CANIS: Canadian Network on Information and Security is a multidisciplinary initiative involving four faculties of the University of Calgary: Faculty of Arts, School of Public Policy, Schulich School of Engineering, and Faculty of Law.
CANIS examines the impact of the domestic and international information environments (IE) on Canadian national defence and security with a primary objective to draw novel conclusions about the IE and its use as an operational domain. CANIS is aiming to identify the best practices from domestic and international actors, and how they could be applied to the Canadian context, specific information environment, and societal composition.
The CANIS goals are:
To explore the complex IE from multidisciplinary angles.
To support, expand, and improve information security in Canada.
To foster research and network initiatives from emerging scholars to deepen knowledge and understanding of information and security.
Key research areas include but are not limited to:
1. Advancing foreign policy interests in an information-rich environment:
- Connection between the national and global interests and information security.
- Using intelligence to identify foreign influence and interference (for example, Russia-Ukraine, US elections, etc.) and associated political and economic disruptions.
2. Information environment in a multicultural society:
- Better understand the factors influencing responses, vulnerability, and resiliency of different groups of Canadians to information threats and dis-information campaigns.
- The policy instruments the Government of Canada should put in place to increase the resiliency of our society and citizens in the face of information security.
3. Evolving importance of information in a digital world:
- Understand the political/military, technological, cognitive/behavioural, and legal/ethical impacts on the Canadian and global information environment.
- Address the current vulnerabilities and create preventative measures to increase security and protection against various types of aggressions in the IE.
4. (Dis/Mis) Information and pivoting, prospering, and positioning in the face of crises:
- Understand the impact of crises (such as pandemics, economic downturns, etc.) on the use and misuse of information at the local and global levels.
- Identify and examine new vulnerabilities created in the face of crises (i.e., as resources gravitate elsewhere) and the future of intelligence gathering.
5. Advancing foreign policy interests through information operations:
- Understand the impact of cyber-attacks and disinformation campaigns on critical infrastructure (power/energy, water, communications, financial, transportation) and supply chains.
- Identify new opportunities for the exploitation of information (i.e., theft of information, medical/health records, etc.) and influence of the private and public sectors on the continuity of the threats.
6. Offensive and defensive dimensions of information.
- The ethical, strategic, and policy dilemmas associated with offensive information operations.
- Policies and legal instruments to be developed by the Government of Canada on strategic use (offensive and defensive) of communication.
Jean-Christophe Boucher is an Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy and at the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary. His current work focuses on applied machine learning to understand how the digital world shapes our society. He is currently holding grants from the Department of National Defence (DND) to study information operations; the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to understand civil-military relations in Canada; and holds grants from Alberta Innovates, the Vaccine Confidence Fund and Merck to study vaccine hesitancy on social media to develop better communications strategies and tools to increase vaccine uptake. He holds a BA in History from the University of Ottawa, a MA in Philosophy from the Université de Montréal and a PhD in Political Science from Université Laval. He specializes in international relations, with an emphasis on foreign policy, international security, and data analytics.
Erin Gibbs Van Brunschot
Erin Gibbs Van Brunschot is a Professor of Sociology and Vice Dean at the University of Calgary. Her primary research interests are in the realms of crime, risk, security, and social control, with specific interests in how individuals, organizations, agencies, and states orient to threats and how responses diverge and converge. She is co-author of two books with Leslie Kennedy, Risk Balance and Security (Sage, 2008) and Risk in Crime (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009). One of her more recent projects focuses on high-risk offending from a life-course perspective and the management of these individuals from a public safety and policy perspective. Her new book, Pathways to Ruin? High-Risk Offending Over the Life Course (with Tamara Humphrey) is forthcoming in 2022 (University of Toronto Press). Her current projects focus on information and security, crime risk management, policing, victimization, and disorder.
Emily Laidlaw is a Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity Law and Associate Professor. She researches in the areas of technology regulation, cybersecurity and human rights, with a focus on platform regulation, online harms, privacy, freedom of expression and corporate social responsibility. She is author of the book Regulating Speech in Cyberspace: Gatekeepers, Human Rights and Corporate Responsibility (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Prior to joining the University of Calgary in 2014, Dr. Laidlaw spent almost ten years in the United Kingdom where she completed her LLM and PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science and held a tenure-track lectureship with the University of East Anglia Law School.
As a scholar she actively contributes to law reform and other advisory work, with recent projects for the Federal Government, Law Commission of Ontario, the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development, and the Council of Canadian Academies. Emily is a member of the Institute for Security, Privacy and Information Assurance.
Dr. Laleh Behjat is a professor at the Department of Electrical and Software Engineering at the University of Calgary and the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering – Prairies. Her research focuses on developing mathematical techniques and software tools for automating the design of digital integrated circuits. Dr. Behjat acted as an academic advisor for Google Technical Development Guide and was a member of Google’s Council on Computer Science Education. She is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on CAD and ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems.
Dr. Behjat is passionate about increasing the status of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and removing systemic barriers. She is also an advocate of ethical science and works on understanding the impact of technology on our security. She was the recipient of the 2015 Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) Women in Engineering Champion Award, Association of Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group in Design Automation Service Award in 2014 and 2017 and 2017 Killam Graduate Student Supervision and Mentorship Award. Her team, Schulich Engineering Outreach Team, was also the recipient of the ASTech Leadership Excellence in Science and Technology Public Awareness Award in 2017. Currently, she is leading a change leadership program WISE planet with the mission to envision and build a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive society.
Ivana Skendrovic is a Research Coordinator with the International Policy & Trade Program at the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary. Ivana coordinates research projects from initiation to completion. She prepares grant proposals, manages agreements, handles budgets and ensures successful execution of all projects and outreach activities in the area of defence and security. She holds a MA in International Relations & European Studies from University Paris 8 Saint Denis, and a MA in Translation from University of Zagreb, Croatia.
Prior to her current role, Ivana was Partnerships Officer with the Extractive Resource Governance Program where she was responsible for supporting, and stewarding partnerships including the coordination of agreements, payment schedules, reporting and tracking of project deliverables of research and training programs around the world. Among her previous roles, Ivana has worked with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Paris, France) and the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (Calgary).
Tatiana Oshchepkova is a Coordinator of the Canadian Network on Information and Security (CANIS) with the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies, University of Calgary. She is responsible for daily operations and long-term strategic vision of the network through planning and coordinating interdisciplinary network activities, events, and outreach initiatives. Tatiana holds an MSW and BSW from the University of Calgary, and a BSc from Ural Federal University, Russia.
Previously, Tatiana coordinated national and provincial research projects with the Cumming School of Medicine and the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary. She also had experience working in various administrative roles in business and non-profit sectors.