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CANADIAN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SPEND $90 MILLION OVER 5 YEARS TO PROTECT CYBERSPACE

Source: Toronto Sun

Posted on October 3, 2010

The federal government has launched its cyber-security strategy, which will cost $90 million over five years.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis announced the launch at Ottawa Hydro as part of October's Cyber Security Awareness Month.

"The Internet has become an invaluable tool for Canadian families, businesses and governments," Toews said. "(But) increasingly cyberspace is being used and exploited by those who do us harm. It is being used by organized criminal groups who engage in identity theft, money laundering and extortion ... Terrorists are using it to further their nefarious aims. These are worldwide problems, and Canadians are not immune."

Toews said the strategy launched Sunday takes Canada's online protection, "to the next level."

Primarily, it tightens up and strengthens existing government protection measures and also creates systems to allow better information sharing between government departments, the provinces and public and private sectors.

It also boosts awareness and education of cyber threats for Canadians to better protect themselves online, and beefs up the country's round-the-clock Information Protection Centre, which is receiving $3.5 million.

In 2008, 74% of Canadian households had a paid Internet service, and 59% of Canadians used the Internet to file their income taxes. In 2009, 67% of Canadians banked online.

Nearly 2 million Canadians were victims of online identity theft in 2008, and identity theft is estimated to cost the Canadian economy $2 billion annually.

"Guarding against cyber threats today requires that everyone - including governments, businesses and individual Canadians - take the necessary steps to protect the systems which now run so many aspects of our lives," Toews said. "Governments owe it to businesses and individuals to keep their essential services running and protect their private information.

"We all have a lot at stake. We all have a role to play."




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