Citizen Lab director asks Government of Canada to report RCMP spyware

The Canadian federal government must make transparent the company or companies that provide surveillance technology used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to secretly extract information from mobile devices, Ron Debert studentdirector of Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, during a hearing in the Canadian Parliament.

Diebert noted in his letter that if the Canadian government were to spend millions of dollars to acquire this type of technology, it would have to impose conditions on companies in terms of human rights standards. In addition, he recommended that the federal government penalize spyware development companies that have facilitated human rights abuses and establish guidelines to avoid hiring them.

In June, the RCMP revealed to Parliament that it had used a form of spyware officially called “on-device investigation tools” (ODITs) in order to carry out mobile monitoring activities such as remote eavesdropping on mobile devices. microphone, activate the camera and collect information from text messages or emails.

Although Mounted Police initially reported that this type of monitoring only occurred 10 times between 2017 and 2018, a new review finds that it was used in 32 cases between 2017 and 2022, interfering with 49 devices.

During the hearing, representatives of the RCMP avoided answering questions about the origin and capabilities of the tools they use, citing the need to maintain the integrity of their operations; However, they asserted that it is not Pegasus, the notorious NSO group malware used to spy on journalists, activists, human rights defenders and political opposition in dozens of countries around the world.

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For Deibert, the authorities’ refusal to reveal the identity of the company is problematic, due to the massive intrusive capabilities these systems have, as opposed to traditional wiretapping.

“Advanced spyware aims to monitor what nuclear technology means for weapons – it represents a quantum leap forward in sophistication and power,” the researcher said, citing the researcher. The Globe and Mail.

Concerns about the impact of surveillance technologies have also reached conferences of other world powers, including the United States, where in early August three people, including a Pegasus malware spy victim, testified before the US House of Representatives Permanent Committee on Intelligence.

Photo (CC BY) Gibran Aquino

Sacha Woodward

"Wannabe writer. Lifelong problem solver. Gamer. Incurable web guru. Professional music lover."

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