unlike intelligence services of Canada's allies, determined that Iraq likely was not a threat." What is the source for this?

--I believe it was a new release... I remember seeing it.  Give me a few days, I'll try to track it down.

Can y'all sign your comments please? Taroaldo 19:48, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Foundation and RCMP[edit]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't CSIS founded as a direct result of what were deemed to be "abuses" committed by RCMP's Special Branch/Security Service in connection with their investigations into Quebecois separatist movements? DragonRouge 21:51, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

yes, it's true. Dan Carkner 18:59, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
This article is not nearly critical enough. There is no "Criticism" section even? No mention of the reason why CSIS was founded, or its abuses for example during the first gulf war? I'm going to try and read some books about this and come back to it. Dan Carkner 19:02, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Copy Violation[edit]

This article violates section 12 of the Canadian Crown Copyright. I do believe that this page was copy pasted from this website from the start. I nominated it for speedy deletetion.

Flubeca 00:58, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't really have anything invested in the article, but it does seem a significant topic. Seems much more appropriate to axe all but the LEAD or a new LEAD and downgrade to stub, leaving the See Also, Infobox, and Images in tact to prevent their having to be recreated from scratch. Keep in mind that non-admins would instantly lose access to that info if it were deleted. Are there any sections of this page that don't match the aforelinked site? MrZaiustalk 01:57, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Also hold on as there is some question as to how much, if any, text matches between the specified URL and the article (i.e. how valid is this copyvio claim?). Many passages in the article don't appear in the claimed copyvio URL and vice versa. There is also a long history of many different types of edits, citations, etc. Also need to follow alternatives to deletion per WP:CP, such as deleting any text that is provably copyvio. Dl2000 03:23, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I honestly don't see the copyvio here, and it's definite not an "unquestionable" copyright violation of the linked site. Furthermore, the nominator believes that an earlier version of this article was a copyvio - that's no reason to tag this one. --Haemo 03:28, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree that a little bit looks like a copyvio, but give us about 10 minutes and we'll probably have it pruned. -Royalguard11(Talk·Review Me!) 03:50, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Let's redo this whole kit and kaboodle - I have time now that exams are over, and I think if we stick a "work in progress" tag on the article, and re-write it. I'll head down to the library to dig out some physical sources for this - I was thinking about using CIA as a model, since it's been rated a "good article". --Haemo 03:58, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
In that case, it just might be better to do it as a /temp. -Royalguard11(Talk·Review Me!) 04:04, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm just going to be bold and start now. I killed all, or most, of the copyvio material - since it was also massively redundant. I've also tagged it as being in progress. I'll start chipping away at it tonight. --Haemo 04:12, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Removal of all controversy[edit]

A book written by a Globe and Mail journalist, and published by Random House absolutely meets the definitions of a "reliable source". To claim it is "unverified information" is to suggest that we can say "Bob Hope was born in 1903" is unverifiable information that came from a book somewhere. You have removed many references from the article, not just Mitrovica, and butchered hours of work to improve it. If you have any evidence a claim is untrue, or disputed, add it to the article - but otherwise I'm going to go with the guy from the second-largest newspaper, and note that Google Books mentions 354 books that reference Mitrovica's research of CSIS...and note that not one of them appears to suggest he is unreliable. The editor also removed dozens of other referenced facts, such as details about the investigation of Leyne, the finding by the Supreme Court that the interrogation of Omar Khadr was illegal and made Canada "complicit in torture", and removed images completely unrelated to the book he was well as many references from a completely different (glowing praise) book entitled "Inside Canadian Intelligence" which is heavily favourable to CSIS where Mitrovica is critical. THe solution is to present all sides of a topic, those damning and those praiseworthy, not to censor the ones we don't like and try to bury sources opposed to one's own viewpoint. GarolStipock (talk) 13:57, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Undue weight[edit]

Firstly, I am not a Canadian but this article happens to be on my watchlist. Recent undue weight edits by User:GarolStipock have turned a reasonably balanced article into almost an attack page on the CSIS, with a few digs at the RCMP thrown in as well. The article is now loaded with negative (although cited) pull quotes and in-line statements such as

"CSIS's ability to invade the lives of Canadians is unmatched in government. If it decides, in secret, that you constitute a threat to national security, CSIS can listen in on your telephone calls at home and at work, it can deploy an army of watchers to monitor and record your every can intercept and open your mail...break into your home and office...if you become a target, your family, friends and neighbours can also be subjected to this suffocating scrutiny."

