CIA and Canadian spies meet clandestinely in remote places in the Great White North
The Canadian CIA equivalent is the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and CIA operatives often meet in secret places in the Great White North where information is freely given to the CIA for information from the U.S. that is important for Canada’s national security. The CIA’s activity in Canada has the “general consent” of the Canadian government. Interestingly, CIA operative trainees often lurk the streets of Toronto, learning skills in foot and vehicle surveillance. Traditionally Canada has never voiced any opposition to the CIA operating within its borders, without official author authorization to do so.
After 9/11, Canada’s CSIS and the CIA began cooperating heavily together. All of North America was reeling from the horrendous attacks, and the two intelligence agencies joined together, desperately trying to figure out how to deal with their vulnerabilities and in protecting the citizens of both countries from another attack. Both Canada and the United States wanted the RCMP, the FBI, the CIA, and CSIS to develop sources of information that would allow the authorities to prevent a major future terrorist attack.
Like the CIA, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS, pronounced “see-sis”) is an intelligence-gathering entity (It does spying!) and is not a police agency like the FBI or RCMP — it has no power to arrest or detain and does not enforce the Criminal Code or other laws. There is a large difference between the law enforcement agencies of the FBI and RCMP, and counterintelligence agencies like the CIA and CSIS. Two totally different cultures.
It’s nice to know that the United States has Canada as a vital ally and defense partner, with intelligence agencies that work together and have a long standing and well entrenched history of sharing vital intelligence. Maybe the U.S. can learn from the CSIS model of conducting domestic surveillance and allowing the CIA to do the same inside the U.S., which it is banned from doing so at present. Enjoy the video CSIS Intelligence Officers- Recruiting.
Robert Morton is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), enjoys writing about the U.S. Intelligence Community, and relishes traveling to the Florida Keys and Key West, the Bahamas and Caribbean. He combines both passions in his Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster series. Check out his latest spy thriller: MISSION OF VENGEANCE.