Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cybercrime Strategy
Table of Contents
- Executive summary
- Cybercrime requires new ways of policing
- Defining cybercrime
- The RCMP's approach to combating cybercrime
- RCMP Cybercrime Operational Framework
- RCMP Action Plan to Combat Cybercrime
In 2010, the Government of Canada launched Canada's Cyber Security Strategy to protect Canadian governments, businesses, critical infrastructure and citizens from cyber threats. The Strategy helped shape Canada's knowledge of cyber technology and guides Canada's efforts in securing government and other vital systems, and protecting Canadians online.
Consistent with the government's efforts to make cyberspace more secure for all Canadians, the RCMP Cybercrime Strategy is based on extensive internal and external consultation and focuses on ways to improve Canada's national police force in its fight against the rising and evolving threat of cybercrime. This strategy complements Canada's Cyber Security Strategy to help keep Canadians secure online.
The RCMP has a broad mandate when it comes to investigating and apprehending criminals in the online world, or otherwise disrupting cybercrime activity. The RCMP Cybercrime Strategy is therefore broad in scope and reflects the role of cyber in several law enforcement areas. The RCMP Cybercrime Strategy's vision is to reduce the threat, impact and victimization of cybercrime in Canada through law enforcement action. The following three pillars are identified within the strategy to guide the RCMP's efforts in combating cybercrime:
- Identify and prioritize cybercrime threats through intelligence collection and analysis;
- Pursue cybercrime through targeted enforcement and investigative action; and,
- Support cybercrime investigations with specialized skills, tools and training.
The RCMP Cybercrime Strategy sets out in an Operational Framework and a supporting Action Plan, objectives, strategic enablers and 15 action items, which the RCMP will implement over the next five years and beyond. Collectively, these initiatives will enable Canada's national police force to better combat cybercrime in concert with its domestic and international law enforcement partners and other stakeholders.
Cybercrime requires new ways of policing
Cybercrime is on the rise, both in Canada and internationally.
Once considered the domain of individuals with specialized skills, cybercrime has expanded to other offenders as the requisite technical know-how becomes more accessible. Widely available and ready-made malicious software ('malware') and online cybercrime-for-hire services provide criminals with new and simplified ways to steal and exchange sensitive and personal information. As a result, criminals are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in new technologies that may be exploited for unlawful purposes, and new ways to victimize public and private sector organizations and Canadian citizens who rely on these technologies.
Cybercrime threats range in scope and impact. On a personal level, cybercrimes may target individuals through online scams or other fraudulent techniques. Cybercrimes may come with other social costs and devastating forms of victimization, such as online child sexual exploitation or the rising prevalence of cyber bullying. Cybercrime threats are also facilitated by organized crime networks and cause significant economic losses to Canadian businesses and citizens. On a commercial level, these threats target financial institutions, large-scale retailers and other organizations to steal personal consumer information, such as online passwords and credit card information, or to gain insider knowledge on intellectual property or trade secrets. On a national security level, state-sponsored and other criminal threat actors use sophisticated and covert cyber capabilities to perform espionage, steal sensitive information or to potentially conduct more disruptive attacks against Canada's critical infrastructure and other vital cyber systems.
The criminal exploitation of new and emerging technologies requires new policing measures to keep pace in a digital era. The same technologies that people and organizations use for legitimate purposes may be used by criminals to mask their online activities and evade detection from law enforcement. Police must often find technical solutions to decrypt, unlock or otherwise deal with encryption technologies, re-routed Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and other technical roadblocks that criminals exploit to cover their digital tracks and commit cybercrimes. Criminal activities in cyberspace are also complex and often transnational in character, where potential evidence is transient and spread across multiple jurisdictions.
To varying degrees, cybercrimes affect Canadians in real and harmful ways. For law enforcement, addressing cybercrime requires broad-based domestic and international police cooperation, engagement with public and private sector organizations, and integrating new technical skills and tools with traditional enforcement measures. As Canada's national police force, the RCMP must strive to be a leader in combating cybercrime. The following strategy and action plan demonstrates the RCMP's continued commitment against cybercrime.
