Security Experts:

Russia Expert to Lead Canada's Electronic Eavesdropping Agency

A Russia expert was appointed Wednesday to lead Canada's electronic eavesdropping agency, amid ongoing concerns of Russian hacking and meddling in Western elections.

Shelly Bruce moves up from number two at the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) to replace her former boss, outgoing CSE head Greta Bossenmaier. 

Bruce studied Russia and Slavic languages at university before joining the CSE in 2004 as director of intelligence, and quickly moved up the ranks.

Her appointment as the head of the CSE comes only two months after Ottawa moved to safeguard Canada's elections from cyber threats and "foreign interference," following accusations of Russia meddling in the last US election, which Russia has denied.

Canada's next federal election is scheduled for 2019.

Also in April, G7 foreign ministers called on Russia to come clean about a nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain, calling it in a joint statement "a threat to us all."

Western nations had a month prior expelled 150 Russian diplomats in a coordinated action against Moscow in support of Britain, and Russia retaliated with similar moves.

They included four diplomats serving at either Russia's embassy in Ottawa or its consulate in Montreal who were "identified as intelligence officers or individuals who have used their diplomatic status to undermine Canada's security or interfere in our democracy," Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said then.

Canada is a member the US-led Five Eyes intelligence gathering alliance.

The CSE last year urged Ottawa to step up its hacking countermeasures, after identifying between 2013 and 2015 approximately 2,500 state-sponsored hacking attempts.

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