Another is

"Former director Reid Morden referred to the Service as the "Keystone Kops" of the intelligence world, and veteran agent Michel Simar claimed that morale was pulummeting and the Service was now a "rat hole"."

Most of this is outside the Controversy section. Can someone more familiar with the subject matter please take a look at this article? --CliffC (talk) 18:21, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Note: This has been posted at Wikipedia:Canadian Wikipedians' notice board#Requests for comment. Moxy (talk) 18:35, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I believe the problem is with Wikipedia:Undue weight what GarolStipock says is correct but clearly is now overwhelming the article and is now leaning to just one side of an argument.

Lets look at this closely..Section by section regardless of who put what were..

  • History - First sentence "In 1981, the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Certain Activities of the RCMP released its report detailing several high-profile scandals involving the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Security Service in the past decade, and suggested that security intelligence be removed from their mandate, and given to a new civilian force" -Do we need to say this right away? Its setting a tone of negativity (be it true or not) Y is this because in the next paragraph we say " In fact, the vast majority of 1,772 RCMP Security Service staff working in their headquarters simply came into work as usual, "they didn't even change desks", only now they were ostensibly under the banner of CSIS" - so far noting but negative history. Then we say in the next paragraph. "In 1987, a series of events unfolded that seemed to threaten the existence of the fledgling Service. There were a number of simultaneous investigations into CSIS actions; one by the Solicitor General, another by the Inspector General, another by the Clerk of the Privy Council Gordon Osbaldeston, and a fourth one by SIRC which was investigating the manner in which CSIS had infiltrated labour unions. Morale was reported to be at "rock bottom" - again noting but negative. Then we say in the next paragraph "n 1999, a number of high-profile scandals were revealed by the news media; hundreds of agents were suing the Service for unpaid wages and benefits, that vital wiretap evidence had been destroyed"....and mention of the agency as a "rat hole" So this History section would lead someone to believe that CSIS has done anything new policies, procedures etc...
  • Mission and operations - First it mentions mandate and the Quadripartite Agreement that is actually called UKUSA Agreement on wiki- This is nice and neutral. Then we have 3 quotes that are all very very negative and points of view. Then is jumps back to info on the work force etc...all neutral.
  • Budget - all be it all fragmented its neutral.
  • Academy - this should be moved to History section when it is fixed.
  • Oversight - We say chairman Ron Atkey released an annual report that "ripped into CSIS" for being filled with the same agents who had run national security for the RCMP, for squabbling with the RCMP over jurisdiction, for blindly falling in line with American foreign policy and failing "to distinguish between subversion and dissent" looks good and referenced but now we have a section in the negative again as this is the only action mentioned and is negative.
  • Relationship with the RCMP - First statement "The chief criticism of CSIS has centered around its acrimonious history, and mutual refusal to cooperate, with the RCMP whose national security mandate they took over with their 1984 founding. Critics allege that the squabbling between the two agencies has left Canada less safe.. So again we start in a negative posture..but the rest is pretty neutral
  • Controversies - Well its is a section on criticisms in general so one would expect negative things. However its the biggest section thus alone is giving undue weight to the article..not sure what can be done here - could a trimming off some info, but i think its best to expand the other section to balance things out so nothing is lost in the long run.

So in conclusion as someone that does not know about this topic i would say that this agent is one of the worst run/operated/miss manged in the world. Like i said before - is there noting positive they have done ?? Because out of the 7 sections 2 are neutral 5 negative and no mention of any positive affects the agency has had on its enforcements, policy implantation and what the agency believes highlights its need. Not that this is realy needed to be said, but with all the negativity should there not be positive things said to balances this all out or should we simply removed stuff. Just my 2 cents.Moxy (talk) 21:28, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

