Canadian Supercomputer Threat Assessment and Potential Responses

Abstract

Four key events are addressed in this briefing note. Key event one is the announcement in April and May of 2017 with the launch of two supercomputers in Canada (Graham at University of Waterloo; Cedar at Simon Fraser University) and a third (Niagara at The University of Toronto) using Compute Canada’s Resources Allocation (Compute Canada, 2018a). Key event two is the announcement that Huawei Canada is building Graham’s operating system (Feldman, 2017). Key event three entails CSIS being warned by the US Senators (Rep. Sen Marco Rubio and Dem. Sen Mark Warner) about the possibility of China and Russia spying on Canada. Key event four, the United States has reportedly banned sales of Huawei products on US military bases (Bronskill, 2018; Collins, 2018).

This briefing note is particularly relevant as Compute Canada is now preparing for 2019 resource allocation; there may be a raised/elevated security risk of economic espionage intellectual property theft and abusing education access privileges which need to be considered (SFU Innovates Staff, 2018).

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