Security of Information Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. O-5)

Act current to 2014-08-05 and last amended on 2014-02-28. Previous Versions

Security of Information Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. O-5

An Act respecting the security of information

SHORT TITLE

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Security of Information Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 1;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 25.

INTERPRETATION

Marginal note:Definitions
  •  (1) In this Act,

    “Attorney General”

    « procureur général »

    “Attorney General” means the Attorney General of Canada and includes his or her lawful deputy;

    “communicate”

    « communiquer »

    “communicate” includes to make available;

    “document”

    « document »

    “document” includes part of a document;

    “foreign economic entity”

    « entité économique étrangère »

    “foreign economic entity” means

    • (a) a foreign state or a group of foreign states, or

    • (b) an entity that is controlled, in law or in fact, or is substantially owned, by a foreign state or a group of foreign states;

    “foreign entity”

    « entité étrangère »

    “foreign entity” means

    • (a) a foreign power,

    • (b) a group or association of foreign powers, or of one or more foreign powers and one or more terrorist groups, or

    • (c) a person acting at the direction of, for the benefit of or in association with a foreign power or a group or association referred to in paragraph (b);

    “foreign power”

    « puissance étrangère »

    “foreign power” means

    • (a) the government of a foreign state,

    • (b) an entity exercising or purporting to exercise the functions of a government in relation to a territory outside Canada regardless of whether Canada recognizes the territory as a state or the authority of that entity over the territory, or

    • (c) a political faction or party operating within a foreign state whose stated purpose is to assume the role of government of a foreign state;

    “foreign state”

    « État étranger »

    “foreign state” means

    • (a) a state other than Canada,

    • (b) a province, state or other political subdivision of a state other than Canada, or

    • (c) a colony, dependency, possession, protectorate, condominium, trust territory or any territory falling under the jurisdiction of a state other than Canada;

    “model”

    « modèle »

    “model” includes design, pattern and specimen;

    “munitions of war”

    « munitions de guerre »

    “munitions of war” means arms, ammunition, implements or munitions of war, military stores or any articles deemed capable of being converted thereinto or made useful in the production thereof;

    “offence under this Act”

    « infraction à la présente loi »

    “offence under this Act” includes any act, omission or other thing that is punishable under this Act;

    “office under Her Majesty”

    « fonction relevant de Sa Majesté »

    “office under Her Majesty” includes any office or employment in or under any department or branch of the government of Canada or of any province, and any office or employment in, on or under any board, commission, corporation or other body that is an agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada or any province;

    “prohibited place”

    « endroit prohibé »

    “prohibited place” means

    • (a) any work of defence belonging to or occupied or used by or on behalf of Her Majesty, including arsenals, armed forces establishments or stations, factories, dockyards, mines, minefields, camps, ships, aircraft, telegraph, telephone, wireless or signal stations or offices, and places used for the purpose of building, repairing, making or storing any munitions of war or any sketches, plans, models or documents relating thereto, or for the purpose of getting any metals, oil or minerals of use in time of war,

    • (b) any place not belonging to Her Majesty where any munitions of war or any sketches, plans, models or documents relating thereto are being made, repaired, obtained or stored under contract with, or with any person on behalf of, Her Majesty or otherwise on behalf of Her Majesty, and

    • (c) any place that is for the time being declared by order of the Governor in Council to be a prohibited place on the ground that information with respect thereto or damage thereto would be useful to a foreign power;

    “senior police officer”

    “senior police officer”[Repealed, 2001, c. 41, s. 26]

    “sketch”

    « croquis »

    “sketch” includes any mode of representing any place or thing;

    “terrorist activity”

    « activité terroriste »

    “terrorist activity” has the same meaning as in subsection 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code;

    “terrorist group”

    « groupe terroriste »

    “terrorist group” has the same meaning as in subsection 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Her Majesty

    (2) In this Act, any reference to Her Majesty means Her Majesty in right of Canada or any province.

