In his first public speech, Canada’s top intelligence official warned that cyber espionage poses as great a strategic challenge to international security as terrorism.
“Terrorism has understandably occupied a significant portion of our collective attention for almost two decades,” said David Vigneault, head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).
“Nevertheless,” he added, “other national security threats, such as foreign interference, cyber threats and espionage, pose greater strategic challenges and must also be addressed.”
Speaking at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto on Tuesday, Mr. Vigneault explained that hostile foreign intelligence services are gathering political, economic, commercial and military information in Canada — in addition to targeting major firms and universities to obtain new technologies.
“Activities by hostile states can have a corrosive effect on our democratic systems and institutions,” he added.
Next-generation 5G mobile networks were also a major worry. While Mr. Vigneault did not name a specific nation, Western governments have voiced