Privacy committee to conduct study of spyware tools used by RCMP

·1 min read

OTTAWA — A parliamentary committee will hold hearings on the RCMP's use of spyware and potential risks to the privacy rights of Canadians.

The House of Commons privacy committee voted today to determine which "device investigation tools" the RCMP uses and seek a list of judicial warrants obtained for deploying such software.

The committee was called to meet after the RCMP submitted a document to the House of Commons describing its use of tools that covertly and remotely obtain data from devices like phones and computers.

The motion calls on witnesses including Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, current and former privacy commissioners, and RCMP officers who oversaw the use of spyware.

René Villemure, a Bloc Quebecois MP who put forward the motion, says the RCMP's operational use of such software is concerning, and it is necessary to talk with those directly responsible to ensure accountability and privacy protection.

The motion says the hearings, to start no later than Aug. 8, will span two days and up to four committee meetings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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