  • Marginal note:Communicating or receiving

    (3) In this Act,

    • (a) expressions referring to communicating or receiving include any communicating or receiving, whether in whole or in part, and whether the sketch, plan, model, article, note, document or information itself or the substance, effect or description thereof only is communicated or received;

    • (b) expressions referring to obtaining or retaining any sketch, plan, model, article, note or document include the copying of, or causing to be copied, the whole or any part of any sketch, plan, model, article, note or document; and

    • (c) expressions referring to the communication of any sketch, plan, model, article, note or document include the transfer or transmission of the sketch, plan, model, article, note or document.

  • Marginal note:Facilitation

    (4) For greater certainty, subsection 83.01(2) of the Criminal Code applies for the purposes of the definitions “terrorist activity” and “terrorist group” in subsection (1).

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 2;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 26.
Marginal note:Prejudice to the safety or interest of the State
  •  (1) For the purposes of this Act, a purpose is prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State if a person

    • (a) commits, in Canada, an offence against the laws of Canada or a province that is punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of two years or more in order to advance a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause or to benefit a foreign entity or terrorist group;

    • (b) commits, inside or outside Canada, a terrorist activity;

    • (c) causes or aggravates an urgent and critical situation in Canada that

      • (i) endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians, or

      • (ii) threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security or territorial integrity of Canada;

    • (d) interferes with a service, facility, system or computer program, whether public or private, or its operation, in a manner that has significant adverse impact on the health, safety, security or economic or financial well-being of the people of Canada or the functioning of any government in Canada;

    • (e) endangers, outside Canada, any person by reason of that person’s relationship with Canada or a province or the fact that the person is doing business with or on behalf of the Government of Canada or of a province;

    • (f) damages property outside Canada because a person or entity with an interest in the property or occupying the property has a relationship with Canada or a province or is doing business with or on behalf of the Government of Canada or of a province;

    • (g) impairs or threatens the military capability of the Canadian Forces, or any part of the Canadian Forces;

    • (h) interferes with the design, development or production of any weapon or defence equipment of, or intended for, the Canadian Forces, including any hardware, software or system that is part of or associated with any such weapon or defence equipment;

    • (i) impairs or threatens the capabilities of the Government of Canada in relation to security and intelligence;

    • (j) adversely affects the stability of the Canadian economy, the financial system or any financial market in Canada without reasonable economic or financial justification;

    • (k) impairs or threatens the capability of a government in Canada, or of the Bank of Canada, to protect against, or respond to, economic or financial threats or instability;

    • (l) impairs or threatens the capability of the Government of Canada to conduct diplomatic or consular relations, or conduct and manage international negotiations;

    • (m) contrary to a treaty to which Canada is a party, develops or uses anything that is intended or has the capability to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people by means of

      • (i) toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors,

      • (ii) a microbial or other biological agent, or a toxin, including a disease organism,

      • (iii) radiation or radioactivity, or

      • (iv) an explosion; or

    • (n) does or omits to do anything that is directed towards or in preparation of the undertaking of an activity mentioned in any of paragraphs (a) to (m).

  • Marginal note:Harm to Canadian interests

    (2) For the purposes of this Act, harm is caused to Canadian interests if a foreign entity or terrorist group does anything referred to in any of paragraphs (1)(a) to (n).

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 3;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 27.

OFFENCES

Miscellaneous Offences

Marginal note:Wrongful communication, etc., of information
  •  (1) Every person is guilty of an offence under this Act who, having in his possession or control any secret official code word, password, sketch, plan, model, article, note, document or information that relates to or is used in a prohibited place or anything in a prohibited place, or that has been made or obtained in contravention of this Act, or that has been entrusted in confidence to him by any person holding office under Her Majesty, or that he has obtained or to which he has had access while subject to the Code of Service Discipline within the meaning of the National Defence Act or owing to his position as a person who holds or has held office under Her Majesty, or as a person who holds or has held a contract made on behalf of Her Majesty, or a contract the performance of which in whole or in part is carried out in a prohibited place, or as a person who is or has been employed under a person who holds or has held such an office or contract,

    • (a) communicates the code word, password, sketch, plan, model, article, note, document or information to any person, other than a person to whom he is authorized to communicate with, or a person to whom it is in the interest of the State his duty to communicate it;

    • (b) uses the information in his possession for the benefit of any foreign power or in any other manner prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State;

    • (c) retains the sketch, plan, model, article, note, or document in his possession or control when he has no right to retain it or when it is contrary to his duty to retain it or fails to comply with all directions issued by lawful authority with regard to the return or disposal thereof; or

    • (d) fails to take reasonable care of, or so conducts himself as to endanger the safety of, the secret official code word, password, sketch, plan, model, article, note, document or information.

