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

Act current to 2017-05-11 and last amended on 2014-11-28. Previous Versions

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.
 
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