The RCMP has admitted for the first time that it has been using spyware to infiltrate the cell phones of Canadians, including by remotely turning on the camera and microphone of suspect's phones and laptops.
The RCMP says those tools were only used in serious cases when other, unintrusive measures were not successful.
This is the first time RCMP has even acknowledged that it has this ability, which uses malware to intrude on phones and devices, despite having had the technology for years, and using it in 10 investigations between 2018 and 2020, reports Politico.
A senior research associate at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab said that "this is a kind of capability that they have done everything possible to keep incredibly quiet."
“This is a remarkable finding and, for the first time, publicly reveals that the RCMP is using spyware to infiltrate mobile devices, as well as the broad capabilities of their spyware,” he continued.
The RCMP said that the increasing popularity of end-to-end encrypted apps means that police need new techniques to catch criminals.