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

Act current to 2022-08-08 and last amended on 2019-07-12. 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

    Attorney General means the Attorney General of Canada and includes his or her lawful deputy; (procureur général)

    communicate

    communicate includes to make available; (communiquer)

    document

    document includes part of a document; (document)

    foreign economic entity

    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; (entité économique étrangère)

    foreign entity

    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); (entité étrangère)

    foreign power

    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; (puissance étrangère)

    foreign state

    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; (État étranger)

    model

    model includes design, pattern and specimen; (modèle)

    munitions of war

    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; (munitions de guerre)

    offence under this Act

    offence under this Act includes any act, omission or other thing that is punishable under this Act; (infraction à la présente loi)

    office under Her Majesty

    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; (fonction relevant de Sa Majesté)

    prohibited place

    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; (endroit prohibé)

    senior police officer

    senior police officer[Repealed, 2001, c. 41, s. 26]

    sketch

    sketch includes any mode of representing any place or thing; (croquis)

    terrorist activity

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

    terrorist group

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

  • 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
 
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