  • Marginal note:Communication of sketch, plan, model, etc.

    (2) Every person is guilty of an offence under this Act who, having in his possession or control any sketch, plan, model, article, note, document or information that relates to munitions of war, communicates it, directly or indirectly, to any foreign power, or in any other manner prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State.

  • Marginal note:Receiving code word, sketch, etc.

    (3) Every person who receives any secret official code word, password, sketch, plan, model, article, note, document or information, knowing, or having reasonable ground to believe, at the time he receives it, that the code word, password, sketch, plan, model, article, note, document or information is communicated to him in contravention of this Act, is guilty of an offence under this Act, unless he proves that the communication to him of the code word, password, sketch, plan, model, article, note, document or information was contrary to his desire.

  • Marginal note:Retaining or allowing possession of document, etc.

    (4) Every person is guilty of an offence under this Act who

    • (a) retains for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State any official document, whether or not completed or issued for use, when he has no right to retain it, or when it is contrary to his duty to retain it, or fails to comply with any directions issued by any Government department or any person authorized by any Government department with regard to the return or disposal thereof; or

    • (b) allows any other person to have possession of any official document issued for his use alone, or communicates any secret official code word or password so issued, or, without lawful authority or excuse, has in his possession any official document or secret official code word or password issued for the use of a person other than himself, or on obtaining possession of any official document by finding or otherwise, neglects or fails to restore it to the person or authority by whom or for whose use it was issued, or to a police constable.

  • R.S., c. O-3, s. 4.
Marginal note:Unauthorized use of uniforms; falsification of reports, forgery, personation and false documents
  •  (1) Every person is guilty of an offence under this Act who, for the purpose of gaining admission, or of assisting any other person to gain admission, to a prohibited place, or for any other purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State,

    • (a) uses or wears, without lawful authority, any military, police or other official uniform or any uniform so nearly resembling such a uniform as to be calculated to deceive, or falsely represents himself to be a person who is or has been entitled to use or wear any such uniform;

    • (b) orally or in writing in any declaration or application, or in any document signed by him or on his behalf, knowingly makes or connives at the making of any false statement or omission;

    • (c) forges, alters or tampers with any passport or any military, police or official pass, permit, certificate, licence or other document of a similar character, in this section referred to as an official document, or uses or has in his possession any such forged, altered or irregular official document;

    • (d) personates or falsely represents himself to be a person holding, or to be in the employment of a person holding, office under Her Majesty, or to be or not to be a person to whom an official document or secret official code word or password has been duly issued or communicated, or with intent to obtain an official document, secret official code word or password, whether for himself or any other person, knowingly makes any false statement; or

    • (e) uses, or has in his possession or under his control, without the authority of the Government department or the authority concerned, any die, seal or stamp of or belonging to, or used, made or provided by, any Government department, or by any diplomatic or military authority appointed by or acting under the authority of Her Majesty, or any die, seal or stamp so nearly resembling any such die, seal or stamp as to be calculated to deceive, or counterfeits any such die, seal or stamp, or uses, or has in his possession or under his control, any such counterfeited die, seal or stamp.

  • Marginal note:Unlawful dealing with dies, seals, etc.

    (2) Every person who, without lawful authority or excuse, manufactures or sells, or has in his possession for sale, any die, seal or stamp referred to in subsection (1) is guilty of an offence under this Act.

  • R.S., c. O-3, s. 5.
Marginal note:Approaching, entering, etc., a prohibited place

 Every person commits an offence who, for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, approaches, inspects, passes over, is in the neighbourhood of or enters a prohibited place at the direction of, for the benefit of or in association with a foreign entity or a terrorist group.

