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Interception of Communications

Interception of Communications

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.
Marginal note:Interception to prevent bodily harm
  •  (1) An agent of the state may intercept, by means of any electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other device, a private communication if
    • (a) either the originator of the private communication or the person intended by the originator to receive it has consented to the interception;
    • (b) the agent of the state believes on reasonable grounds that there is a risk of bodily harm to the person who consented to the interception; and
    • (c) the purpose of the interception is to prevent the bodily harm.
  • Marginal note:Admissibility of intercepted communication
    (2) The contents of a private communication that is obtained from an interception pursuant to subsection (1) are inadmissible as evidence except for the purposes of proceedings in which actual, attempted or threatened bodily harm is alleged, including proceedings in respect of an application for an authorization under this Part or in respect of a search warrant or a warrant for the arrest of any person.
  • Marginal note:Destruction of recordings and transcripts
    (3) The agent of the state who intercepts a private communication pursuant to subsection (1) shall, as soon as is practicable in the circumstances, destroy any recording of the private communication that is obtained from an interception pursuant to subsection (1), any full or partial transcript of the recording and any notes made by that agent of the private communication if nothing in the private communication suggests that bodily harm, attempted bodily harm or threatened bodily harm has occurred or is likely to occur.
  • Definition of agent of the state
    (4) For the purposes of this section, agent of the state means
    • (a) a peace officer; and
    • (b) a person acting under the authority of, or in cooperation with, a peace officer.
  • 1993, c. 40, s. 4.
Marginal note:Interception with consent
  •  (1) A person may intercept, by means of any electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other device, a private communication where either the originator of the private communication or the person intended by the originator to receive it has consented to the interception and an authorization has been obtained pursuant to subsection (3).
  • Marginal note:Application for authorization
    (2) An application for an authorization under this section shall be made by a peace officer, or a public officer who has been appointed or designated to administer or enforce any federal or provincial law and whose duties include the enforcement of this or any other Act of Parliament, ex parte and in writing to a provincial court judge, a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a judge as defined in section 552, and shall be accompanied by an affidavit, which may be sworn on the information and belief of that peace officer or public officer or of any other peace officer or public officer, deposing to the following matters:
    • (a) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that an offence against this or any other Act of Parliament has been or will be committed;
    • (b) the particulars of the offence;
    • (c) the name of the person who has consented to the interception;
    • (d) the period for which the authorization is requested; and
    • (e) in the case of an application for an authorization where an authorization has previously been granted under this section or section 186, the particulars of the authorization.
  • Marginal note:Judge to be satisfied
    (3) An authorization may be given under this section if the judge to whom the application is made is satisfied that
    • (a) there are reasonable grounds to believe that an offence against this or any other Act of Parliament has been or will be committed;
    • (b) either the originator of the private communication or the person intended by the originator to receive it has consented to the interception; and
    • (c) there are reasonable grounds to believe that information concerning the offence referred to in paragraph (a) will be obtained through the interception sought.
  • Marginal note:Content and limitation of authorization
    (4) An authorization given under this section shall
    • (a) state the offence in respect of which private communications may be intercepted;
    • (b) state the type of private communication that may be intercepted;
    • (c) state the identity of the persons, if known, whose private communications are to be intercepted, generally describe the place at which private communications may be intercepted, if a general description of that place can be given, and generally describe the manner of interception that may be used;
    • (d) contain the terms and conditions that the judge considers advisable in the public interest; and
    • (e) be valid for the period, not exceeding sixty days, set out therein.
  • Marginal note:Related warrant or order
    (5) A judge who gives an authorization under this section may, at the same time, issue a warrant or make an order under any of sections 487, 487.01, 487.014 to 487.018, 487.02, 492.1 and 492.2 if the judge is of the opinion that the requested warrant or order is related to the execution of the authorization.
  • 1993, c. 40, s. 4;
  •  2014, c. 31, s. 8.

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