| Mike Frost |
|Exposed|| • Communications Security Establishment|
• Norwegian Intelligence Service
Canadian SIGINT spook for 34 years who became a whistleblower
Michael Edward Frost is a Canadian spook who worked with SIGINT for 34 years, including 19 years with the Communications Security Establishment Canada. In 1994 he published the book Spyworld telling how he knew of several illegal spying operations – including tapping the telephone of Margaret Trudeau, the wife of the prime minister at the time.
Frost’s earliest spying was with the Canadian Navy doing radio signals interception in the remote reaches of the Canadian Arctic. Frost’s technical competence led to a rapid rise in responsibility and challenge. His first training session at the NSA in Fort Meade, Maryland, was in 1971, shortly after he moved from the Navy to employment in the CSE. NSA’s intimate paternal relationship with CSE was central to this expansion by providing CSE staff with training, advice and counsel, and high-tech equipment (on loan for indefinite periods). Frost was a key player in the earliest days of CSE’s developing competency and global reach in spying. A big part of his work was "embassy-collection". The US had long been involved in embassy-collection by the time the fledgling CSE and Mike Frost were recruited by NSA to become involved. 
Frost was an employee of the CSE for 19 years and was spent a lot of time in the NSA as well in training and liaison. Much of Canada's spying from 1972 to 1990 was undertaken for the Americans. Frost and his immediate boss were at the centre of the "embassy-collection" scheme, which was code-named "Project Pilgrim".
It was in the development and testing of signals interception equipment that Frost developed pangs of conscience about what he and his colleagues were doing. “It was one thing to be fooling the ‘enemy’. It was quite an eerie feeling, though, to be listening in on so many conversations between fellow Canadians. Being rabidly patriotic, he felt it was wrong. He saw the incredible potential for abuse in the power they held, and he didn’t like it”. This was “domestic” spying and Frost was uncomfortable with it.
In an interview, Frost stated that: "Norway, behind the backs of its French NATO allies, has intercepted communications between France and the separatists in the Canadian province of Quebec. The wiretapping is said to have begun in the late 70's and ... continued in 1990.
The Norwegian defense leadership rejects the allegations.
The Canadian intelligence organization Communications Security Establishment (CSE) is said to have been the client for the interception and to have received large quantities of transcripts from Norway for a fee. We asked our friends in Norwegian intelligence if they could somehow intercept the communication between France and Quebec, says Frost. They did this for us, and we got large amounts of material, as far as I can remember primarily telexes. I even saw several of these prints ...
- NTB interview quoted in Ramm/Setsaas Grogate page 539 (Norwegian)