#CyberFLASH: Police warn of phone scams involving RCMP, Do Not Call List impersonators

image-3Most Canadians should be familiar with calls from companies offering prizes in exchange for information or money. These latest scams take those calls a step further by pretending to be government organizations.

The RCMP released a statement on Wednesday warning Ontarians of fraudulent calls from a group pretending to be the RCMP Integrated Technological Crime Unit. Reported calls have varied, but in one case the operator accused the resident was sending “malicious content” through his or her computer. In another instance, the caller claimed international criminals were hacking into their computer to use it for criminal activity. Individuals were then asked to send money to fix the problem.

The RCMP said it doesn’t contact Canadians to collect fines or taxes, and would never ask for access to a person’s computer.

The CRTC also reported fraudulent calls in a statement made on Tuesday. It said Canadians have been receiving calls allegedly on behalf of the National Do Not Call List. The operator tells the individual their telephone number is about to expire, and asks them for information to re-register.

Read more here

#CyberFLASH: Local MPs support anti-terror bill

1297358843659_ORIGINALA bill that has brought with it much controversy and protests throughout the country has passed in Parliament.

Bill C-51, better known as the Anti-Terrorism Act, passed in the House of Commons on May 6, with the federal Conservatives and Liberals voting in favour of the bill.

First introduced by the Conservatives at the end of January and touted as legislation to protect Canadians from the threat of terrorism, Bill C-51 gives more power to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in tracking and acting on what they deem as terrorist threats. The bill also allows for full sharing of personal information between government agencies, extends the length at which detainees can be held before being charged, allows for increased Internet monitoring, and makes the advocacy of terrorism a federal offence.

Prior to the bill being passed, on May 5 local MP Tim Uppal spoke in favour of the bill.

“We, as parliamentarians, have an obligation to do what we can to help (law enforcement) in that very important job that they have,” Uppal said in the House of Commons.

He described the bill as “legislation that would enable national security agencies to keep pace with the ever-evolving threats to our national security. Canada, like our allies, needs to modernize our laws to arm our national security agencies in the fight against Jihadi terrorists who we know have declared war on Canada.”

Uppal told the House that increasing CSIS’ power is necessary to disrupt threats to the country.

Read more here

#CyberFLASH: Bob Zimmer addresses Bill C-51 concerns

typing-image-genericThe following is an op-ed from local MP Bob Zimmer. In the piece Zimmer addresses Bill C-51, and the concerns associated with the bill.

Below are his comments:

Like most Canadians, I believe that jihadi terrorism is one of the most dangerous enemies our world has ever faced. The recently released annual report by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) reconfirmed what many of us already knew, that this type of terrorism is not just a threat somewhere else; it seeks to harm us on our own soil. In our cities. In our neighbourhoods. Canadians are targets by these terrorists for no other reason than that we are Canadians. They want to harm us because they hate our society, and the values it represents.

The recent terrorist attacks here and around the world have shown us that terrorists refine and adapt their methods, our police and national security agencies need additional tools and greater coordination. That is why our Government introduced Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015, legislation that includes measures similar to those already in place in countries like the United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, France, and Australia.

Unfortunately, I know there has been a lot of misinformation circulating about what the implementation of this important Bill will mean to everyday, law-abiding Canadians, and I wanted to take this time to further explain some of these measures and dispel some of the prevailing myths surrounding this legislation.

Read more here

#CyberFLASH: Your tax info at heightened risk, experts say

163520649-1024x683Critics denounced the passing of the Anti-Terrorism Act in the House of Commons last week, saying the legislation will impede on Canadians’ freedom of expression and religion. With all the uproar, a key change in the Income Tax Act went largely unnoticed.

Under Bill C-51, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been given permission to share your income tax filings with 13 additional government agencies.

Experts say this could render your personal financial information less secure than it already is in today’s electronic age.

Until now, the CRA has only had permission to share this information with three other agencies (CSIS, RCMP and FINTRAC) and only under very specific conditions. That list has grown to 16 in total and now includes Canada Border Services, the Canadian Armed Forces and Citizenship and Immigration among others.

The more people that have access to taxpayer information under Bill C-51, the higher the risk of leaks, hacks and other foul play, according to Avner Levin, the director of Ryerson University’s Privacy Institute.

The change in legislation is “unprecedented,” he says. “It’s snooping and meddling of the worst kind.”

Anyone who has filed their taxes in recent years should recall the little box asking whether they’re willing to share their home address with Elections Canada. This small request for consent served as a reminder that, to date, the government has been respectful of taxpayers’ privacy. But amendments to the Income Tax Act under Bill C-51 changes all that. The CRA can now share not only your home address, but all of your financial information within the government, without any form of consent or a warrant.