The RCMP interprets cybercrime to be any crime where cyber - the Internet and information technologies, such as computers, tablets, personal digital assistants or mobile devices - has a substantial role in the commission of a criminal offence. Under this broad lens, the RCMP breaks cybercrime into two categories:
- technology-as-target - criminal offences targeting computers and other information technologies, such as those involving the unauthorized use of computers or mischief in relation to data, and;
- technology-as-instrument - criminal offences where the Internet and information technologies are instrumental in the commission of a crime, such as those involving fraud, identity theft, intellectual property infringements, money laundering, drug trafficking, human trafficking, organized crime or terrorist activities, child sexual exploitation or cyber bullying.
Prevalence of cybercrime
RCMP statistics suggest that cybercrime is increasing in Canada. In 2013, the RCMP received over 4,400 reported incidents of cybercrime: an increase of more than 40% (over 1,300 reported incidents) from 2011. The majority of reported cybercrime incidents involve technology-as-instrument offences, but reported cybercrime incidents involving technology-as-target offences are on the rise. In a small number of reported cybercrime incidents, the type of offence could not be determined as either technology-as-instrument or technology-as-target (i.e. Unknown).
Table 1: number of RCMP-reported cybercrime incidents from 2011 to 2013
Additional information on cybercrime
Additional information on cybercrime, including expanded definitions and select case studies, may be found in the RCMP's first public report on cybercrime, Cybercrime: an overview of incidents and issues in Canada.
The RCMP's approach to combating cybercrime
The RCMP is the only federal organization with the mandate and authority to investigate criminal offences related to cybercrime, such as those targeting government systems and networks, or other critical infrastructure sectors. As Canada's national police force, the RCMP has a broad mandate to investigate criminals in the cyber realm, resulting in their apprehension or otherwise disrupting their cybercrime activity. Law enforcement activities extend from identifying and prioritizing cybercrime threats based on criminal intelligence, to investigating and disrupting cybercrime activities, to handling digital evidence in support of cybercrime investigations.
The RCMP's cyber-related roles and responsibilities align with its duty to preserve the peace and prevent crime and other offences against Canadian laws as outlined in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act. Where the RCMP has been contracted as the local police service of jurisdiction at provincial, territorial and municipal levels, it also has a broad policing mandate in matters related to cybercrime as many crimes are committed by way of modern technologies.
The RCMP also has a pivotal role within the broader government's cyber community. Under Canada's Cyber Security Strategy, the RCMP works closely with its government partners to foster a safe and secure cyber environment in Canada.
The following section organizes the RCMP's cyber-related roles and responsibilities around three main areas: criminal intelligence, criminal investigations and specialized services.
The RCMP takes an intelligence-led approach to policing. Criminal intelligence allows law enforcement to 'connect the dots' of information from local to national and international criminal activity. Whether tactical, operational or strategic, criminal intelligence enables the RCMP and other Canadian police forces to set priorities and allocate resources based on the most significant criminal threats to Canada. This concept also applies to cybercrime, especially given its transnational dimension and the inherent need to identify patterns and relationships between cybercrime data and other relevant data sources from multiple jurisdictions.
The RCMP may investigate cybercrime in response to a complaint or proactively as a result of criminal intelligence. Cybercrime intelligence - coming from investigations, police information databases, open source research and analysis, or partner collaboration between law enforcement and public and private sector stakeholders - can identify prolific and serious offenders in cyberspace and may objectively direct police resources to major cybercrime targets. The RCMP analyzes criminal intelligence from a wide array of sources, identifies emerging cybercrime threats, and makes links between cybercrime and other criminal domains, such as organized crime or financial crime.
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is Canada's trusted source for reporting and mitigating online mass marketing fraud. It is a partnership among the RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Competition Bureau. In 2014, the CAFC received over 14,000 complaints of cyber-related fraud (email and website scams), accounting for more than $45 million in reported losses.
