Its job, in their words, is:
to investigate threats, analyze information and produce intelligence; it then reports to, and advises, the Government of Canada, so as to protect the country and its citizens. Key threats include terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, espionage, foreign interference and cyber-tampering affecting critical infrastructure.
Through its Security Screening Program, CSIS prevents non-Canadians who pose security concerns from entering Canada or receiving permanent resident status or citizenship; the Service also safeguards the confidential information of the Government of Canada from foreign governments and other entities that may present a risk.
However, countering terrorist violence is the top priority for CSIS. Terrorism, which has become a global phenomenon, is a very real threat to our national security. Terrorists and their supporters span countries, cultures, political systems and socio-economic backgrounds. They include both highly educated elites and more humble "foot soldiers." Followers are recruited from around the world, including our own country. CSIS strives to prevent terrorist acts from being planned in Canada, from occurring on Canadian territory and from affecting Canadian citizens and assets abroad.The rights and freedoms we enjoy are far too often taken for granted in this country. There are those within Canada's borders who have very little respect for them and are working to undermine those rights.
There are very real threats to Canada posed by terrorists, and it would seem only reasonable and sane for any citizen who isn't a terror-supporter to want to help CSIS do their job.
Some people overestimate the government's ability to protect us. They can't be everywhere and know everything. For a democratic society to function effectively, citizens have to be engaged in government. Sometimes that means criticizing the government when they make mistakes and other times it means helping them to make informed decisions. The only way anyone can make an informed decision is if they have access to relevant information.
Because we live in a liberal democracy, with rule of law and respect for individual liberties, an agency like CSIS can only ask for citizens' cooperation. Canadians are within their rights to refuse to speak to them. But who would counsel against helping a government agency devoted to protecting the safety of this country's citizens?
Oh..of course.. The People's Commission Network!
The People's Commission Network, who possess a name that sounds borrowed from Pol Pot's Cambodia, is a working group of the Concordia University student-funded Quebec Public Interest Research Group at Concordia. The same people who are celebrating dead German terrorist Ulrike Meinhof.
The People's Commission Network is having a conference of bad citizenry in February, where they will aim "to throw into question the very existence of national security agencies like CSIS" to be followed by a "solidarity dinner" for Mohamed Harkat, whom Federal Court Judge Simon Noel found to be duplicitous and a member of the bin Laden terror network.
Not only that, but The People's Commission Network has produced a video to provide you with everything Canadians need to know about non-cooperation with their government's Security Intelligence Service.
Doesn't this make you feel all warm and glowing about Concordia U?