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 6;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.
Marginal note:Interference

 Every person commits an offence who, in the vicinity of a prohibited place, obstructs, knowingly misleads or otherwise interferes with or impedes a peace officer or a member of Her Majesty’s forces engaged on guard, sentry, patrol or other similar duty in relation to the prohibited place.

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 7;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.

Special Operational Information and Persons Permanently Bound to Secrecy

Marginal note:Definitions
  •  (1) The following definitions apply in this section and sections 9 to 15.

    “department”

    « ministère »

    “department” means a department named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act, a division or branch of the federal public administration set out in column I of Schedule I.1 to that Act and a corporation named in Schedule II to that Act.

    “government contractor”

    « partie à un contrat administratif »

    “government contractor” means a person who has entered into a contract or arrangement with Her Majesty in right of Canada, a department, board or agency of the Government of Canada or a Crown corporation as defined in subsection 83(1) of the Financial Administration Act, and includes an employee of the person, a subcontractor of the person and an employee of the subcontractor.

    “person permanently bound to secrecy”

    « personne astreinte au secret à perpétuité »

    “person permanently bound to secrecy” means

    • (a) a current or former member or employee of a department, division, branch or office of the federal public administration, or any of its parts, set out in the schedule; or

    • (b) a person who has been personally served with a notice issued under subsection 10(1) in respect of the person or who has been informed, in accordance with regulations made under subsection 11(2), of the issuance of such a notice in respect of the person.

    “special operational information”

    « renseignements opérationnels spéciaux »

    “special operational information” means information that the Government of Canada is taking measures to safeguard that reveals, or from which may be inferred,

    • (a) the identity of a person, agency, group, body or entity that was, is or is intended to be, has been approached to be, or has offered or agreed to be, a confidential source of information, intelligence or assistance to the Government of Canada;

    • (b) the nature or content of plans of the Government of Canada for military operations in respect of a potential, imminent or present armed conflict;

    • (c) the means that the Government of Canada used, uses or intends to use, or is capable of using, to covertly collect or obtain, or to decipher, assess, analyse, process, handle, report, communicate or otherwise deal with information or intelligence, including any vulnerabilities or limitations of those means;

    • (d) whether a place, person, agency, group, body or entity was, is or is intended to be the object of a covert investigation, or a covert collection of information or intelligence, by the Government of Canada;

    • (e) the identity of any person who is, has been or is intended to be covertly engaged in an information- or intelligence-collection activity or program of the Government of Canada that is covert in nature;

    • (f) the means that the Government of Canada used, uses or intends to use, or is capable of using, to protect or exploit any information or intelligence referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (e), including, but not limited to, encryption and cryptographic systems, and any vulnerabilities or limitations of those means; or

    • (g) information or intelligence similar in nature to information or intelligence referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (f) that is in relation to, or received from, a foreign entity or terrorist group.

  • Marginal note:Deputy head

    (2) For the purposes of subsections 10(1) and 15(5), the deputy head is

    • (a) for an individual employed in or attached or seconded to a department, the deputy head of the department;

    • (b) for an officer or a non-commissioned member of the Canadian Forces, the Chief of the Defence Staff;

    • (c) for a person who is a member of the exempt staff of a Minister responsible for a department, the deputy head of the department;

    • (d) for a government contractor in relation to a contract with

      • (i) the Department of Public Works and Government Services, the deputy head of that department or any other deputy head authorized for the purpose by the Minister of Public Works and Government Services,

      • (ii) any other department, the deputy head of that department, and

      • (iii) a Crown Corporation within the meaning of subsection 83(1) of the Financial Administration Act, the deputy head of the department of the minister responsible for the Crown Corporation; and

    • (e) for any other person, the Clerk of the Privy Council or a person authorized for the purpose by the Clerk of the Privy Council.

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 8;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29;
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E);
  • 2004, c. 12, s. 21(E);
  • 2013, c. 9, s. 28(E).
Marginal note:Amending schedule

 The Governor in Council may, by order, amend the schedule by adding or deleting the name of any current or former department, division, branch or office of the federal public administration, or any of its parts, that, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, has or had a mandate that is primarily related to security and intelligence matters, or by modifying any name set out in the schedule.