National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre
The RCMP National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (NCECC) works with law enforcement partners, government agencies, non-government organizations and industry stakeholders across Canada and internationally to combat the online sexual exploitation of children. The NCECC also works closely with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, an organization that operates Canada's national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children. In 2014, the NCECC received nearly 8,500 reported incidents and requests for assistance from law enforcement and other partners concerning online child sexual exploitation.
At the federal level, the RCMP investigates serious and organized crime, economic crime, a range of national security threats, and enforces Federal statutes. These investigations may extend to federal offences involving suspected cybercrime activities, such as money laundering and terrorist financing, market fraud, threats to Canada's critical infrastructure, intellectual property infringements or drug trafficking. The RCMP works in concert with domestic and international law enforcement partners and other stakeholders to combat cybercrime threats that cross jurisdictional boundaries and require joint force operations.
International policing plays a pivotal role in the RCMP's response to cybercrime. Cybercrime is often transnational, where a perpetrator in one country can affect victims in many others. As evidence of criminal activity may easily flow across national borders in cyberspace, the RCMP must work with multilateral partners to obtain and analyze evidence, which is enabled by police-to-police information sharing and formal legal mechanisms. Given the borderless nature of cybercrime, the RCMP works closely with its domestic and international law enforcement partners, and other stakeholders in both public and private sectors, to address common cybercrime threats through various enforcement measures, leading to arrests and charges or other disruption outcomes.
Through contract policing services, the RCMP plays a significant role in addressing cybercrime in contracted provinces, territories and municipalities. Law enforcement activities in these jurisdictions extend to a range of criminal offences where the Internet and related technologies play an integral role, such as online child sexual exploitation, local and regional types of fraud, or various offences associated with cyber bullying.
The RCMP's specialized and technological services play a critical role in cybercrime investigations. Cybercrime often involves surreptitious online activity, where the right law enforcement skills and tools are required to attribute cybercrime activity to a source, identify possible suspects and handle high volumes of digital evidence, such as terabytes of data from lawfully seized computers, hard drives and mobile devices. Cybercrime investigations differ significantly from traditional criminal investigations. They have a greater requirement for operating in online environments through open source analysis and covert means, and obtaining and analyzing data - and potential digital evidence - to drive investigations. This work is critical to criminal investigations with cyber elements, and will increase in complexity and volume as criminals continue to exploit new and emerging technologies.
The RCMP Technical Investigation Services (TIS) is a key part of the RCMP's specialized services for cybercrime investigations. The TIS provides technical domain expertise and digital forensic services to cybercrime investigations to all levels of policing in Canada, in addition to those involving international policing. The TIS maintains expertise in the forensic investigation of computers and networks, and provides other specialized services, such as expert testimony in criminal court proceedings involving cybercrime investigations. The RCMP Integrated Technological Crime Units (ITCUs) also provide specialized services to cybercrime investigations. ITCUs are strategically located across Canada to respond to cybercrime incidents in collaboration with other domestic and international police services, and often lead cybercrime investigations on behalf of Canada that are national or international in scope. These units also process and analyze digital evidence in support of cybercrime and other criminal investigations, which may involve computer forensics, network systems analysis, data recovery and retrieval, malware reverse engineering, and acquiring operational tools in support of cybercrime investigative techniques.
The RCMP's specialized services also extend to equipping law enforcement with the right training and skills to combat cybercrime. Cybercrime investigations require basic and advanced training to keep pace with criminals in cyberspace. As part of its National Police Services, the RCMP, through the Canadian Police College, provides law enforcement training and educational opportunities on cybercrime investigations and intelligence gathering. The National Police Services are a coordinated and integrated series of programs and services accessible to Canadian law enforcement that assist in the investigation of crime, including cybercrime.
RCMP Cybercrime Operational Framework
The RCMP Cybercrime Operational Framework is designed to capture the RCMP's vision, pillars, objectives and strategic enablers to combat cybercrime, which cascade throughout the action plan in the next section. The framework and action plan centre on core policing operations in the cyber realm, and equipping the RCMP with the right people, skills and tools in a digital era.