Read more here

#CyberFLASH: Reddit moderator and ‘doxing’ victim says police reaction lacklustre

typing-image-genericA Halifax man who says he was harassed and doxed on a local internet message board says he’s had a “frustrating” time trying to get authorities to investigate, even though Nova Scotia has laws against it.

Doxing — a shorthand for the act of dropping or publicizing documents — is the practice of posting a person’s personal information online, often against a person’s wishes.

Blake Hebb is a moderator on the popular online forum Reddit, where he says a recent thread about the upcoming federal election got out of control. The political escalated to the personal when Hebb said a user posted Hebb’s full name and the street he lived on.

“There are very few rules Reddit as an entity enforces, but one of the main ones is don’t post personal information,” says Hebb.

The user was banned from Reddit, but opened new accounts — 36 of them in all.

“It was this game of whack-a-mole,” Hebb said. “I’m sure a person could have better hobbies.”

The user continued to taunt Hebb and posted his full name, date of birth, email address, mailing address and phone number.

Read more here

#CyberFLASH: It’s time for Canadians to fight for their privacy

1297236821813_ORIGINALWay back in 1996, a Reform Party MP questioned the privacy implications of an electronic voter registry, saying:

“The first and main concern is the privacy issue … since the information is to be shared by different levels of government and different governmental bodies. There is a risk that privacy can be compromised. The more information is transferred and shared, the greater the risk of security of the information.”

That MP was Stephen Harper.

Needless to say, times have changed.

Today, Prime Minister Harper and his Conservative government are trying to steamroll Bill C-51, its anti-terrorism bill, through Parliament.

Bill C-51 raises some serious privacy-related concerns.

The Security of Canada Information Sharing Act, a bill within the bill, is particularly troubling. The bill permits information sharing for an incredibly broad range of reasons, most of them unrelated to terrorism. This information would be shared across 17 government institutions.

The bill also allows the prospect of cabinet expansion to other departments as well as further disclosure “to any person, for any purpose.” It basically gives the government carte blanche to share your information with whoever they choose.

Read more here

#CyberFLASH: List of protests tracked by government includes vigil, ‘peace demonstration’

hi-bc-archive-surveillance-camerasOTTAWA — What do Canadian veterans, advocates for the disabled and the country’s largest union have in common? Their activities were monitored and reported on by police and government agencies over the last year.

Documents show the central Government Operations Centre received reports on more than 160 protests, community events, and demonstrations between May 2014 and February 2015. The RCMP, Public Safety Canada, and the Privy Council Office prepared reports for the GOC — which co-ordinates the federal government’s response to national emergencies and natural disasters.

While much of the monitoring focused on First Nations causes and environmental activism, the GOC showed a diverse set of interests, including:

• A rally on Parliament Hill pushing for better benefits for Canadian veterans.

• A “die-in” protesting police brutality against black Americans, including vigils for Ferguson, Mo. shooting victim Michael Brown organized by the Black Lives Matter movement.

• An event called “Paddle for Peace” in Fort St. Jean, B.C., where the report noted “public order issues are not expected.”

• Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care’s national day of action.

• An “interfaith peace demonstration” in Mississauga.

Read more here

#CyberFLASH: Invasion of privacy creeps into a culture

n-ONLINE-PRIVACY-largeOn March 14, I attended the rally protesting C51 outside the absent MP’s office. What struck me most was the genuine concern on the faces and in the voices of the 100 or more who were present.

They were not people protesting radically, screaming and uttering vulgarities. They were folks you see in the workplace or on the streets of our city every day. Some had their children with them. Their fears and concerns prompted me to share a little of my relevant experiences in the former Soviet Union.

That experience began in 1992, one year after the break up of the U.S.S.R. In the following 17 years, I did 25 management development projects in Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania and 11 other former Soviet republics.

You might ask, what does that experience in those former dictatorships have to do with Bill C51? The lesson I learned most emphatically was: the invasion of privacy creeps from the government to the police and security forces, e.g., KGB, CSIS, into the public’s mindset and ultimately into the culture of a nation. And it remains in the culture for many years.

Several times I was challenged or detained by members of the security forces – 10 to 15 years after the collapse of the U.S.S.R. Numerous times friends warned me not to talk in buses or public places. Raising questions or issues about the Lukashenka government in Belarus brought intense reactions from some who attended my public lectures.

Read more here

© 2013 CyberTRAX Canada - All Rights Reserved.
Sponsored by C3SA Corp.