I can agree the one quote "family/friends/neighbours" is a bit unbalancing, the rest I think belongs in the article, we just need to find more good stuff to balance it out. We don't remove bad things just because there aren't enough good things to balance it, we just need to find more good things. However, it might be wise to consider forking "Controversies surrounding CSIS" to a separate article? That way it wouldn't be undue weight on the controversies, and we could focus on the history and evolution of the Service. GarolStipock (talk) 22:01, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

I haven't read the article or the book at this point, but you have to be careful not to simply push the author's opinion. The first example CliffC mentions above reads (admittely without context) as nothing more than opinion. Resolute 22:06, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

I actually agree, and that is the part I mention having removed because he makes a good point (and so do you) that it is just a partisan opinion. GarolStipock (talk) 23:59, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

hmm well the CIA does all that if he was saying that CSIS is worse than cia no offense to anyone here —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:20, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Potentially false assertions[edit]

Moxy has done a good job at referring to many of the specific problem areas.

  • Covert Entry is a book written by a reporter who is looking to sensationalize a particular issue. That's why books of this nature are written. If it was written in the style of a commission report, no one would buy it. Just because a book has been published does not mean that it is a reliable source. Anyone can publish a book and get an ISBN for it, but the content and the sources of the content must be considered. In the product description from we find these bits of information:
"The book revolves around John Farrell, an ex-street gang leader who went on to become a star agent of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service" and, "Farrell decided to sue CSIS after it ignominiously let him go without coughing up overtime pay he claims to be owed."
OK so here we have an ex-street gang leader who has sued his former employer (CSIS) because he alleges he was owed overtime pay. Yeah this stuff makes for an interesting read, but makes it supremely unworthy of the label of "reliable source".
  • GarolStipock's claim that all controversy has been removed is spurious. There already was a well-developed 'controversies' section which did a reasonably balanced job and included references which readers could look up for additional information. The fact that someone can find x number of controversies doesn't mean that x number of controversies should be included in an article. Besides making the article look ridiculous, it violates WP:UNDUE. The extent of the editing changes basically turns the article into an attack page. I do not believe that changes of this type can be justified under Wikipedia policy. I have already cautioned Garolstipock on his talk page about not adhering to WP:NPOV, but his comments above do not show he has considered or understood the ramifications of his edits.
  • Based on WP:UNDUE, WP:NPOV, and WP:ATP I am reverting his edits, and I would strongly suggest that he now vet any proposed edits on this talk page to seek consensus prior to editing the article. Continued addition of material with strong POV or undue weight will quickly lead an editor down a very unproductive editing path. Taroaldo (talk) 22:43, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
There are others making good-faith attempts to negotiate what is/isn't necessary in the article...simply mass-removing information like its Executive Committee, the role of SIRC, its annual budget, all reference to its training academy, etc is seriously bordering on bad-faith. Instead, work with the list we have, or make your own, to get consensus for which 10% of what I added needs to be removed, instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. GarolStipock (talk) 23:57, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Also note that you just keep complaining Mitrovica is an invalid source, and removing all the improvements to the article carte blanche; note that Mitrovica wasn't even the primary source used to improve the article, that would be "Cleroux, Richard. "Official Secrets: The Story Behind the Canadian Security Intelligence Service", 1990", I read, turned down the necessary pages, and added all the viable information from three books I read this month about CSIS. One of them is generally negative (Mitrovica), one is neutral (Cleroux) and the other is glowingly positive (Hamilton). If you feel the article is not balanced, honestly that is probably because I added information about "CSIS during the 80s and 90s", not the CSIS of today...add recent information to balance it out. And find positive stories that came out of CSIS in the 80s and 90s to help balance out the "History". But we can't just complain "Let's remove everything that mentions CSIS and RCMP have an ongoing decades-long rivalry that every administration has tried to end, because it makes it sound bad". GarolStipock (talk) 00:06, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Judging by your brief editing history on this article, your apparent strong desire to push a particular POV, and your addition of massive amounts of material which are nothing more than an attack on the subject of the article, you need to seek consensus before making any further edits which have so far been nothing but disruptive. Look at the article as it was before you started editing it: it was balanced and reasonalby well-written. It is incumbent on you to seek consensus because you are the editor who is trying to add material which is contrary to WP:UNDUE, WP:NPOV, etc. Material of this nature is not appropriate for an encyclopedia. Please accept that and move on. Taroaldo (talk) 00:16, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, how reasonably neutral to just copy/paste details from their own website and insist that anything anybody has written about them - such as their corporate address, interrogation of prisoners of war and training academy's city - be simply deleted because they haven't spoken to it themselves. I hope we do the same for IBM and British Petroleum then? GarolStipock (talk) 00:19, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The way to solve WP:UNDUE is not to let the negative version sit and fester until someone gets around to adding balance, but to revert to a reasonably balanced version (as I have just now done) and get consensus for future additions.
FWIW, GarolStipock/Sherurcij have also based article Denis Leyne extensively on the Mitrovica source. --CliffC (talk) 00:29, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I have warned GarolStipock about potential violations of 3RR. His response was to insult an editor here. Taroaldo (talk) 00:35, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Is there a bigger problem here then meets the eye i see this POV additions to other articles as well like --> Communications Security Establishment Canada, Ted Finn. I have not taken the time to look them all over but i think we should. Moxy (talk) 00:42, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