(P) = Pillars
(O) = Objectives
(E) = Enablers
Vision – Reduce the threat, impact and victimization of cybercrime in Canada
Identify and prioritize cybercrime threats through intelligence collection and analysis (P1)
- Strengthen the collection and analysis of cybercrime data to drive investigations and other policing measures (O1)
- Exploit intelligence to identify serious cybercrime threats and deny cybercriminals of their tools (O2)
- Work with law enforcement and industry to tactically disrupt national and international cybercrime threats (O3)
Pursue cybercrime through targeted enforcement and investigative action (P2)
- Develop a highly trained team for priority cybercrime investigations (O4)
- Expand technical capabilities to augment investigations where cyber is integral to a suspected criminal offence (O5)
- Target the most sophisticated and complex cybercrimes in concert with domestic and international partners (O6)
Support cybercrime investigations with specialized skills, tools and training (P3)
- Expand capabilities to handle digital evidence in support of cybercrime investigations (O7)
- Acquire new operational tools for cyber-related investigations (O8)
- Expand law enforcement training for cybercrime investigators and intelligence analysts (O9)
- Skills – Develop a robust and scalable law enforcement training regime to more effectively address cybercrime (E1)
- Tools – Equip law enforcement with the operational tools they need to investigate cybercrime at all levels of policing (E2)
- Information Sharing – Make it easier for victims to report cybercrime and improve information sharing between partners (E3)
- Coordination – Enable joint force operations and deconfliction with law enforcement partners when targeting cybercrime (E4)
- Industry – Engage industry to address shared cybercrime issues and foster mutually beneficial relationships (E5)
- Community Awareness – Inform Canadians and industry of new and emerging threats to help prevent cybercrime at the onset (E6)
- Legislation and Policy – Support the modernization of Canada's legal tools to keep pace with technological change (E7)
RCMP Action Plan to Combat Cybercrime
The RCMP Action Plan to Combat Cybercrime builds on the operational framework. It sets out 15 action items, including success indicators and timelines, to implement the Cybercrime Operational Framework and improve the RCMP's posture against cybercrime.
Action Item #1: Create a new investigative team dedicated to combat cybercrime.
Links to operational framework: P2; O4; O5; O6; E4
- Conduct more cybercrime investigations.
- Apprehend more cybercriminals.
- Disrupt more cybercrime activity.
Full implementation: 2020 and ongoing.
The RCMP requires dedicated investigative capacity to address cybercrime, where new technical capabilities are integrated with traditional enforcement measures.
To address this requirement, the RCMP will establish a cybercrime team located in Ottawa to investigate the most significant threats to Canada's political, economic and social integrity that would negatively affect Canada's reputation and economy. The team will have the capacity to target cyber-related criminal activity targeting the federal government, national critical infrastructure and key business assets. In carrying out its mandate, the team will leverage RCMP operational units across Canada that provide specialized and technological services in support of cybercrime investigations, and will work with domestic and international law enforcement partners on joint force operations. The team will enhance the RCMP's ability to combat cybercrime-related offences where technology plays an integral role, such as investigating the unauthorized use of computers, mischief in relation to data, or the possession of a device to commit unauthorized computer use or data mischief.
Action Item #2: Establish a governance structure for cybercrime priorities and operations.
Links to operational framework: P1; P2; P3; O3; O6; E3; E4; E5
- Provide governance, oversight and accountability for the cybercrime investigative team.
- Provide tactical operational support, advice and direction to all major investigational cybercrime projects.
Full implementation: 2017 and ongoing.
The RCMP requires a governance structure to oversee cybercrime investigative priorities and operations.
To address this requirement, the RCMP will devote personnel to provide governance, oversight and accountability for the new cybercrime investigative team, within the frame of the RCMP's governance structure for its serious and organized crime, national security and financial crime priorities. The RCMP's cybercrime governance structure will fall under RCMP Federal Policing Criminal Operations. Other oversight mechanisms will be in place for the RCMP's specialized services that support cybercrime investigations.
