#CyberFLASH: Homeland Security helps Canadian cops nab criminals

computer-laptop-keyboard-852They received no acknowledgement in court on the day of sentencing, but U.S. Department of Homeland Security personnel helped track down an Ontario man suspected by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and local RCMP of child luring.

Brian Donald’s case is not the only occasion where the U.S. agency has helped Canadian law enforcement, specifically by obtaining and using administrative subpoenas to gather information from U.S.-based Internet companies.

Why the collaboration? Because U.S.-based social media companies with U.S.-based records operate under U.S. jurisdiction.

The now-common and accepted Canada-U.S. interactions allow for more effective policing. But they also tie in with the ongoing and important discussion about governments’ and law enforcement’s access to web user data.

There is a need for the public and lawmakers to know more about how police on both sides of the border work, when they are working within their laws, plus exactly how and why they interact.

In 2014, in R vs. Spencer, the Supreme Court of Canada indicated warrants are generally required when police go to telecom companies in Canada (Shaw, Bell, Rogers, etc.) seeking to compel the release of identifying information for an online account, based on an Internet Protocol (IP) address.

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