Top Canadian police intelligence officer charged with leaking secret information

By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - A top Canadian police intelligence officer has been charged with leaking secret information, authorities said on Friday, in what could be a major security breach. Cameron Ortis, a director general with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's intelligence unit, faces three charges under a little-used 2012 security of information law

Reuters September 14, 2019 03:10:57 IST
Top Canadian police intelligence officer charged with leaking secret information

Top Canadian police intelligence officer charged with leaking secret information

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A top Canadian police intelligence officer has been charged with leaking secret information, authorities said on Friday, in what could be a major security breach.

Cameron Ortis, a director general with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's intelligence unit, faces three charges under a little-used 2012 security of information law.

"It is alleged he obtained, stored and processed sensitive information ... with the intent to communicate that information with people he shouldn't be communicating to," federal prosecutor John MacFarlane told reporters outside Ottawa's court house after Ortis was charged.

Sources with knowledge of national security investigations described Ortis as former RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson's most elite adviser on issues related to national security. Paulson was in office from 2011-2017.

"Operationally, this could be very, very bad," said Stephanie Carvin, an assistant professor and security expert at Ottawa's Carleton University.

Canada is part of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network with United States, Britain, New Zealand and Australia.

One section of the law used to charge Ortis refers to a person with security clearance who "intentionally and without authority, communicates or confirms special operational information." He also faces charges of breach of trust and misuse of a credit card.

The RCMP said in a statement that the alleged offences had taken place when Ortis was a member of the force, but it gave no further details and said nothing about what other nations might be involved.

Neither Ortis, who is in custody, nor a lawyer for him could be reached for immediate comment. The next court hearing in the case has been set for Sept. 20.

A brief LinkedIn profile for Ortis shows he speaks Mandarin and has both a certificate in internet systems administration and a doctorate in international relations from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in western Canada.

A UBC newsletter from 2006 said the title of the doctorate was "the relationship between rapid Internet diffusion and the emergence of new threats and the digitisation of traditional threats." Ortis, it added, had conducted field work interviews in East Asia.

The 2012 law was used to prosecute a Canadian naval officer who handed over secrets to Russia for more than four years. Sub-Lieutenant Jeffrey Delisle was jailed for 20 years in 2013 but released on parole in 2018.

Canadian officials told a sentencing hearing in 2013 that allies had threatened to withhold intelligence from Canada unless it tightened security procedures.

"I can assure you the authorities are taking this extremely seriously but you might understand I have no comment to make," Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters.

Andrew Scheer, whose opposition Conservative Party is vying to defeat Trudeau in an Oct. 21 election, said the case was extremely concerning and "a reminder of the threats we face from foreign actors."

(Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Tom Brown)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Aurora Cannabis plans more layoffs, facility closures amid industry turmoil
Business

Aurora Cannabis plans more layoffs, facility closures amid industry turmoil

By Arunima Kumar (Reuters) - Aurora Cannabis on Tuesday announced a new round of staff reductions and plans to shut five facilities over the next two quarters, as the COVID-19 pandemic pummels the cash-crunched cannabis industry. For most marijuana companies in Canada, which legalized recreational cannabis in October 2018, profits have proven elusive due to fewer-than-expected retail stores, cheaper rates on the black market and slow overseas growth. The industry has been further hit by the COVID-19 crisis, which has also upended financial markets, making it harder to get investor dollars

India levies charge on some steel imports from China, Korea, Vietnam
Business

India levies charge on some steel imports from China, Korea, Vietnam

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has imposed an anti-dumping duty on flat rolled steel products that are plated or coated with alloy of aluminium and zinc originating in, or from China, Vietnam and South Korea, according to a government order https://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cs-act/notifications/notfns-2020/cs-add2020/csadd16-2020.pdf issued on Tuesday. The duty will be in the range of $13.07-$173.10 per tonne for 5 years, according to the statement

Gold vaults to highest since October 2012 as dollar stumbles
Business

Gold vaults to highest since October 2012 as dollar stumbles

By Diptendu Lahiri (Reuters) - Gold prices surged to their highest since October 2012 on Tuesday, driven by a weakness in the U.S. dollar and widespread monetary stimulus packages by central banks as a jump in coronavirus cases dents the economic outlook