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Criminal Code

Version of section 184 from 2004-04-22 to 2019-09-18:

Marginal note:Interception

  •  (1) Every one who, by means of any electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other device, wilfully intercepts a private communication is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

  • Marginal note:Saving provision

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to

    • (a) a person who has the consent to intercept, express or implied, of the originator of the private communication or of the person intended by the originator thereof to receive it;

    • (b) a person who intercepts a private communication in accordance with an authorization or pursuant to section 184.4 or any person who in good faith aids in any way another person who the aiding person believes on reasonable grounds is acting with an authorization or pursuant to section 184.4;

    • (c) a person engaged in providing a telephone, telegraph or other communication service to the public who intercepts a private communication,

      • (i) if the interception is necessary for the purpose of providing the service,

      • (ii) in the course of service observing or random monitoring necessary for the purpose of mechanical or service quality control checks, or

      • (iii) if the interception is necessary to protect the person’s rights or property directly related to providing the service;

    • (d) an officer or servant of Her Majesty in right of Canada who engages in radio frequency spectrum management, in respect of a private communication intercepted by that officer or servant for the purpose of identifying, isolating or preventing an unauthorized or interfering use of a frequency or of a transmission; or

    • (e) a person, or any person acting on their behalf, in possession or control of a computer system, as defined in subsection 342.1(2), who intercepts a private communication originating from, directed to or transmitting through that computer system, if the interception is reasonably necessary for

      • (i) managing the quality of service of the computer system as it relates to performance factors such as the responsiveness and capacity of the system as well as the integrity and availability of the system and data, or

      • (ii) protecting the computer system against any act that would be an offence under subsection 342.1(1) or 430(1.1).

  • Marginal note:Use or retention

    (3) A private communication intercepted by a person referred to in paragraph (2)(e) can be used or retained only if

    • (a) it is essential to identify, isolate or prevent harm to the computer system; or

    • (b) it is to be disclosed in circumstances referred to in subsection 193(2).

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 184
  • 1993, c. 40, s. 3
  • 2004, c. 12, s. 4

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