Evidence of meeting #31 for Procedure and House Affairs in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was threat.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Toni Moffa  Deputy Chief, IT Security, Communications Security Establishment Canada
  • Robert Gordon  Special Advisor, Cyber Security, Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
  • Commissioner James Malizia  Assistant Commissioner Protective Policing, Protective Policing Branch, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Tony Pickett  Officer In Charge, Technological Crime Branch, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

April 3rd, 2012 / 12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

I want to go back to some comments that Mr. Albrecht made and Mr. Easter commented on as well, as to whether we're talking about this as an individual threat to Minister Toews. I'm going to be asking for an opinion, but in my view it's not just a threat to Minister Toews, it's a threat to the system.

Minister Toews is just a representative of the system doing something that somebody doesn't like, which is the system, not just Minister Toews. In my view, this is a threat to the system of government and not just to an individual minister. Do you have a personal opinion on that?

12:30 p.m.

Special Advisor, Cyber Security, Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Robert Gordon

No, I don't have a personal opinion on that.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Okay. I'll just lay it out there as my own statement.

Assistant Commissioner, we talked about some of the experiences of other countries, the FBI and so on that have had some limited success in this. Does the RCMP have any experience in similar investigations in recent history, or is this the first one of its kind that you're aware of or can share? I'm not asking for specifics, just are there others?

12:30 p.m.

A/Commr James Malizia

I can say that the RCMP has conducted investigations in the past. We have, as mentioned earlier, a dedicated branch called the technological branch that specializes in this type of area.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Could you give us any indication of success or not of these other investigations, or are they still ongoing?

12:30 p.m.

A/Commr James Malizia

Of course I don't have any examples for the committee here today, but I can say there have been successful investigations in the past.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Good.

With regard to a point that Madam Latendresse brought up—whether it's paper-based or electronic-based—extortion is extortion under the law. It doesn't matter whether it's a letter or an e-mail, correct?

12:30 p.m.

A/Commr James Malizia

The RCMP will investigate any variety of those.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Somebody—I think it was you, Assistant Commissioner—talked about the ignorance of the law. These people don't realize they're breaking the law. So some of them, I guess, may claim ignorance of the law under the influence of their enthusiasm for whatever the cause may be as some level of innocence. Have you run across that sort of attitude? As in, “Gee. I didn't know, so I'm okay. You can't prosecute me.”

12:30 p.m.

A/Commr James Malizia

There have been instances where individuals have provided that as a reason, but also we have seen—and we certainly hope that in those cases where we have sufficient grounds to lay a charge—that it can act as a deterrent.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Do you think this process we're going through right now—and again, as I've said before, I don't think we have much of a chance of finding these guys. We may find one, but there are who knows how many others.

Do you think that this process is shedding some helpful light for folks out there that this is not a game, that these are crimes, and that ignorance of the law is not going to be treated as an excuse? Has this process been useful at least in that respect?

12:30 p.m.

A/Commr James Malizia

I'm not in a position to comment on the committee's work and the process, but what I can say is that advances in technology have created an environment where individuals achieve anonymity. Criminals exploit, of course, the faceless environment provided by the Internet to conceal their identity and conduct serious criminal activity. We intend to fully pursue those who do that.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

So whether you're a pro or an enthusiastic amateur, the law's going to treat you the same way.

12:30 p.m.

A/Commr James Malizia

Yes.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Thank you.