Action Item #3: Create a dedicated intelligence unit to identify new and emerging cybercrime threats.
Links to operational framework: P1; O1; O2; O3; E3; E4; E5
- Collect and analyze data sources on cybercrime threats and trends to identify vulnerabilities and enforcement opportunities for investigators.
- Produce cybercrime intelligence to identify leads and operational priorities for enforcement action.
Full implementation: 2017 and ongoing.
The RCMP requires dedicated resources to analyze more data sources and foster a strategic, national intelligence picture of cybercrime, and to better identify major cybercrimes for enforcement action.
To address this requirement, the RCMP will establish a dedicated cybercrime intelligence unit within the RCMP National Intelligence Coordination Centre (NICC). The NICC will gather and analyze cybercrime intelligence from domestic and international sources where suspected cybercrime activity has been identified and reported to the RCMP. The dedicated cybercrime intelligence unit will enhance the RCMP's ability to analyze cybercrime threats in an operational capacity and direct resources to target Canada's most serious and prolific cybercriminals. The NICC will also improve the RCMP's ability to link cybercrime threats to criminal activity in other domains, such as financial crime or serious and organized crime.
Action Item #4: Improve digital evidence capabilities for cybercrime investigations.
Links to operational framework: P3; O7; O8; E2
- Provide digital forensic support to cybercrime investigations, including those led by the cybercrime investigative team.
- Acquire new operational tools to analyze digital evidence more effectively.
Full implementation: 2020 and ongoing.
Cybercrime investigations differ significantly from traditional criminal investigations. They have a greater requirement for operating in online environments through open source analysis and covert means, and obtaining and analyzing data (potential digital evidence) to drive investigations. The new cybercrime investigative team is expected to handle large and complex volumes of digital evidence, such as potential evidence from lawfully seized digital devices and servers.
To address this requirement, the RCMP will devote new personnel and acquire new operational tools to directly support digital evidence requirements for cybercrime investigations, including those led by the new cybercrime investigative team. These digital forensic resources will ensure that state-of-the-art technological tools and capabilities are in place to support priority cybercrime investigations. In addition, the RCMP will examine capacity and capability requirements to push digital forensic skills and tools to the frontline of policing.
Action Item #5: Expand cybercrime investigative training opportunities for Canadian law enforcement
Links to operational framework: P3; O9; E1
- Develop and implement new cybercrime investigative courses for law enforcement.
- Expand basic and advanced cybercrime investigative skills across Canada.
Full implementation: 2017 and ongoing.
Criminal investigators and intelligence analysts require basic and advanced training in new and emerging technologies to keep pace with cybercrime. To address this requirement, the RCMP will improve its law enforcement training for cybercrime-related matters by providing new cybercrime investigative and intelligence training opportunities for the RCMP and its provincial and municipal law enforcement partners.
The RCMP provides law enforcement training on cybercrime investigative and intelligence-gathering techniques through the Canadian Police College, Technological Crime Learning Institute (TCLI). The TCLI is the only institute in Canada that offers a comprehensive cybercrime training program for law enforcement on various cybercrime investigative techniques. Through the TCLI, the RCMP will develop and implement new courses on digital and mobile device analysis, and Internet-based open source and online covert investigative techniques, areas in high demand from Canadian law enforcement agencies.
Action Item #6: Examine ways to more effectively recruit cybercrime investigators and other individuals with technical skills to combat cybercrime.
Links to operational framework: P2; P3; O4; O5; O9; E1
- Develop a strategy to more effectively recruit cybercrime investigators, intelligence analysts and other individuals with technical skills to combat cybercrime.
- Consider cyber recruitment strategies by other government organizations.
Cybercrime investigations are often complex, long-running and require individuals with highly specialized and technical skills, such as advanced proficiencies in computer science and network engineering, and other technical domain areas.
