The document detailing CSE's mandate has never been made public. However, the following document, dating from 1975 and released in severed form as part of the History of CBNRC, may represent an early version of CSE's mandate.

February 1975

Responsibilities and Functions of the
Communications Security Establishment (CSE)


(a) To prepare and develop SIGINT plans and programs to meet national intelligence objectives and requirements;

(b) to direct the SIGINT operations (including collection, processing and reporting) [one line deleted] in accordance with current agreed user requirements, and within the manpower and equipment resources allocated to the national SIGINT effort;

(c) to conduct or otherwise arrange for the production and dissemination of national SIGINT material as required by Canadian consumers [two lines deleted];

(d) to coordinate and conduct research and development on equipment, techniques and procedures to improve the effectiveness of the national SIGINT program;

(e) to plan, engineer and recommend equipment systems which will meet national requirements [four lines deleted];

(f) to conduct liaison with Canadian Government departments in order to establish their intelligence requirements and priorities [three lines deleted];

(g) to formulate requirements, methods, and operational procedures for Canadian SIGINT communications facilities; also to advise on SIGINT security matters;

(h) to provide technical advice and assistance for [word deleted] SIGINT activities as requested;

(i) to undertake such additional SIGINT responsibilities as may be delegated by the ICSI.


(a) To advise federal departments and agencies on the planning, acquisition, installation and use of cryptographic equipment and secure communications-electronic systems;

(b) to review and evaluate the cryptographic principles incorporated or to be incorporated in any communications-electronic system used or proposed for use by federal departments or agencies;

(c) to evaluate as required commercially produced cryptographic equipment and assess the degree of security provided for specific areas of use;

(d) to produce cryptographic keying material, COMSEC devices and documentation to meet the requirements and priorities of users;

(e) to analyze on departmental request governmental communications and non-communications transmissions in order to determine the existing standard of COMSEC and to provide technical guidance and advice as appropriate;

(f) to carry out tests and surveys as required in the field of emission security, and to develop techniques to protect against compromising electromagnetic and acoustic emanations [from] equipment and systems that may be used to process classified information;

(g) to coordinate and conduct research and development of techniques, equipment and systems to improve the effectiveness of national COMSEC;

(h) to formulate guidelines and to review and evaluate the procedures involved in the installation, operation and maintenance of secure communications-electronic equipments and systems, and to conduct such training courses as may be required;

(i) [four lines deleted];

(j) to undertake such additional COMSEC responsibilities as may be delegated by the ICSI.

Source: History of CBNRC, Chapter 4, Annex A, and Chapter 17, Annex J.

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TSCM - Sweeping the Spectrum for Eavesdropping Devices

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