On January 27, 2016, the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that it executed a
warrant under Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). The CRTC
raided two facilities in the Niagara region of Ontario as part of
an ongoing investigation relating to the installation of malicious
software (malware) and the alteration of transmission
data1. The CRTC launched its investigation further to a
lead from FireEye Inc., a vendor specializing in cyber threat
protection and forensics.
Although CASL came into force in 2014, provisions prohibiting
the installation of software, including malware, on an
individual's computer without consent, only came into effect in
January 2015. This is the second time a warrant has been
executed since CASL came into force.
The CRTC previously executed its very first warrant on December
3, 2015, as part of a coordinated international effort of law
enforcement agencies, including the RCMP, FBI, Europol, Interpol.
The aim of the warrant was to take down a command and control
server in Toronto, in order to disrupt the malicious software
called Win32/Dorkbot, a malware responsible for infecting more than
one million personal computers in over 190 countries.
The CRTC has a range of investigative powers available under
CASL. With judicial authorization, it may obtain injunctions
against suspected offenders2 and execute search
warrants to enter premises to investigate and verify compliance
with the Act3, as well as to seize anything found on the
premises4. In the event of a violation, the CRTC has the
power to issue "administrative monetary penalties" of up
to $1 million for an individual and up to $10 million for a
company5. As of July 1, 2017, individuals and
organizations affected by a contravention of CASL will be able to
take court action to seek actual and statutory
damages,6 although entering into an undertaking
with the CRTC could eliminate the possibility of a private
Canadian businesses have previously expressed concern that the
CRTC may direct its enforcement powers against legitimate domestic
companies rather than cyber threats and intentional spammers. This
announcement however indicates that the CASL enforcement regime is
likely to target the most damaging and deceptive forms of spam and
The prospect of an internal investigation raises many thorny issues. This presentation will canvass some of the potential triggering events, and discuss how to structure an investigation, retain forensic assistance and manage the inevitable ethical issues that will arise.
From the boardroom to the shop floor, effective organizations recognize the value of having a diverse workplace. This presentation will explore effective strategies to promote diversity, defeat bias and encourage a broader community outlook.
Staying local but going global presents its challenges. Gowling WLG lawyers offer an international roundtable on doing business in the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia. This three-hour session will videoconference in lawyers from around the world to discuss business and intellectual property hurdles.
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