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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

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

We know that there have been charges laid in England and in the United States against people claiming to be part of Anonymous. Would that type of reaching out include reaching out to actual cases in other countries, and asking to share information with those other countries?

12:05 p.m.

A/Commr James Malizia

Although I can't comment on investigations that have been conducted in other countries, we regularly exchange and share with various other agencies from around the world, whether they be best practices or collaborations on investigations.

April 3rd, 2012 / 12:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

All right.

Assistant Commissioner, with regard to the actual charges, are you able to answer any questions with regard to the types charges? And, I'm sorry, this came up in the last meeting around the difficulty with double-jeopardy—us making recommendations, for lack of a better term, on punitive action through the House of Commons versus criminal charges through the criminal justice system. That's your side of the coin.

Has any analysis been made of the types of charges that could be laid in these circumstances?

12:10 p.m.

A/Commr James Malizia

Well, there are different charges, as you know, that are available to us through the Criminal Code. It could range from unauthorized use of a computer, under section 342; the use of, possession of, or trafficking of computer passwords; mischief to data; extortion; intimidation; and uttering threats. So there are different ones available to us through the Criminal Code.

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

We're trying to get some sense of timelines here, but I know you're not going to be able to answer that, so I won't ask the question.

In terms of the ongoing investigation, does it include physical threats? Or is it simply YouTube?

12:10 p.m.

A/Commr James Malizia

I'm not in a position to provide you with any information at all.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

I thought that was going to be the answer.

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

I knew that was going to be the answer, Mr. Chair.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

You have a minute left if you want to—

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

I have no other questions. It's not going anywhere.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

Mr. Easter, for seven minutes.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you to the witnesses.

Mr. Albrecht, in his questioning, read some of the threats from YouTube. He basically implied in that question that asking for a minister's resignation should be seen as a threat. I would hope not. I think I've asked for some and I don't want to walk out of here in handcuffs.

I don't see asking for a minister's resignation as a threat, not in any way. I think we've asked for a few.

Also, in your statement, you said that the minister has asked for an investigation. In your remarks to us, Assistant Commissioner, you said, and I quote:

If a minister or a member of Parliament feels their safety and security is in jeopardy, they should report it to the RCMP or the local police of jurisdiction.

Did Minister Toews ask for such police protection?

12:10 p.m.

A/Commr James Malizia

We have, in the past, provided protective services to ministers who have received threats, depending upon the threats. The security packages provided have been varied. We continue to assess, of course, through threat risk assessment, those threats that are reported to us, and at that time we do make a determination whether protective services would be provided.

As you know, I'm not at liberty to discuss what protective services we are providing or not.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

So we can't determine whether or not Minister Toews has made the request.

I'm well aware of protection for ministers in the past.

So you can't tell us. We know Minister Toews has made the statement to the House and that's why this committee is discussing the issue, but you can't tell us whether or not Minister Toews requested security as a result of this.

12:10 p.m.

A/Commr James Malizia

What I can tell you is that it is the RCMP that makes the determination of whether security is provided or not through a threat risk assessment.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Okay. Thank you.

It seems to me that in the evidence presented previously, and by both your groups, the various agencies are set up to deal more with threats to the system. Certainly the RCMP is set up to deal with threats to individuals, and that's your judgment call.

But is it fair to say that all the various security apparatus and various agencies we have in terms of this Internet age are set up more so to deal with threats to the system as a whole rather than to individuals? We are dealing with different circumstances in the way that this threat came forward.

Mr. Gordon.

12:15 p.m.

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

Robert Gordon

Mr. Chairman, that's probably a good way to broadly characterize the responsibilities. We're looking at the integrity of both the data and the systems. We're looking at the confidentiality of data, ensuring that whatever is on the systems remains confidential. We're looking at the integrity of the data, so someone isn't going in and changing what the data is; and also at the availability of the data, that you're not denied access to your information in a variety of ways. So that's a good characterization of it.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

In your remarks, Mr. Gordon, on page 2 in the English copy you said that the CCIRC is responsible for helping to mitigate, respond, and recover from incidents affecting vital systems outside the federal government, and you emphasized the word “outside”. What about inside the federal government? What happens there? Why did you emphasize the word “outside”?

12:15 p.m.

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

Robert Gordon

It was primarily to differentiate between the roles and responsibilities of the Communications Security Establishment, which provides the technical expertise and guidance for the Government of Canada's systems, and the responsibilities within Public Safety, which focus outside the federal government to provide the knowledge and best practices that the federal government has to a range of outside customers and clients, from provincial and territorial governments to some of the critical infrastructure sectors.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

And you also talked about your response to cyber-events. I'm going to run out of time, so I'll ask two questions at the same time, Mr. Chair.

In layman's terms, can you give us the process of how you respond to those cyber-events in terms of attacks on the system, trying to mine data, trying to misrepresent, misinformation, or whatever?

My second question is really to the RCMP. If, in this case, Anonymous is identified and is found to be just south of the border or outside the country somewhere, what's the process? How do you, then, get at the individual in terms of charging them with a crime and getting them to face the consequences of that crime in this country, when it happens over the Internet, outside the country?

So there are two questions, one to Mr. Gordon and one to the assistant commissioner.

12:15 p.m.

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

Robert Gordon

We produce a variety of information products for all of the people we deal with outside the federal government, ranging from very technical responses to more broad, information-based notes, and information or advisories on vulnerabilities that we're seeing. So there's a range of types of products.

When an incident actually occurs or a series of incidents may be occurring, we will also provide steps on how agencies may want to recover from specific types of attacks. We'll set out a checklist so they can actually follow through on how to deal or respond themselves to those incidents.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Malizia.

12:15 p.m.

A/Commr James Malizia

To your question on how we work with our international partners, of course, if there are threats emanating from another country, we'll work with our vis-à-vis law enforcement agency to be able to further the investigation. Again, in the cyber-world that might be several countries. It might not be just one country.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Then you go through—

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

I'm sorry, Mr. Easter, but you're well over.

Mr. Kerr, for four minutes, please.