Enforcing
Canada’s Anti-Spam
Legislation (CASL)

Actions carried out by the CRTC between
October 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019

View previous time period

Enforcement Highlights

Warrant Executed in Malware Investigation

The CRTC executed a warrant at a Greater Toronto Area residence. The operation was part of an international coordinated investigation into Remote Access Trojan (RAT) technology. This type of malicious software (malware) enables remote access to computers, without the users’ consent, and can lead to the installation of other malware and theft of personal information.

Negotiated Undertaking - Blacklock’s Reporter

An investigation was launched by the CRTC in response to complaints filed by Canadians to the Spam Reporting Centre (SRC) relating to email messages sent by Blacklock’s Reporter, a publication covering government administration. As part of the undertaking, Blacklock’s Reporter agreed to develop a compliance program, including technical tools and staff training that will ensure full compliance with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.

Industry Engagement - Section 9 of CASL

In general terms, section 9 of CASL relates to the aiding of any act contrary to sections 6, 7 and 8 of CASL.

Enforcement Measures

Warning Letters

Administrative Monetary Penalties

Since CASL came into force in 2014, enforcement efforts have resulted in penalties totalling over $1.75 million. An additional $568,000 have been paid as part of negotiated undertakings.

Complaints to the Spam Reporting Centre

Between October 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019

Over 140,000 complaints to the Spam Reporting Centre

That’s over 5,200 per week.

Approximately 4,400 of these complaints were submitted using the online form, which represents only 3% of total complaints. The remainder of complaints were sent by email at spam@fightspam.gc.ca.

The CRTC encourages Canadians to use the Spam Reporting Centre’s online form to provide as much information as possible.


Email is the #1 source of spam and text message spam continues to rise

Sources of spam

SRC complaint reasons donut chart
SRC complaint reasons donut chart legend
Long description:
  • Email: 45.6%
  • Text message (SMS): 44.1%
  • Instant message (IM): 0.8%
  • Unspecified: 9.5%

Lack of consent
is still the
#1 reason
that triggers complaints

Reasons why Canadians complain

Triggers for complaining donut chart
Triggers for complaining donut chart legend
Long description:
  • Lack of Consent: 47%
  • Identification of Sender: 26%
  • Software and Malware: 2%
  • Deceptive Marketing Practices: 25%
Graphic of the top 5 types of scam emails

Between October and December 2018, approximately 40% of emails reported to the SRC related to affiliate marketing or appeared to come from a legitimate business selling or promoting the sale of a good or service.

The top five types of scam emails reported to the SRC during the last three months of 2018 were associated with: (1) Adult Content, (2) Personal Finance, (3) Nigerian Prince, (4) Extortion, and (5) IT and Computers.

Outreach

The Compliance and Enforcement team participated in 27 engagement activities with Canadian companies, associations and organizations to raise awareness about regulations.

Partnerships

The CRTC has forged partnerships with organizations across the globe in order to better fulfill its mandate.

The CRTC is part of the Unsolicited Communications Enforcement Network (UCENET). Members promote international spam enforcement cooperation and address problems relating to spam and unsolicited telecommunications.

Collaboration with International Partners

Agreements with International Partners world map
Long description:

Canada (CA)

Memorandum of Understanding:

Enforcement Collaboration:

United States (US)

Memorandum of Understanding:

Enforcement Collaboration:

United Kingdom (UK)

Memorandum of Understanding:
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

Japan (JP)

Memorandum of Understanding:
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

Australia (AU)

Memorandum of Understanding:
Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

Enforcement Collaboration:
Australian Federal Police (AFP)

New Zealand (NZ)

Memorandum of Understanding:
Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)

Useful Resources

Check out recent fraudulent activities uncovered by the RCMP.

Looking for cyber safety tips?

Competition Bureau Canada

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Frequently Asked Questions about CASL

CASL Compliance Tips

Information Bulletin - Guidelines on the Commission's Approach to Section 9 of CASL

Are you still receiving spam?

Report it and we’ll have a look.

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