#CyberFLASH: Feds lagging on cybercrime, hurting economy, Canadians, RCMP boss tells minister

Calgary Stampede 20130705

OTTAWA ― The RCMP commissioner has quietly warned Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney the government must do more to fight cybercrime — an expanding threat the top Mountie says is undermining the economy and putting Canadians at risk.

In a letter to the minister, commissioner Bob Paulson notes one pillar of the government’s cybersecurity plan focuses on both providing the public with information to protect themselves online and strengthening the ability of law-enforcement agencies to fight cybercrime.

“It is my view that the government needs to focus more on this pillar of the strategy,” Paulson says. “This growing threat significantly impacts the economic prosperity of our country, as well as individual Canadians.”

The letter, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, was prepared for Blaney as part of an extensive briefing package sent to the new minister, who was appointed in July.

Accompanying briefing notes say, while efforts to secure the online world have progressed under the federal strategy announced in 2010, “a gap remains” concerning law enforcement’s ability to effectively tackle cybercrime.

The offences — which take on “a new scope and gravity” in cyberspace — include child exploitation, cyberbullying, Internet-based mass marketing fraud, identity theft, intellectual property infringement, money laundering and illegal goods trafficking.

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