To address this requirement, the RCMP will examine its existing recruitment strategies for police officers and civilians, and will consider new recruitment tactics to better attract and retain individuals with technical domain expertise in cyber technologies. Recruitment strategies may include examining international recruitment models and other ways to reform cyber recruitment measures, such as considering: the United States, Department of Homeland Security, Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative; the United Kingdom's Joint Cyber Reserve; developing targeted recruitment campaigns aimed at academic institutions that specialize in computing or similar technological fields; promoting immediate cybercrime investigative training opportunities for new RCMP Cadets; or taking part in broader recruitment initiatives within the government's cyber community.
Action Item #7: Strengthen public-private partnerships and other liaison efforts in combating cybercrime.
Links to operational framework: P1; O3; E5
- More public-private partnerships and liaison channels on operational matters concerning cybercrime.
- More data sources on cybercrime threats and trends with links to Canada.
No single organization holds all of the requisite information to fully comprehend, keep pace with and combat cybercrime. Cybercrime is vast in scope and magnitude, and requires public and private sector organizations to work together and share information on new and emerging cybercrime threats.
To address this requirement, the RCMP will continue to expand its public-private partnerships and liaison efforts in combating cybercrime. The RCMP will build stronger partnerships with key cybercrime-fighting organizations, such as the United States National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA), the NCFTA Canada, and organizations in Canada's critical infrastructure industries to develop a more comprehensive understanding of major cybercrime threats and ways to address them.
Action Item #8: Examine ways to enhance the CAFC as a trusted data and intelligence source on financially-motivated cybercrimes.
Links to operational framework: P1; O1; O2; O3; E3; E5
- Analyze and disrupt a wider spectrum of financially-motivated cybercrime threats.
- Improve victim-based reporting of financially-motivated cybercrime incidents.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) plays an important role in analyzing and mitigating online fraud by working with Canadian police services and industry to disrupt criminal adversaries in cyberspace. Financially-motivated cybercrimes, however, are not limited to fraud, and require law enforcement to consider other offences.
To address this requirement, the CAFC will examine requirements to address a wider spectrum of financially-motivated cybercrime threats, such as reported cybercrime incidents involving intellectual property infringements and identity theft. The CAFC will also examine ways to expand its intake capabilities for victim-based reporting of suspected cybercrime incidents and improve its police information sharing on cybercrime activities and trends. The RCMP will also examine the role of the CAFC in the context of Federal Policing's overall intake framework, including potential links to National Police Services.
Action Item #9: Examine ways to improve the collection and analysis of suspicious cybercrime incidents involving Canada's critical infrastructure and other vital cyber systems.
Links to operational framework: P1; O1; O2; O3; E3; E5
- Improve the collection and analysis of suspicious and possibly criminal cyber incidents occurring at critical infrastructure facilities and other vital cyber operations in Canada.
- Engage Canada's critical infrastructure and vital cyber systems community to inform of suspected cybercrime threats and ways to address them.
Cybercrime poses serious threats to Canada's critical infrastructure and other vital cyber systems, such as those in energy, telecommunications and financial sectors. Critical infrastructure systems may include Internet-facing components, potentially leaving them vulnerable to malicious software and other cybercrime threats. The impact of these threats to critical infrastructure and other vital cyber systems may vary, ranging from industrial espionage, to data extraction and theft of intellectual property or trade secrets, to more disruptive tactics involving system compromises. These threats are growing in sophistication and volume, and require greater collaboration between law enforcement and other public and private sector stakeholders.
To address this requirement, the RCMP will examine ways to improve its collection and analysis of suspicious cybercrime incidents involving Canada's critical infrastructure and other vital cyber systems. This initiative will consider the RCMP National Critical Infrastructure Team (NCIT) and its analysis of cybercrime threats to critical infrastructure and other vital cyber systems. This initiative will also involve law enforcement collaboration with Canada's critical infrastructure community, such as the National Cross Sector Forum and sector-specific briefings. Notably, the NCIT examines physical and cyber threats to Canada's critical infrastructure, and collaborates with law enforcement, public and private sector stakeholders to ensure a common understanding of the criminal threats and risks surrounding Canada's critical infrastructure, including those in the cyber realm.
