Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Car thefts: Ottawa will ban hacking gadgets

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The federal government wants to make dozens of electronic devices that can be used to steal cars illegal.

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  • Christian Noël (View profile)Christian Noël
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    The Trudeau government wants to make illegal the sale and use of computer hacking devices which are over the counter in Canada and which car thieves use to commit their misdeeds, according to information obtained by Radio-Canada.

    We must tackle electronic gadgets that make life too easy for car thieves, says a government source. This is a huge issue that worries many Canadians.

    Who doesn't know a person who places their car keys in a metal box or special bag, away from doors and windows, to prevent criminals from copying their car key?

    A quote from A source government

    More than 300 such electronic devices are already banned in Canada, including GPS jammers and code sensors, under the radiocommunication, through the CRTC.

    However, dozens of similar electronic devices are still legal in Canada and can be used to steal cars.

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    Between 2021 and 2023, the number of automobile thefts increased by 57.9% in Quebec. (File photo)

    Gadgets like Flipper Zero, HackRF, LimeSDR, and Raspberry Pi are available for sale over the counter on the Internet and on Amazon, sometimes for less of $100.

    These devices have legal uses, for example the installation of wireless remote control systems for home appliances, radio protocols and access control systems.

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    However, these gadgets are fully customizable and can also be used for criminal activities, including cloning car key signals.

    Technology is evolving very quickly . We must find a way to eradicate this problem, underlines a government source.

    It's a way of putting obstacles in the way of car thieves.

    A quote from A government source

    Between 2021 and 2023, the number of automobile thefts increased by 57.9% in Quebec, 48.2% in Ontario, 34% in the Atlantic and 5.5% in the West.

    The federal government hopes that reducing the availability of these devices on the legal market will help make life more difficult for amateur car thieves.

    It is one of the tools in the toolbox, but it is not the only one, recognizes this source.

    Wednesday, the Minister of Public Safety, Dominic LeBlanc, announced an additional $28 million to fight the export of stolen vehicles.

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    “Car theft is a complex problem, and solving it requires everyone partners are doing their part,” indicated Minister Dominic LeBlanc. (File photo)

    These funds will be used to improve the capacity to examine containers at ports and cargo terminals, purchase new detection technologies and increase criminal intelligence capacity within the Canadian Border Services Agency.

    It's to hire agents who will search. This is to hire agents in the field of criminal intelligence.

    A quote from Dominic Leblanc, Minister of Public Safety

    Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez suggests that car manufacturers also have an increased role to play to fight against car theft. Could manufacturers integrate other protection measures to find cars more quickly? he asks.

    The auto theft summit, which opens Thursday in Ottawa, will bring together more than 700 participants, including representatives car manufacturers, insurance companies and law enforcement, as well as mayors and the ministers of Public Safety, Transport, Justice and Innovation.

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