A (Cyber)criminal Mind

The colour of this post changed given yesterday’s introduction of Bill 61 but I had completed some research on this prior to yesterday and I would be willing to wager that I put more thought into this post than the BGH’s ((Big
Giant Heads)) put into Bill C-61 so I’m going go ahead anyhow.

In May, the Canadian Association of Police Boards released a report which stated that Cybercrime is a close second to Drug Trafficking as the #1 crime committed in Canada. A Report on CyberCrime in Canada. I don’t want to get bogged down in the report but the idea that Cybercrime has become so prevalent caused me to start thinking about the Criminal Code and other related pieces of legislation; so I ran a couple of searches (using CanLII), in doing a search for the word “computer” in the Criminal Code, I found that the word occurs in 17 sections of the Code. A search for the word “computer” in the Evidence act reveals that the word occurs 3 times. The word “internet” does not occur at all in either the Criminal Code or the Evidence Act. “Computer System” is defined in the Criminal Code s.342.1(2)

“computer system” means a device that, or a group of interconnected or related devices one or more of which,

(a) contains computer programs or other data, and

(b) pursuant to computer programs,

(i) performs logic and control, and

(ii) may perform any other function;”

Computer Program:

“computer program” means data representing instructions or statements that, when executed in a computer system, causes the computer system to perform a function;

Computer Service:

computer service” includes data processing and the storage or retrieval of data.

I don’t want to make any assertions based on this very rudimentary inquiry into a couple of pieces of legislation. Prior to yesterday I simply wanted to ask the question, are we in Canada prepared to deal with Cybercrime? After yesterday, I want to ask the question, are our legislators and institutions in Canada even remotely in touch with what is actually going on in the cyber dimension?


  1. Mark, I have to say that I agree- what other kind of mind could have come up with the requirement that librarians “take measures” to ensure that their clients don’t keep electronic versions of documents for more than five days! I could rant, and have, but I’ll shut up now.

  2. …are our legislators and institutions in Canada even remotely in touch with what is actually going on in the cyber dimension?

    No. However, this legislation is unlikely to be the product of what legislators or institutions do or don’t know — it’s more likely the product of the audio and video industry lobby having direct access to the Conservative party’s legislative agenda.

  3. I suspect that, assuming continued and relatively uncontrolled advances in technology, such as with wireless meshes; forms of transmission/reception; cryptography; and personal communication devices, etcetera, controlling what, how, when or where information flows will become increasingly difficult to the point of being impossible and/or pointless, despite any laws to control it.
    At that stage it might be a little like trying to control thoughts, which, in that sense, we’re probably already all criminals.