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

Act current to 2020-01-27 and last amended on 2019-07-12. Previous Versions

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

    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. (ministère)

    government contractor

    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. (partie à un contrat administratif)

    person permanently bound to secrecy

    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;

    • (a.1) a current or former member of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency;

    • (a.2) a current or former member of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians; 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. (personne astreinte au secret à perpétuité)

    special operational information

    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. (renseignements opérationnels spéciaux)

  • 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)
  • 2017, c. 15, s. 40
  • 2019, c. 13, s. 35
  • 2019, c. 13, s. 49
 
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