Telecom and Broadcasting - Commission Letter addressed to Mr. Marc Nanni

Ottawa, 1 April 2021

Our reference: 1011-NOC2021-0009


Ottawa, 1 April 2021

Mr. Marc Nanni

Re:  Compliance and Enforcement and Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2021-9 – Procedural request filed by Mr. Nanni

Dear Mr. Nanni,

This letter is in response to your procedural request submitted on 15 March 2021 seeking to halt Notice of Consultation 2021-9 (the NOC). Your request submits that the Commission made a number of factual errors, including that the Commission misunderstood what botnets are and that the NOC provided an incorrect definition of botnets. According to your request, not all botnets are illegal or malicious in nature.

From Commission staff’s perspective, it is uncontested that distributed processing systems - where components are installed with consent - may be good technologies used for legitimate purposes, such as commercial chat bots. However, the NOC does not address these legitimate systems.

The scope of the NOC is limited to only those malicious botnets causing harm to Canadians, as mentioned in paragraphs 1, 2, 8 and 17. Botnets are discussed in this specific context (i.e., malware infected devices controlled as a group by a malicious actor without the knowledge nor consent of their respective owner). As noted in Footnote 1 to the NOC, “The bots referred to in this Notice of Consultation are exclusively malware-infected devices. “Good” bots programmed to perform helpful tasks, such as chatbots and crawler bots, are excluded from consideration.”

In this context, the definition included in the NOC is consistent with the definitions provided by the Government of Canada’s expert bodiesFootnote1, other countries’ expert bodiesFootnote2 , international non-for-profit organizationsFootnote3, many cyber-security vendorFootnote4, academiaFootnote5 , specialized training institutesFootnote6 or the ordinary meaning of the term provided by general dictionaries.Footnote7 This list of references is not exhaustive.

In light of the above, Commission staff is of the view that there is no need to halt the NOC.

Furthermore, Commission staff acknowledges that you filed an intervention separate from your procedural request. Your comments therein will be taken into consideration, including those dealing with the content and scope of a possible framework and the fact that legitimate systems should not be captured.

A copy of this letter will be added to the public record of the proceeding.



Neil Barratt
Director, Electronic Commerce Enforcement
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Cc: Parties to 2021-9




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