Top-secret RCMP files show digital roadblocks thwarting Muslim terrorist investigations in Canada

OTTAWA—The RCMP has provided unprecedented access to the Toronto Star and the CBC in an effort to make its case that antiquated laws and diminished police powers in the digital age are allowing suspected terrorists, drug gangs and child abusers to operate beyond the law.

Among the cases reviewed by the Star and the CBC:

  • An investigation into a group suspected of plotting terrorist acts in Canada. After obtaining a warrant, the RCMP spent two months and $250,000 attempting to intercept electronic communications. This produced no evidence because they were cut short by encryption that police experts were unable to break.
  • In a western Canadian national security case involving “high-risk travellers” who police believe were involved in “terrorist activity” abroad, investigators collected evidence from only two of more than 30 digital devices.

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