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 9;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29;
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E).
Marginal note:Designation — persons permanently bound to secrecy
  •  (1) The deputy head in respect of a person may, by notice in writing, designate the person to be a person permanently bound to secrecy if the deputy head is of the opinion that, by reason of the person’s office, position, duties, contract or arrangement,

    • (a) the person had, has or will have authorized access to special operational information; and

    • (b) it is in the interest of national security to designate the person.

  • Marginal note:Contents

    (2) The notice must

    • (a) specify the name of the person in respect of whom it is issued;

    • (b) specify the office held, position occupied or duties performed by the person or the contract or arrangement in respect of which the person is a government contractor, as the case may be, that led to the designation; and

    • (c) state that the person named in the notice is a person permanently bound to secrecy for the purposes of sections 13 and 14.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (3) The following persons may not be designated as persons permanently bound to secrecy, but they continue as such if they were persons permanently bound to secrecy before becoming persons referred to in this subsection:

    • (a) the Governor General;

    • (b) the lieutenant governor of a province;

    • (c) a judge receiving a salary under the Judges Act; and

    • (d) a military judge within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the National Defence Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 10;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.
Marginal note:Service
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), a person in respect of whom a notice is issued under subsection 10(1) is a person permanently bound to secrecy as of the moment the person is personally served with the notice or informed of the notice in accordance with the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (2) The Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the personal service of notices issued under subsection 10(1) and regulations respecting personal notification of the issuance of a notice under that subsection when personal service is not practical.

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 11;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.
Marginal note:Certificate
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), a certificate purporting to have been issued by or under the authority of a Minister of the Crown in right of Canada stating that a person is a person permanently bound to secrecy shall be received and is admissible in evidence in any proceedings for an offence under section 13 or 14, without proof of the signature or authority of the Minister appearing to have signed it, and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is proof of the fact so stated.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure of certificate

    (2) The certificate may be received in evidence only if the party intending to produce it has, before the trial, served on the party against whom it is intended to be produced reasonable notice of that intention, together with a duplicate of the certificate.

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 12;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.
Marginal note:Purported communication
  •  (1) Every person permanently bound to secrecy commits an offence who, intentionally and without authority, communicates or confirms information that, if it were true, would be special operational information.

  • Marginal note:Truthfulness of information

    (2) For the purpose of subsection (1), it is not relevant whether the information to which the offence relates is true.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years less a day.

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 13;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.
Marginal note:Unauthorized communication of special operational information
  •  (1) Every person permanently bound to secrecy commits an offence who, intentionally and without authority, communicates or confirms special operational information.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years.

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 14;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.
Marginal note:Public interest defence
  •  (1) No person is guilty of an offence under section 13 or 14 if the person establishes that he or she acted in the public interest.

  • Marginal note:Acting in the public interest

    (2) Subject to subsection (4), a person acts in the public interest if

    • (a) the person acts for the purpose of disclosing an offence under an Act of Parliament that he or she reasonably believes has been, is being or is about to be committed by another person in the purported performance of that person’s duties and functions for, or on behalf of, the Government of Canada; and

    • (b) the public interest in the disclosure outweighs the public interest in non-disclosure.

  • Marginal note:Paragraph (2)(a) to be considered first

    (3) In determining whether a person acts in the public interest, a judge or court shall determine whether the condition in paragraph (2)(a) is satisfied before considering paragraph (2)(b).

  • Marginal note:Factors to be considered

    (4) In deciding whether the public interest in the disclosure outweighs the public interest in non-disclosure, a judge or court must consider

    • (a) whether the extent of the disclosure is no more than is reasonably necessary to disclose the alleged offence or prevent the commission or continuation of the alleged offence, as the case may be;

    • (b) the seriousness of the alleged offence;

    • (c) whether the person resorted to other reasonably accessible alternatives before making the disclosure and, in doing so, whether the person complied with any relevant guidelines, policies or laws that applied to the person;

    • (d) whether the person had reasonable grounds to believe that the disclosure would be in the public interest;

    • (e) the public interest intended to be served by the disclosure;

    • (f) the extent of the harm or risk of harm created by the disclosure; and

    • (g) the existence of exigent circumstances justifying the disclosure.

