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Canadian Police Association Endorses Citizen-Monitoring Law

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) has passed a resolution mandating the group advocate for a law that would force people to provide electronic passwords to police with judge’s consent.

CACP President Chief Clive Weighill and Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau, noted the reasons behind the decision.

“Police services across the world are facing new challenges and threats related to technological developments and the criminal innovation that has ensued,” said Bordeleau. “[We are looking for] a way forward that helps us fuse traditional policing with modern day cyber-activity.”

In Canada, the recent Osterman Research Study reported that 44 of 125 Canadian companies interviewed suffered a ransomware attack in the past 12 months of which 33 of the victims paid a ransom that was between $1,000 and $50,000 in order to regain stolen data. Canadian healthcare and financial industries were most affected, industries highly dependent on access to business critical information.

Weighill added, “We are all aware of the painful and often tragic consequences that can result from victimization where technology is a factor. Criminal capability development is currently outpacing our response as a community and that only by working together across law enforcement and the private sector can we successfully reduce the threat of cybercrime.”

But Jacob Ginsberg, senior director of Echoworx, told Infosecurity that a law of this nature would remove protection and privacy from law abiding citizens.

“The CACP is advocating for a law that would enable law enforcement to watch citizens as if they are criminals,” he explained. “No organization, in Canada or elsewhere, should be advocating for a law that seeks to remove protection from law abiding citizens. While we don’t blame CACP for wanting tools to make their jobs easier, a law of this kind would criminalize privacy, and it would be unconscionable for a democratic society to draft a law whereby denying a request from police to go through your things, digital or otherwise, would be illegal.”

He added, “Policy makers and courts across the globe are still adjusting to crime in the digital age, but having the power to access a person’s whole digital life, especially during the course of an investigation where it’s not established that wrong doing has taken place, should not make you a criminal.”

Photo © Mariemily Photos/Shutterstock.com

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