Toews won’t name countries that pose cybersecurity threats – Politics – CBC News.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said today that some countries are more of a threat than others in terms of cyber threats and that the government knows who they are. But he won’t name them.
“We are constantly being briefed by our allies on developments in that respect. If there is a national security interest that requires the disclosure of some of those names and companies, that will be done in due course.”
Toews’ comments came as he announced $155 million in cybersecurity funding Wednesday morning in Ottawa.
The funding, which was included in last spring’s budget, is to ensure Canada has “secure, stable and resilient” information technology infrastructure, Toews said.
But Toews wouldn’t speculate about concerns regarding Chinese telecommunications company Huawei supplying high-speed networks and equipment for Canada’s internet infrastructure.
When asked, Toews declined to say whether the government intended to ban Huawei from bidding on the government’s internet contracts, given that the Americans have blocked the Chinese tech giant over worry about cyberspying. Toews said he had no intention of discussing specific corporations, adding that the Americans can make their own decisions and he will make decisions in the best interests of Canada.
Asked if he shared U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta’s fear of a “cyber Pearl Harbour,” Toews replied he did not know whether Panetta was overstating the issue or not.
“Cybersecurity is something that every developed nation had to be worried about, given the nature of technology and the rapid change of technology.”
The minister noted the $90 million over five years the government has already spent on cybersecurity, as well as $18 million announced in October 2010. He added that Canada has signed on to the U.S.-basedStop Think Connect campaign, which educates the public about the hazards of cyberhacking.
Some of the new money announced today will be spent, in part, on increasing the capabilities of the Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCRIC), which helps ensure the security and resilience of non-government cybersystems.
The minister also urged Canadians to consider the security of their own activities online and to visit the government’s website getcybersafe.ca.
Recent cases have highlighted the need to improve the federal government’s electronic infrastructure in order to better protect sensitive databases and other information.
Hackers stole classified information from two federal departments before they were discovered in January 2011.
Public Safety Canada has declared October “Cyber Security Awareness Month” and launched a public awareness campaign for internet security issues.