Action Item #10: Improve the intake and triage of reported cybercrime incidents.
Links to operational framework: P1; O1; O2; O3; E3; E5
- Improve ability to obtain and disseminate information on cybercrime incidents to operational areas.
- Improve situational awareness on suspected cybercrime activity in Canada.
The RCMP anticipates that domestic and international cybercrime incidents will require a greater ability to intake and triage requests for law enforcement assistance, improve situational awareness on cybercrime activities in Canada and disseminate information on cybercrime incidents to RCMP jurisdictions and other Canadian police services.
To address this requirement, the RCMP will examine ways to improve its intake and triage functions for reported incidents of suspected cybercrime activities. This initiative will focus on examining RCMP operational areas that facilitate intake and triage functions for domestic criminal investigations and foreign law enforcement requests for assistance, including the RCMP Federal Policing Operational Information Management Intake Unit and INTERPOL Ottawa. The RCMP will also examine its international networks involving reported cybercrime incidents and foreign requests for law enforcement assistance, including INTERPOL, G7 and the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime 24/7 networks. More broadly, the RCMP, through Federal Policing and National Police Services, will examine how it can better assist all Canadian law enforcement to intake and triage new cybercrime complaints and coordinate cybercrime investigations involving the widespread unauthorized use of computers and mischief in relation to data.
Action Item #11: Examine integrated enforcement models for combating cybercrime.
Links to operational framework: P1; P2; O3; O6; E4
- Greater national coordination and deconfliction for major cybercrime investigations.
Cybercrime activities are often multi-jurisdictional in nature and require the combined efforts of Canadian police services, including national law enforcement coordination and deconfliction.
To address this requirement, the RCMP will examine its existing enforcement models for joint force operations and will consider models that may better address criminal investigations in the cyber realm. An emphasis will be placed on examining national law enforcement coordination and deconfliction measures for technically complex and multi-jurisdictional cybercrimes, particularly those involving the widespread unauthorized use of computers and mischief in relation to data. This examination will focus on examining operations across RCMP federal policing, contract policing and national police services, including protocols for collaboration between the RCMP and its provincial and municipal law enforcement partners.
Action Item #12: Expand international collaboration with close allies to better understand and combat cybercrimes that are transnational in character.
Links to operational framework: P1; P2; O3; O6; E4
- Greater participation in international law enforcement fora on cybercrime.
- Greater understanding of cybercrime threats that are transnational in character.
- Provide liaison officers and analysts deployed abroad with foundational cyber-related training as it becomes available.
Cybercrime is often an international threat that requires an international and cohesive law enforcement response.
To address this requirement, the RCMP and its international law enforcement allies are increasingly working together to develop a shared understanding of common cybercrime threats, and to ensure that collaborative, proactive operational activities are aligned against these threats. Through key international bodies, such as INTERPOL, EUROPOL, G7 and Five Eyes working groups, the RCMP will continue to work with its international law enforcement allies to identify and address common cybercrime threats. The RCMP will also examine ways to bolster its international role in combating cybercrime, such as playing more active and leadership roles in shared international threat assessments and prioritization activities against cybercrime. This work may include international law enforcement activities involving the RCMP, such as: the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group, Cyber Crime Working Group; the Europol's Cyber Crime Centre, Joint Cybercrime Taskforce; the G7 Roma Lyon Group, High-Tech Crime Subgroup; the NCFTA International Task Force; and the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation.
Action Item #13: Examine ways to further inform Canadians and industry of emerging cybercrime threats.
Links to operational framework: P1; O1; O2; O3; E3; E6
- Provide Canadians and industry with more relevant and timely information on cybercrime threats.
- Encourage Canadians and industry to take proactive measures against cybercrime.
Under the broad context of cyber security, public and private sector organizations, and Canadians themselves, play important roles in addressing cybercrime. The private sector has a critical cyber role in securing its own networks and systems of wider importance, such as telecommunications, banking and other critical infrastructure sectors. Canadians should also take basic measures to protect themselves online, such as using up-to-date cyber security and anti-virus software, using unique and secure user names and passwords, and downloading online applications from only trusted sources. To take these and other proactive measures against cyber threats, Canadians and industry must be aware of cybercrimes facing Canada.
