Secure Societies

Security is a broad concept, ranging from the safety and privacy of the individual to the security of communities, societies and regions around the world. The explosion of available information through the Internet presents challenges to individual privacy, national security, business, banking, and information storage and exchange. Cyber-security and privacy practice must keep pace with advances in technology.

Ensuring national, regional and civic security while protecting individual human rights

Modern society cannot exist without security. One of the key challenges faced by citizens in a liberal democracy is to find the balance between safety for the greatest number and the privacy of the individual. This search for the tipping point has been a constant from the very beginning of the evolution of free societies. In Great Britain, the evolution of parliamentary democracy over several centuries, beginning with the Magna Carta of 1215, centered on this question. The evolution of democracy in the United States, embodied in the adoption of its constitution in 1789, also attempted to address this challenge. Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, adopted in 1982, sought to guide the citizens of this country in finding the correct balance between government efforts to secure society and the rights of individual Canadians.

Maintaining cybersecurity for national and individual security; intelligence and national security relating to terrorism, radicalization and instability

With the growth of the Internet over the past three decades and the development of social media, the challenge to find that balance has grown incrementally. Invasion of privacy and the use of private information of both citizens and corporations for unlawful purposes, or even to do physical damage to society, has grown into a major threat. Governments are increasingly turning to the question of the unlawful intrusion into individual privacy, but are themselves often accused of crossing the line between gathering information necessary for security and violating individual rights. How can governments at the national, provincial and local levels be allowed to perform their responsibilities to secure societies while, at the same time, safeguard the privacy of individual citizens?


Secure Societies Key Initiatives, Research Groups and Centres

Our researchers have expertise in political, legal and historical aspects of international relations, security and domestic policies. These researchers work in cooperation with others who have expertise in cybersecurity, quantum computing and biometric methods for identification.


Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre (ACLRC)

Undertakes research on contemporary civil liberties and human rights issues that are of concern to Albertans. The projects are diverse — from proposals for reform of human rights legislation, to a report on citizen complaints about police conduct, to a manual for lawyers who represent mentally disabled clients.

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Biometric Technologies Laboratory

Focuses on modeling and simulation of biometrics, human physiological characteristics (facial image, iris or retina pattern, thermal image of the body, fingerprint, hand- and foot-print, ear) and behavioural characteristics (voice pattern, handwritten signature, keystroke pattern, gait, mouse-usage dynamics).

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Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies (CMSS)

Draws from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, political science, history, religious studies, economics, and computer science and has ties to the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence. One of the leading centres of excellence in military and strategic studies in North America, CMSS explores defence and security issues in Canada and internationally.

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Consortium for Peace Studies (CPS)

This group is concerned with war and peace, human security to meet basic human needs, violence and nonviolence, conflict and conflict resolution as well as post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation. Research takes place from the macro-level examining international peace issues, to the micro-level examining internal conflict and peace in the individual. The CPS unites peace researchers in many fields of study. Through international research, publication, public presentations and celebration of peace activists, the CPS strives to promote peace studies and educate the community about peace work.

iCORE Information Security Laboratory (iCIS)

Focuses on research and development in all aspects of information and communication security and privacy. The iCIS Lab includes academic staff, researchers and students with interests in theoretical and practical aspects of information security. iCIS promotes collaborative and industry-driven research.

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Institute for Security, Privacy and Information Assurance (ISPIA)

Addresses a broad spectrum of areas ranging from cryptography and quantum information processing to software security, malicious code, network and operating systems security, and technical and legal issues surrounding privacy and digital rights.

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QNET - a Quantum Network Research Facility

QNET will result in a Calgary-wide quantum network, which will be the most advanced and second-largest quantum network in the world and place Canada at centre stage in the emerging quantum technology economy. It supports Canada's Cyber Security Strategy, and will provide highly qualified personnel with the expertise to excel in future quantum technology markets and existing high-tech sectors (including photonics, networking, and cyber-security). Read about Dr. Wolfgang Tittel's work.

Institute for Quantum Science and Technology (IQST)

This group is the only one of its kind in Western Canada and the third of this scope in Canada. Focused on quantum optics, quantum information, molecular modelling and nanotechnology, these researchers investigate, control, and exploit natural phenomena at small scales and high energies where standard classical science does not apply.

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Interactions Lab

The Institute for Security, Privacy and Information Assurance (ISPIA) at the University of Calgary and the Calgary Police Service (CPS) have joined forces to try to fight cyber-criminals.

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iRadio Lab

Develops knowledge and innovative enabling technologies relevant to intelligent and green radio systems targeting the future generations of wireless and satellite communication, covering the radio frequency to millimetre-wave bands.

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