  • Marginal note:Prior disclosure to authorities necessary

    (5) A judge or court may decide whether the public interest in the disclosure outweighs the public interest in non-disclosure only if the person has complied with the following:

    • (a) the person has, before communicating or confirming the information, brought his or her concern to, and provided all relevant information in his or her possession to, his or her deputy head or, if not reasonably practical in the circumstances, the Deputy Attorney General of Canada; and

    • (b) the person has, if he or she has not received a response from the deputy head or the Deputy Attorney General of Canada, as the case may be, within a reasonable time, brought his or her concern to, and provided all relevant information in the person’s possession to,

      • (i) the Security Intelligence Review Committee, if the person’s concern relates to an alleged offence that has been, is being or is about to be committed by another person in the purported performance of that person’s duties and functions of service for, or on behalf of, the Government of Canada, other than a person who is a member of the Communications Security Establishment, and he or she has not received a response from the Security Intelligence Review Committee within a reasonable time, or

      • (ii) the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner, if the person’s concern relates to an alleged offence that has been, is being or is about to be committed by a member of the Communications Security Establishment, in the purported performance of that person’s duties and functions of service for, or on behalf of, the Communications Security Establishment, and he or she has not received a response from the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner within a reasonable time.

  • Marginal note:Exigent circumstances

    (6) Subsection (5) does not apply if the communication or confirmation of the information was necessary to avoid grievous bodily harm or death.

  • R.S., 1985, c. O-5, s. 15;
  • 1992, c. 47, s. 80;
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.

Communications with Foreign Entities or Terrorist Groups

Marginal note:Communicating safeguarded information
  •  (1) Every person commits an offence who, without lawful authority, communicates to a foreign entity or to a terrorist group information that the Government of Canada or of a province is taking measures to safeguard if

    • (a) the person believes, or is reckless as to whether, the information is information that the Government of Canada or of a province is taking measures to safeguard; and

    • (b) the person intends, by communicating the information, to increase the capacity of a foreign entity or a terrorist group to harm Canadian interests or is reckless as to whether the communication of the information is likely to increase the capacity of a foreign entity or a terrorist group to harm Canadian interests.

  • Marginal note:Communicating safeguarded information

    (2) Every person commits an offence who, intentionally and without lawful authority, communicates to a foreign entity or to a terrorist group information that the Government of Canada or of a province is taking measures to safeguard if

    • (a) the person believes, or is reckless as to whether, the information is information that the Government of Canada or of a province is taking measures to safeguard; and

    • (b) harm to Canadian interests results.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.
Marginal note:Communicating special operational information
  •  (1) Every person commits an offence who, intentionally and without lawful authority, communicates special operational information to a foreign entity or to a terrorist group if the person believes, or is reckless as to whether, the information is special operational information.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.
Marginal note:Breach of trust in respect of safeguarded information
  •  (1) Every person with a security clearance given by the Government of Canada commits an offence who, intentionally and without lawful authority, communicates, or agrees to communicate, to a foreign entity or to a terrorist group any information that is of a type that the Government of Canada is taking measures to safeguard.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.

Economic Espionage

Marginal note:Use of trade secret for the benefit of foreign economic entity
  •  (1) Every person commits an offence who, at the direction of, for the benefit of or in association with a foreign economic entity, fraudulently and without colour of right and to the detriment of Canada’s economic interests, international relations or national defence or national security

    • (a) communicates a trade secret to another person, group or organization; or

    • (b) obtains, retains, alters or destroys a trade secret.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years.

  • Marginal note:Defence

    (3) A person is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) if the trade secret was

    • (a) obtained by independent development or by reason only of reverse engineering; or

    • (b) acquired in the course of the person’s work and is of such a character that its acquisition amounts to no more than an enhancement of that person’s personal knowledge, skill or expertise.

