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Canadian company pleads guilty to peddling vast database of personal information

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OTTAWA — The RCMP says a Canadian-based company that peddled an illicit trove of 1.5 billion user names and associated passwords has pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

In a news release, the Mounties say Defiant Tech Inc. admitted in court Friday to trafficking in identity information and possession of property obtained by crime a year after charges were laid in the probe.

The investigation began three years ago, when the RCMP learned the website LeakedSource was being hosted on servers in Quebec.

The website, now shut down, had a total of some three billion pieces of data for sale, earning the company about $247,000.

The Mounties say they had valuable help from the Dutch national police and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on the probe.

At a January 2018 news conference announcing the charges, the RCMP said the force believed that several Canadians were affected — there was no precise number — and might still be at risk due to the information being available online through various dark-web sites.

The extensive database was assembled using personal information stolen by hackers in recent years from domains like networking site LinkedIn and extramarital-affair hub ashleymadison.com, the police force said.

The Canadian Press

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Liberals to reject Senate changes to solitary confinement bill

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OTTAWA — The Liberals are poised to reject the Senate’s amendments to a bill that aims to end the practice of solitary confinement.

The government’s response to the Senate’s package of amendments details why the Liberals won’t accept a key change requiring a judge to approve any decision to isolate a prisoner beyond 48 hours.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says in a letter to the Senate that such a change would increase the workload of provincial courts and require the appointment of new judges to compensate.

Sen. Kim Pate, a lifelong advocate for prisoners’ rights, disagrees.

She says the government is spending money on hiring external reviewers for solitary confinement decisions with dollars that could be used to hire more judges, who have greater expertise and independence.

Pate says the law would be unconstitutional if the Liberals pass the bill without the Senate’s amendments.

The Canadian Press


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Chief military judge’s court martial in limbo after deputy recuses himself

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OTTAWA — The court martial for Canada’s chief military judge is in limbo after the judge overseeing the trial, who happens to be deputy to the accused, agreed not to hear the case over conflict-of-interest concerns.

Lt.-Col. Louis-Vincent d’Auteuil also outlined the reasons why he felt the military’s other three sitting judges would not be able to preside over Col. Mario Dutil’s trial in an impartial manner.

That has left the fate of Dutil’s court martial, seen by some as a critical test for the military-justice system, up in the air.

Dutil was charged with eight counts in relation to allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate and knowingly signed a travel claim for $927.60 that contained false information.

Four of the charges were dropped at the start of the court martial last week, where Dutil’s lawyer challenged d’Auteuil’s impartiality and asked the presiding judge to recuse himself. A publication ban on details of that portion of the hearing has since been lifted.

In agreeing to the request, d’Auteuil said it was reasonable to believe he would be biased because of his relationship to several witnesses — which he believed also applied to other military judges.

The Canadian Press

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