You're right, there does appear to be an effort to skew content (non-neutral language, etc.) across several related pages. So far not on the same scale as the CSIS article, but definitely worth a closer look. Taroaldo (talk) 01:59, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

A couple more false assertions[edit]

I am removing the word "domestic" from the phrase "the domestic British Security Service (MI5)". This made me chuckle. The article reminds us several times that CSIS is not just a domestic agency. Meanwhile, someone makes the classic mistake of thinking MI5 is just a domestic agency. The truth is that both agencies operate primarily domestically, but fulfill certain roles abroad.

There is also this interesting statement: "Under the post–World War II Quadpartite Pact all intelligence information is shared between the intelligence agencies of these four countries." The key word here is "all". There's no way this is true. If someone can confirm, please delete the word. (talk) 21:29, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Done. I worked for 25 plus years in the CF Intelligence Branch and assure you that not ALL intelligence is shared with our allies. The same goes for our allies - they don't sure everything with us. Narum Sin (talk) 19:03, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

The only solution to editwarring[edit]

Right, a tad frustrating to read three books, add every fact from them to the article and have it mass-reverted and be told to instead carry on 300 different conversations about whether or not to add the detail of their 2006 budget. So I'm creating User:GarolStipock/CSIS and in one week I will replace the current "old text" with the new text. Therefore please raise any disputes, or remove what you feel needs to be removed, from that, rather than all of us changing how the "actual" article looks in the meantime. GarolStipock (talk) 00:19, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, but you will have to achieve consensus before replacing the article wholesale. In addition, it would be best to base the subpage off of this page, rather than a page in userspace. --Ckatzchatspy 02:47, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Imaging Sonars[edit]

Imaging Sonars via google

Thom689 (talk) 18:30, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

New picture?[edit]

I think it would be good if we could get a couple pictures, perhaps of the headquarters in Ottawa on the page.

Yes/No? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Synthris (talkcontribs) 22:43, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Posting images of a high-security installation of any sort is a Very Bad Idea, in my opinion. (talk) 15:12, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Not necessary. The CSIS website actually has a picture of its HQ on its main webpage. Narum Sin (talk) 19:01, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

The CIA page has a picture of the HQ underneath the infobox. I think we should do the same for this page, as it helps uniformity, no?

--TriangleTheory (talk) 05:13, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Article Re-write[edit]

I started to do a re-write on this article and hopefully over the next few weeks will be able add more substantial information to the article. So bare with me. Any constructive criticism is welcomed. Narum Sin (talk) 19:09, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Controversies POV[edit]

I placed a tag in the Controversies section because while I feel that criticism about an intelligence agency (and indeed any government agency) is important, it's also paramount to present facts in a neutral way, and that means balancing criticism with responses to that criticism, and making sure that the criticism comes from reliable sources. There is little balance there, mostly just bad press. I'm not necessarily objecting to any of that content, but we should always strive to presents both sides of a dispute as honestly as possible. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 18:30, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

new director May 2013[edit]

can someone add to the DCSIS list that Michel Coulombe was appointed acting director after Richard Fadden stepped down? (talk) 19:30, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Done. Debouch (talk) 22:38, 28 January 2014 (UTC)


External links modified[edit]

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