  • Marginal note:Meaning of “trade secret”

    (4) For the purpose of this section, “trade secret” means any information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, method, technique, process, negotiation position or strategy or any information contained or embodied in a product, device or mechanism that

    • (a) is or may be used in a trade or business;

    • (b) is not generally known in that trade or business;

    • (c) has economic value from not being generally known; and

    • (d) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.

Foreign-influenced or Terrorist-influenced Threats or Violence

Marginal note:Threats or violence
  •  (1) Every person commits an offence who, at the direction of, for the benefit of or in association with a foreign entity or a terrorist group, induces or attempts to induce, by threat, accusation, menace or violence, any person to do anything or to cause anything to be done

    • (a) that is for the purpose of increasing the capacity of a foreign entity or a terrorist group to harm Canadian interests; or

    • (b) that is reasonably likely to harm Canadian interests.

  • Marginal note:Application

    (2) A person commits an offence under subsection (1) whether or not the threat, accusation, menace or violence occurred in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.

Harbouring or Concealing

Marginal note:Concealing person who carried out offence
  •  (1) Every person who, for the purpose of enabling or facilitating an offence under this Act, knowingly harbours or conceals a person whom they know to be a person who has committed an offence under this Act, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment

    • (a) for a term of not more than 14 years, if the person who is harboured or concealed committed an offence under this Act for which that person is liable to imprisonment for life; and

    • (b) for a term of not more than 10 years, if the person who is harboured or concealed committed an offence under this Act for which that person is liable to any other punishment.

  • Marginal note:Concealing person who is likely to carry out offence

    (2) Every person who, for the purpose of enabling or facilitating an offence under this Act, knowingly harbours or conceals any person whom he or she knows to be a person who is likely to carry out an offence under this Act, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29;
  • 2013, c. 9, s. 29.

Preparatory Acts

Marginal note:Preparatory acts
  •  (1) Every person commits an offence who, for the purpose of committing an offence under subsection 16(1) or (2), 17(1), 19(1) or 20(1), does anything that is specifically directed towards or specifically done in preparation of the commission of the offence, including

    • (a) entering Canada at the direction of or for the benefit of a foreign entity, a terrorist group or a foreign economic entity;

    • (b) obtaining, retaining or gaining access to any information;

    • (c) knowingly communicating to a foreign entity, a terrorist group or a foreign economic entity the person’s willingness to commit the offence;

    • (d) at the direction of, for the benefit of or in association with a foreign entity, a terrorist group or a foreign economic entity, asking a person to commit the offence; and

    • (e) possessing any device, apparatus or software useful for concealing the content of information or for surreptitiously communicating, obtaining or retaining information.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.

Conspiracy, Attempts, Etc.

Marginal note:Conspiracy, attempts, etc.

 Every person commits an offence who conspires or attempts to commit, is an accessory after the fact in relation to or counsels in relation to an offence under this Act and is liable to the same punishment and to be proceeded against in the same manner as if he or she had committed the offence.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.

GENERAL

Marginal note:Attorney General’s consent

 No prosecution shall be commenced for an offence against this Act without the consent of the Attorney General.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.
Marginal note:Jurisdiction

 An offence against this Act may be tried, in any place in Canada, regardless of where in Canada the offence was committed.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.
Marginal note:Extraterritorial application
  •  (1) A person who commits an act or omission outside Canada that would be an offence against this Act if it were committed in Canada is deemed to have committed it in Canada if the person is

    • (a) a Canadian citizen;

    • (b) a person who owes allegiance to Her Majesty in right of Canada;

    • (c) a person who is locally engaged and who performs his or her functions in a Canadian mission outside Canada; or

    • (d) a person who, after the time the offence is alleged to have been committed, is present in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Jurisdiction

    (2) If a person is deemed to have committed an act or omission in Canada, proceedings in respect of the offence may, whether or not the person is in Canada, be commenced in any territorial division in Canada, and the person may be tried and punished in respect of the offence in the same manner as if the offence had been committed in that territorial division.

