MacKay announces $20M for sci-tech projects aimed at boosting security
Minister of Defence Peter MacKay takes part in a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, March 12, 2013 12:45PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 12, 2013 12:52PM EDT
Canada is investing $20 million in science and technology projects that aim to keep Canadians safer and more secure.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay made the announcement in Ottawa Tuesday.
"These projects strengthen Canada's ability to anticipate, prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism, crime, natural disasters, and serious accidents," according to a news release.
The funding will be spread between 26 private sector, academic and government projects that were identified during a request for proposals issued last fall. The projects will be led by 16 different organizations from all levels of government across the country.
"These projects bring together the best minds from government, industry and academia, nationally and internationally, to support the development of knowledge, tools, processes, advice and strategies that are essential for safeguarding Canada," MacKay said in prepared remarks.
The project is a partnership between the Department of National Defence and Public Safety Canada, with funding provided by the Canadian Safety and Security Program.
Some of the projects approved for funding:
- The Canada Border Services Agency will the use of a technique that measures changes in gravitational fields to detect special nuclear materials and associated shielding materials in cargo containers.
- Communications Research Centre Canada will identify techniques and operational tools for characterizing, detecting and locating low-cost, low-power devices used to disrupt/block services like GPS and cellphones.
- Defence Research and Development Canada will explore the development of technical capabilities to identify, locate and mitigate potential wireless security threats and enhance the resiliency of digital infrastructure and response effectiveness.
- Environment Canada will look into a rapid, low-cost, environmentally friendly technology for decontaminating critical infrastructure affected by a Radiological Dispersal Device or other radiological incident.
- The London Police Service will lead a study into the current state of knowledge on incorporating texting, social media, and image and video transfer tools into Next Generation 9-1-1 and advanced emergency dispatch.
Canada is becoming increasingly concerned about cyber-attacks that target this country from elsewhere, but also those that originate here, according to documents recently obtained by The Canadian Press.
Traditionally, cybercrime has originated in places like Eastern Europe or East Asia. But that's beginning to change according to briefing notes provided for a closed-door meeting of the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security.
"Plainly said, we may be moving from being mostly 'targets' of organized cyber-crime hosted in outside jurisdictions, to 'hosts' of online cyber-crime operations and activities," the notes said.
The notes were drafted by Brett Kubicek, Public Safety's manager of research and academic relations, at the roundtable's June meeting.
The roundtable tries to foster dialogue on security issues between government officials and minority communities.