The Canadian Diplomatic Technical Security Service has been subject to many reorganizations within the Department of External Affairs which was renamed by subsequent governments as Foreign Affairs and later as Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In the beginning the CDTSS was known as TPS (Technical Plans Section) which was part part of "Telecommunications Division". For a short time in the 80's it became a separate division aptly named Technical Security Division. In the 90's it became part of the Physical Security and Personal Safety Division. And in the 2000's was once again reincarnated with an increased mandate. Information Technology became popular !
These changes were partly to achieve administrative economies and partly as a reaction to a perceived change in threats and the risks posed by evolving technology. But the objective of the CDTSS has consistently remained: "the technical security of Canadian embassies and consulates abroad".
Much of the work conducted by the CDTSS was to uncover weaknesses, dispel myths and explain some of the technical threats which could be directed at Canadian diplomatic missions and consulates overseas and explain the need for simple but effective countermeasures. When laser microphones were getting a lot of press, for example, I devised this demonstration to explain why some office locations were inherently more secure than others. Simple, effective, inexpensive (less than $100) and totally unclassified.
Of course, coffee was one of the staples. These mugs were prepared for delegates to the INTECSEC conferences hosted in Ottawa, Canada,
And travel to interesting places sometimes occurred. These photos were taken during INTECSEC meetings hosted by the FCO in London England.
We have some very great support from the Canadian Forces abroad.
Other governments and private enterprises face similar challenges.
Security Technical Specialists in the Bureau of Diplomatic Bureau of the State Department provide security services for American diplomatic missions and consulates.
The Granite Island Group provides US private industry with technical security services.
The RCMP technical security branch provides support to Canadian government departments and agencies within Canada upon request.
The FCO provides technical security support services in the United Kingdom and abroad.
© OFARTS Canada 2006-2008 Old Foreign Affairs Retired Technicians, Canada