  • Marginal note:Appearance of accused at trial

    (3) For greater certainty, the provisions of the Criminal Code relating to requirements that a person appear at and be present during proceedings and the exceptions to those requirements apply in respect of proceedings commenced in a territorial division under subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Person previously tried outside Canada

    (4) If a person is alleged to have committed an act or omission that is an offence by virtue of this section and the person has been tried and dealt with outside Canada in respect of the offence in a manner such that, if the person had been tried and dealt with in Canada, the person would be able to plead autrefois acquit, autrefois convict or pardon, the person shall be deemed to have been so tried and dealt with in Canada.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.
Marginal note:Punishment

 Unless this Act provides otherwise, a person who commits an offence under this Act is guilty of

  • (a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years; or

  • (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 12 months or to a fine of not more than $2,000, or to both.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 29.

 [Repealed, 2001, c. 41, s. 130]

SCHEDULE(Subsection 8(1) and section 9)

  • Canadian Security Intelligence Service

    Service canadien du renseignement de sécurité

  • Canadian Security Intelligence Service Legal Services Unit of the Department of Justice

    Unité des services juridiques du Service canadien du renseignement de sécurité du ministère de la Justice

  • Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar

    Commission d’enquête sur les actions des responsables canadiens relativement à Maher Arar

  • Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182

    Commission d’enquête relative aux mesures d’investigation prises à la suite de l’attentat à la bombe commis contre le vol 182 d’Air India

  • Communications Branch of the National Research Council (as that Branch existed before April 1, 1975, when control and supervision of the Branch was transferred to the Department of National Defence)

    Direction des télécommunications du Conseil national de recherches (telle que la direction existait avant le 1er avril 1975, date du transfert de ses responsabilités au ministère de la Défense nationale)

  • Communications Security Establishment

    Centre de la sécurité des télécommunications

  • Communications Security Establishment Legal Services Unit of the Department of Justice

    Unité des services juridiques du Centre de la sécurité des télécommunications du ministère de la Justice

  • Criminal Intelligence Program of the R.C.M.P.

    Programme des renseignements criminels de la GRC

  • Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat of the Privy Council Office

    Secrétariat de la politique étrangère et de la défense du Bureau du Conseil privé

  • Intelligence Assessment Secretariat of the Privy Council Office

    Secrétariat de l’évaluation du renseignement du Bureau du Conseil privé

  • Internal Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin

    Enquête interne sur les actions des responsables canadiens relativement à Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati et Muayyed Nureddin

  • International Assessment Staff of the Privy Council Office

    Bureau de l’évaluation internationale du Bureau du Conseil privé

  • National Security Group of the Department of Justice

    Groupe sur la sécurité nationale du ministère de la Justice

  • National Security Litigation and Advisory Group of the Department of Justice

    Groupe litiges et conseils en sécurité nationale du ministère de la Justice

  • National Security Program of the R.C.M.P.

    Programme de sécurité nationale de la GRC

  • Office of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner

    Bureau du commissaire du Centre de la sécurité des télécommunications

  • Office of the Inspector General of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service

    Bureau de l’inspecteur général du Service canadien du renseignement de sécurité

  • Office of the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister

    Bureau du conseiller en matière de sécurité nationale auprès du premier ministre

  • Office of the Security and Intelligence Coordinator of the Privy Council Office

    Bureau du coordonnateur de la sécurité et du renseignement du Bureau du Conseil privé

  • R.C.M.P. Security Service

    Service de sécurité de la GRC

  • Security and Intelligence Secretariat of the Privy Council Office

    Secrétariat de la sécurité et du renseignement du Bureau du Conseil privé

  • Security Intelligence Review Committee

    Comité de surveillance des activités de renseignement de sécurité

  • Technical Operations Program of the R.C.M.P., excluding the Air Services Branch

    Programme des opérations techniques de la GRC, à l’exclusion de la Sous-direction du service de l’air

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 30;
  • SOR/2004-20;
  • SOR/2006-81, 336;
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 386;
  • SOR/2014-35.

AMENDMENTS NOT IN FORCE

  • — 2013, c. 18, s. 54

    • 54. The schedule to the Security of Information Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

      • Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

        Commission civile d’examen et de traitement des plaintes relatives à la Gendarmerie royale du Canada