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Security & Law Enforcement | June 11, 2018

Mounties, CSIS still haven't publicly ID'd people behind electronic cell surveillance in Ottawa

Robert Beggs


After investigating for over a year, the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) are still unable to publicly identify those who have deployed electronic espionage devices in the national capital.

In April 2017, a CBC/Radio-Canada report revealed that IMSI catchers were being used in Ottawa and Montreal. These devices can capture cellphone data and listen to telephone conversations.

News that sophisticated spying tools had been deployed within range of Parliament Hill caused some tumult within the government. Following the CBC/Radio-Canada report, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced the launch of two investigations on April 4, 2017.

"Both the RCMP and CSIS are investigating this matter to make sure we get to the bottom of it and determine who exactly conducted this activity," Goodale said at the time.

"Obviously we are very anxious to determine who lies at the source of this activity."

More than a year later, CSIS and the RCMP say their investigations aren't finished yet and they're unable to provide any further details.

So the mystery remains unsolved: who deployed those IMSI catchers in the national capital?