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Canada’s police chiefs: “We need laws that force cybercriminals to reveal their passwords”

August 18, 2016

The news that Canada’s police chiefs are advocating for federal laws that would compel individuals to provide electronic passwords with a judge’s consent isn’t sitting well with some members of Canada’s IT community.

Earlier this week at its annual conference in Ottawa, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) passed a resolution that formally requests legal measures to lawfully unlock digital evidence, citing the rise of cybercriminals who are using encryption tools to hide illicit activities as the impetus.

 

During a news conference on Tuesday, RCMP Assistant Commissioner Joe Oliver noted that at present under Canadian law, police cannot compel individuals to comply with a request to provide a password during an investigation. Law enforcement needs to keep pace with modern criminals who are effectively  “going dark” by operating in cyberspace with tools that mask their identities, said Oliver.

 

But according to Jacob Ginsberg, senior director for Toronto-based email encryption software firm Echoworx, such as move would be an “unconscionable” one.
 

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