Canada Faces Serious Cyber Threats but the Government Won't Give Us Any Details

by Knowlton Thomas

The federal government has admitted it is concerned about its own cyber security. But it refuses to disclose where these potential threats are coming from.

Public safety minister Vic Toews says there is no reason to name names. This sudden secrecy, ironcially, is coming from the same Vic who tried to create a policy in Canada where the government would have unprecendented power to spy on citizens via the internet—privacy be damned.

"If there is a national security interest that requires disclosure of some of these names and companies, that will be done in due course," Toews told the Canadian Press. "At this time I don't see simply making general allegations without talking about why I would be saying that."

Vic went so far as to confirm that some countries pose greater risks than others. However, he would not specify any countries.

"I don't think that's going to serve any particular purpose calling out any particular country at this time," Vic said. "I'm certainly aware of where threats come from and we are constantly being briefed by our allies on developments in that respect."

We know Huawei, based in China, is one threat.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair believes the Conservatives must be more clear about these decisions and stop improvising.

"We should be putting our cards on the table and saying if those national security concerns exist, we've got to define them," Mulcair told the Canadian Press.

Acting Liberal leader Bob Rae agrees.

"I think the issue of cybersecurity is something that we need to discuss in a very transparent way," Rae told the Canadian Press. "If the government has information that says, 'Here are the agencies around the world that are posing a threat, or pose a risk for us, we think they've engaged in this kind of activity or that kind of activity,' then we should name names."

Photo: David Bloom, QMI

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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