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Did You Know

Did you know that in Canada, it is illegal to:

  • HARASS another person, causing them to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone they know?

    Under the Criminal Code of Canada, CRIMINAL HARASSMENT includes things like:

    • repeatedly following a person;
    • repeatedly communicating with the person or someone they know;
    • watching the person’s home, workplace or any other place they happen to be; or
    • threatening the person or any member of their family.
    Example Situation:
    • A girl breaks up with her boyfriend. Following the break up, the boy repeatedly texts the girl. The messages from the boy have caused the girl to be afraid of him.
  • USE THREATS, ACCUSATIONS OR VIOLENCE to try and force a person to do something or INTIMIDATE another person to cause them to do something, or not do something?

    Under the Criminal Code of Canada, EXTORTION includes the use of threats, accusations or violence to get any person to do something and INTIMIDATION includes things like:

    • the use of violence or threats of violence or other injury (either to the person being intimidated, someone in his/her family, or his/her property) in an effort to get a person to stop doing something she/he has the right to do, or to do something she/he has a right to refuse to do.
    • persistently following a person from place to place in an effort to get a person to stop doing something she/he has the right to do, or to do something she/he has a right to refuse to do.
    Example Situations:
    • A boy tries to convince a girl to send him a sexual picture by threatening to tell everyone a secret about her.
    • One teen threatens to hurt a classmate’s little brother if the classmate does not send the teen a sexual picture.
  • DEFAME another person?

    Under the Criminal Code of Canada, DEFAMATORY LIBEL includes things like:

    • “publishing” something about a person that is likely to harm their reputation by exposing them to hatred, contempt or ridicule; or
    • trying to obtain money from the person in exchange for not publishing something.

    Note: Publication includes displaying it to the public, causing it to be read or seen by others, or showing it or delivering it with the intent that it be read or seen by another person.

    Example Situation:
    • A boy forwards pictures his ex-girlfriend sent him when they were dating to people the ex-girlfriend knows, leading to ridicule and embarrassment.
  • IMPERSONATE another person?

    Under the Criminal Code of Canada, IMPERSONATION (IDENTITY FRAUD) includes things like:

    • pretending to be someone else in order to benefit yourself; or
    • pretending to be someone else in order to cause harm to the person being impersonated or to some other person.
    Example Situation:
    • A boy sends a message from his best friend’s email account to the best friend’s girlfriend, pretending to be his best friend in order to harm the best friend or the best friend’s girlfriend (or both).
  • Use a computer in an UNAUTHORIZED WAY or INTERFERE WITH DATA?

    Under the Criminal Code of Canada, UNAUTHORIZED USE OF A COMPUTER includes things like:

    • using a computer password that is not yours to intercept any function of a computer system.

    Under the Criminal Code of Canada, MISCHIEF TO DATA includes things like:

    • destroying or altering data; rendering data meaningless; or causing someone else to be unable to use data.

    Note: “Data” is any information suitable for use in a computer system, such as documents, pictures, videos, etc.

    Example Situations:
    • A girl uses her ex-boyfriend’s password to gain access to his computer then changes the password so he can no longer access his computer.
    • The girl then uses the access she has gained to “photoshop” her ex-boyfriend’s picture such that his face is placed on a naked adult male’s body.
  • SECRETLY OBSERVE or make a visual RECORDING of a person?

    Under the Criminal Code of Canada, VOYEURISM includes things like:

    • secretly observing or recording a person who is in circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy where it is done for a sexual purpose; or
    • secretly observing or recording a person who is in circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy and where the person is in a place where the person can reasonably be expected to be nude, exposing his/her genital organs, anal region or breasts, or engaged in explicit activity.

    Note: Circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy vary, and relates to the character or space where the observation or recording occurs. Obvious examples of places where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy are bathrooms, bedrooms and change-rooms, but an individual who recorded others in a public park for a sexual purpose has also been found to have committed an offence.

    Example Situation:
    • A girl is changing clothes in her boyfriend’s bedroom and he sets up his webcam to record and play this to his friends.

For all offences referred to above, it is very important to notify police or report to Cybertip.ca. Based on the available information, police will decide if an investigation is warranted and whether charges may be laid.