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OTTAWA—The head of Canada’s cyberspy agency says new powers proposed by the Trudeau government would let her institution stop cyberattacks before they are launched — instead of having to sit back and wait for them to happen.

Communications Security Establishment chief Greta Bossenmaier made the comments to a parliamentary committee in which she revealed the agency has been working overtime to block attacks on federal networks.

The problem includes up to one billion attempts to compromise federal government information systems every day, which includes everything from poking to malware to dedicated hacking.

Bossenmaier says Bill C-59 would help nip some of those attacks in the bud as well as target terrorist groups and support military missions by giving the CSE the power to launch its own offensive cyber operations.

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