Thursday, April 25, 2019

CSA President Laporte in Connecticut to Learn How to Buy and Sell to the "5 Eyes" Intelligence Alliance

          By Henry Stewart

It looks like Canadian Space Agency (CSA) President Sylvain Laporte will be spending time in Hartford, Connecticut next month to speak at a conference organized by the Commercial Service of the US Department of Commerce and focused (officially at least) around sharing technologies, data, contacts and intelligence from the US, UK, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian space agencies.

Literature from the 2019 International Space Summit. Graphic c/o International Space Trade Summit.

But the five countries participating in the event also comprise the membership of the "5 Eyes" anglophone intelligence alliance and are signatories to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation and the sharing of huge amounts of legally (and sometime illegally) acquired electronic "signals intelligence" and private sector telecom data.

In fact the event has an explicit intelligence connection and the event organizers aren't shy about promoting this. As outlined on the web-page promoting the event:
The International Space Trade Summit will bring the participating countries' advanced manufacturing, high-tech supply chain, and IT companies into the global Space Sector.  
Current and future capabilities required to be in the sector, as well as available opportunities will be discussed. Firms will be provided a better understanding of the space sector in the 5 Eyes allied countries. Companies will be introduced to the space agencies, OEMs, and supply chain SMEs in those countries.
The site also contains an undated, thirty minute video from the CT-N Connecticut Network, covering the US Department of Commerce announcement that it would be organizing the event. The video contains various statements of support from local Connecticut politicians and noted its overt military and intelligence gathering focus.

The 1st International Space Summit, organized by Connecticut district office of the US Department of Commerce, will take place in Hartford CT from May 19th - 21st, 2019. Attendance is restricted to "registrants representing businesses from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada" according to the summit registration page.

Representatives from the five space agencies (including Laporte) and from the US military will be in attendance, along with prime contractors interested in providing data or technology to military and/or intelligence agencies.

A full agenda and complete speaker list for the event is also available on-line.

As outlined in the April 24th, 2019 BBC News post, "Huawei row: UK to let Chinese firm help build 5G network," the "5-Eyes" network has been in the news lately over concerns that the Shenzhen, China based multinational telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics manufacturer Huawei is in the midst of building a parallel information gathering network (similar to the Western "5-Eyes" network) which could compromise security in western nations.

Maybe our CSA president should rent a room in Ottawa or Toronto when he returns and give a presentation on what he learned. Canadian companies would surely benefit from this sort of knowledge.

Or maybe not.

As noted many times previously in the blog, Canadian owned and operated companies are not eligible for US military contracts, which are restricted to American owned and operated organizations.

But since the 1st International Space Summit is designed specifically to help grow Connecticut based companies focused on military and intelligence applications and since Laporte is a civilian and non-US based space agency president who isn't likely to sell any Canadian products or technology while he's in town, if might be worthwhile to ask one simple question.

"What's a nice, civilian focused, science associated guy like our current CSA president doing in a deep state, military intelligence dominated place like this?"

Henry Stewart is the pseudonym of a Toronto based aerospace writer.


  1. Interesting... Just a nit, but Connecticut is CT. CO is Colorado.

  2. Thanks for the heads-up. I've corrected the error.

    Chuck BLack


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