CSIS Facts

CSIS

CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) is Canada's spy agency - and unlike the RCMP, many Canadians do not know they exist. CSIS was established in 1984, and is a civilian intelligence agency that focuses on national security both domestically and internationally. CSIS agents have the same powers of arrest as police officers to investigate activities that present a threat to Canada's security. The agency's national headquarters are in Ottawa, Ontario and there are other offices in various cities across Canada.


    1. CSIS Agents

    Not all CSIS agents focus on national security. Some CSIS agents are involved in more traditional intelligence duties, within other departments of the government (e.g., Department of Foreign Affairs). Other CSIS agents are involved in investigating criminal activity or espionage related to national security issues. A few examples of these criminal investigations include drug trafficking, money laundering and counterfeit currency exchange.

    2. Some of The Important Work They Do.

    CSIS agents focus on intelligence collection and espionage, and they can often work closely with the RCMP. In national security cases, CSIS agents do surveillance and investigations (i.e., stakeouts). They collect information such as pictures or audio recordings using devices like hidden cameras, microphones or video recorders. Some CSIS agents also work overseas gathering information to help protect Canada's citizens abroad.

    3. CSIS Agents vs. CIA Agents

    Yes, there are some similarities between CSIS and the CIA; however, their roles in intelligence collection are somewhat different. One of the main differences is that with the CIA it's obvious that they exist (they have an office down town Washington DC), while with CSIS not many people know they exist. Another difference is that most American agents are civilians, but most CSIS agents have a police background or experience.

    4. How Much Money Do CSIS Agents Make?

    Starting salary for a CSIS Agent is around $50-$60,000 and goes up to $100-120,000 after several years of service. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has an estimated annual budget of 650 million dollars (Canadian Dollars).