To address this requirement, the RCMP will continue to work with Public Safety Canada and other organizations by informing Canadians and industry of new and emerging cybercrime threats. Notably, the RCMP National Crime Prevention Services assist with public awareness and educational strategies to prevent cyber bullying, including initiatives related to Public Safety Canada's GetCyberSafe campaigns. The RCMP will continue to support the GetCyberSafe campaigns through youth crime prevention activities. The RCMP will also look for ways to increase industry's awareness of emerging cybercrime threats through the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Private Sector Liaison Committee, and improved information-sharing between the RCMP National Critical Infrastructure Team and critical infrastructure owners and operators.
Action Item #14: Continue to support the modernization of Canada's legal and policy tools to keep pace with technological change.
Links to operational framework: P2; O6; E7
- Modernized and new criminal offences and investigative legal tools to better address cybercrime in Canada.
- Improve law enforcement's ability to conduct international cybercrime investigations through harmonized legal tools between state allies.
At all levels of government, the RCMP and other Canadian police forces address cybercrime within the boundaries of Canada's legal environment, which includes a combination of jurisprudence, legislation, public policies, and other legal and policy instruments. While the RCMP Cybercrime Strategy focuses on strengthening the RCMP's posture against cybercrime within today's legal environment, it is clear that Canada's legal and public policy regime will need to keep pace with the evolution of technology to permit the effective investigation of cybercrime, both domestically and internationally.
The RCMP will continue to support Canada's modernization of criminal offences and investigative tools to better address crime in a digital age. The RCMP will also engage Canada's criminal justice community and identify requirements for educating prosecutors on cybercrime investigations and the novel legal aspects of cybercrime.
Action Item #15: Continue to work with the broader Canadian law enforcement community to devise a 'national' picture of - and response to - cybercrime.
Links to operational framework: P2; O6; E4
- Provide a leadership role in developing a framework for a 'national' law enforcement strategy to combat cybercrime.
- Identify actions that could be taken by all Canadian police forces to more effectively address cybercrime.
Cybercrime represents a shared and common threat to all levels of policing in Canada, and requires collaboration between the RCMP and its Canadian law enforcement partners.
To address this requirement, the RCMP and its Canadian law enforcement partners, through the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Electronic Crime Committee, and other fora, continue to discuss and develop coordinated, national law enforcement approaches to combat cybercrime. Consistent with this approach, the RCMP will use the RCMP Cybercrime Strategy as a basis to lead the development of broader national law enforcement strategies against cybercrime, including measures to develop a broader account of cybercrime based on aggregated police data, and to identify and improve shared, multi-jurisdictional law enforcement operations, collaboration and deconfliction measures against cybercrime. The RCMP will also engage other key stakeholders, such as the National Police Services National Advisory Committee and the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group, Cyber Crime Working Group, to fully examine operational requirements for a national law enforcement strategy to combat cybercrime.
Cybercrime has an immediate, tangible and ongoing impact on Canadians. On a macro level, cybercrime affects Canadian government and critical infrastructure systems and the integrity of Canada's economy and financial sectors. On a personal level, cybercrime involves personal financial losses, the infringement of privacy rights and the grievous harm associated with offences such as child sexual exploitation and cyber bullying. These threats continue to evolve and require a paradigm shift in how crimes are understood and policed in a digital era. They require a law enforcement response that addresses the criminal element in cyberspace while complementing broader government and industry security measures.
The RCMP Cybercrime Strategy identifies key steps that Canada's national police force will take to address this challenge. The strategy's action items are operationally relevant and will enable the RCMP to more effectively keep pace with cybercrime. The RCMP's cyber deliverables will be measured and reported on through Canada's Cyber Security Strategy.
The RCMP Cybercrime Strategy will strengthen the RCMP's ability to work with its domestic and international law enforcement partners and other stakeholders to combat cybercrime.
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