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The Canadian Criminal Code on Hacking

Where does the Canadian criminal code stand on hacking? Given how fast technology moves, can the law keep up?

The Canadian Criminal Code on Hacking

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Reasonably Accurate 馃馃 Transcript

There's a really interesting case making its way through the courts in Nova Scotia, Canada. Right now, a 19 year old has been charged with the unauthorized use of a computer or service for downloading several 1000 documents from a public government website.

Now, this user, the defendant went through and wrote a script that enumerated several urls and downloaded all this information automatically think of going to one, changing the one to a two, then a three, then a four so on and so forth several 1000 times.

It's a really efficient way to download this information that he says he believes was public. So he's gonna argue what's called color of, right? It's a commonwealth legal concept that essentially says I believe my actions were justifiable based on other permissions that were granted to me.

So in this case, it's a public website that anybody can point their browser to. I was just doing the same thing in a more efficient manner. Now, the government is going to argue that this was unauthorized use of a computer because the defendant found several public documents, but also documents that weren't intended to be public.

They were published on the server, they just weren't actively linked to. Now, this is a fascinating case because there's that key question is what's authorized or unauthorized use of a system. Now, if the government had a robots dot txt file, which defines the ad use of the website, there could be more meat to this argument.

I don't know, we haven't seen what the government's exact structure of their defense or their argument is or what the defense's argument is. We're going to have to keep a close eye on this because unauthorized is one of the few terms that are not defined under section 3 42.1.

This is very much in the court's hands. Stay tuned for more.

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