New Additions to the Canadian SIGINT Summaries

Grondstation van de Nationale SIGINT Organisatie (NSO) in Burum, Frysl‚n

I’ve added three new items to the Canadian SIGINT Summaries. The Summaries include downloadable copies of leaked Communications Security Establishment(CSE) documents, along with summary, publication, and original source information.1 CSE is Canada’s foreign signals intelligence agency and has operated since the Second World War.

Documents were often produced by CSE’s closest partners which, collectively, form the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence network. This network includes the CSE, the National Security Agency (NSA), the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Australian Signals Directorate (ASD),2 and Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB)).

All of the documents are available for download from this website. Though I am hosting the documents they were all first published by another party. The new documents and their summaries are listed below. The full list of documents and their summary information is available on the Canadian SIGINT Summaries page.

Sharing Computer Network Operations Cryptologic Information With Foreign Partners

Summary: This NSA document identifies the extent of the NSA’s cooperation with other nations’ military and intelligence organizations. The policy document applies to sharing computer network exploitation and computer network defence information between intelligence agencies, such as CSE, as well as to sharing cryptologic information with other militaries. Canada is listed as one of the “Tier A: Comprehensive Cooperation” partners along with Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Document Published: October 30, 2014
Document Dated: Unknown (likely November 23, 2005 based on declassification date of November 23, 2029)
Document Length: 2 pages
Associated Article: El CNI facilitó el espionaje masivo de EEUU a España (ES) // Spain colluded in NSA spying on its citizens, Spanish newspaper reports
Download Document: Sharing Computer Network Operations Cryptologic Information With Foreign Partners

BOUNDLESSINFORMANT Documents (Collection)

Summary: BOUNDLESSINFORMANT is a NSA tool that reveals the Global Access Operations’ (GAO’s) collection capabilities by revealing the volume of metadata record collections that occur against any given country. At a high-level, BOUNDLESS INFORMANT can show aggregate records against an entire country whereas drilling into particular countries will show how many records a given program or cover term is collecting. In addition to record counts, BOUNDLESSINFORMANT provides information about the type of collection (e.g. signals versus communications intelligence) and the contributing SIGINT Activity Designator (SIGAD). SIGADs refer to signals collections stations, such as in diplomatic facilities, at undersea cable landing points, and at internet exchange points, in addition to other locations.

The BOUNDLESSINFORMANT Maps show the amounts of data that can be aggregated against different countries. Page 2 of that document reveals the global aggregate number of records parsed by BOUNDLESSINFORMANT (221,919,881,317) as well as the aggregate number records collected against the United States (2,095,533,478). The United States is shown in yellow, whereas Canada is shown in green, suggesting there are fewer records collected against Canada than the United States. Page 3 shows that of the world aggregate of 124,808,692,959 Dial Network Recognition (DNR)3 there were 203,190,032 collected against the United States. Based on the colouring of the global map, fewer DNR records were collected against Canada.

It is unclear from the slides what ‘collected against’ means; it could refer to data that is shared by nations’ intelligence services or data the NSA collects from its SIGINT sites located within those nations. Alternately, it could include both of these ways of collecting data.

Document Published: June 11, 2013 - December 5, 2013
Document Dated: BOUNDLESSINFORMANT: Describing Mission Capabilities from Metadata Records (July 13, 2012) // BOUNDLESS INFORMANT Frequently Asked Questions (June 9, 2012) // BOUNDLESSINFORMANT Countries Data (Unknown) // BOUNDLESSINFORMANT Maps (January 8, 2007)
Document Length: 8 pages (BOUNDLESSINFORMANT: Describing Mission Capabilities from Metadata Records) // 3 pages (BOUNDLESS INFORMANT Frequently Asked Questions) // 15 pages (BOUNDLESSINFORMANT Countries Data) // 2 pages (BOUNDLESSINFORMANT Maps)
Associated ArticlesBoundless Informant: the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data // France in the NSA's crosshair : phone networks under surveillance // La NSA espió 60 millones de llamadas en España en sólo un mes // Friedrichs Wunschliste: Datensaugen wie die NSA // NSA-files repeatedly show collection of data «against countries» - not «from» // Revealed: How the Nsa Targets Italy
Download Document
BOUNDLESSINFORMANT: Describing Mission Capabilities from Metadata Records // BOUNDLESS INFORMANT Frequently Asked Questions // BOUNDLESSINFORMANT Countries Data // BOUNDLESSINFORMANT Maps

Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) Between the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) And The Israeli SIGINT National Unit (INSU) Pertaining To The Protection Of U.S. Persons

Summary: This NSA document outlines the privacy protections and policies that the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (INSU) agrees to in order receive ‘raw SIGINT’. Raw SIGINT includes collected data that has not been “evaluated for foreign intelligence and minimized.” Minimization involves evaluating whether a U.S. person’s identity is essential to “understand the significance of the foreign intelligence.” Per the document, citizens of Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand enjoy the same protections as Americans.

INSU is expected to not use U.S.-supplied equipment or raw intelligence to target Canadians (or other ‘U.S. Persons’), to limit access to raw intelligence generally, to only disseminate raw-intelligence based information after shielding the identities of Canadians/U.S. Persons (and receive written permission from the NSA prior to disclosing shielded identities), to retain files with Canadians’/U.S. Persons’ for no more than one year, and to only process communications that refer “to activities, policies, and views of U.S. officials” for non-intelligence purposes.

It is unclear from the document whether protections ascribed to U.S. government officials, such as members of the Executive Branch, U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, or U.S. Federal Court system, also are ascribed to equivalent Canadian government officials. Similarly, it is unclear whether CSE would provide written authority to disclose Canadians’ identities to INSU customers. However, since the memorandum is between the NSA and INSU, CSE might not be contacted directly by INSU about revealing the identities of Canadians to Israeli intelligence customers.
Document Published: September 11, 2013
Document Dated: Unknown (likely March 2009)
Document Length: 5 pages
Associated Article: NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans’ data with Israel
Download DocumentMemorandum Of Understanding (MOU) Between the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) And The Israeli SIGINT National Unit (INSU) Pertaining To The Protection Of U.S. Persons


  1.  Formally known as the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC). 
  2.  The ASD was formerly known as the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD). 
  3. DNR records include metadata about telephony events. DNR records can be contrasted against Digital Network Intelligence (DNI) records that are about metadata linked with Internet-based events.