What will happen now with our national security?
By EG Manilag, Staff Writer
An RCMP official allegedly accused of espionage faces charges under the Security of Information Act (SOIA) and under the Criminal Code.
Cameron Ortis—a 47-year-old man from Abbotsford, now in Ottawa and civilian director general of the RCMP’s national intelligence coordination centre—faces accusations of violating three sections of the SOIA and two provisions of the Criminal Code. He was arrested by the RCMP last Friday, September 13.
Ortis’s works involved handling top secret and highly classified intelligence documents within the RCMP, including in these secrets are allied information from the “Five Eyes,” consisting of Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. Additionally, sources who are familiar with his work stressed that he would have had deep knowledge with those codes and operations. According to National Post, Ortis was an expert in “cybersecurity” and for it, was nicknamed “Spy Cam.” Furthermore, it was also put up in his LinkedIn profile that he speaks Mandarin.
“Without going into too much detail, it is alleged he obtained, stored and processed sensitive information, the Crown believes with the intent to communicate that information with people he shouldn’t be communicating to,” Crown counsel John MacFarlane explained.
Although these allegations are still not proven in courts, these people he was alleged to be speaking to were from China and Russia. Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a security analyst interviewed by CBC News, voiced that the leaked information could have been sold to China. “ spy around the world and is constantly asking to buy more information,” he said.
CBC News documents reveal that Ortis has ties to Phantom Secure Communications, a multimillion-dollar company based on Vancouver, which sells encrypted cellphones to international criminals and organized crime. The company’s method was to use and modify Canada’s iconic Blackberry devices for international criminal activities without getting detected by the police—using proxy servers to hide their location.
According to Elizabeth Thompson, CBC News senior reporter, “The company helped drug trafficking and money laundering in Australia, Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada, concealing its proceeds through cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.”
To recall Ortis’s charges, the Security of Information Act (SOIA) is an act safeguarding Canada and its classified information against spies, espionage, and sabotage—including acts of terrorism. This security act based on the number of national security scandals is rarely used according to CBC.
“There’s really no overstating what he could have had access to. The devil is in the details on what he actually took,” said former CSIS analyst Jessica Davis. Ortis is to appear in court Friday 27.