The CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer has issued penalties totalling $300,000 to four Canadians for their involvement in the Dark Web marketplace Canadian HeadQuarters (CanadianHQ). The marketplace was taken offline following the execution of warrants by CRTC staff in the Greater Montreal area. Before shutting down, the CRTC says CanadianHQ was one of the largest Dark Web marketplaces in the world, specializing in the sale of spamming services, phishing kits, stolen credentials and access to compromised computers. The CRTC’s investigation focused on four individuals who allegedly sent emails mimicking well-known brands in order to obtain personal data including credit card numbers, banking credentials and other sensitive information. Fined for sending commercial electronic messages without consent in violation of Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) are: Chris Dracos (a.k.a. Poseidon) – $150,000; Marc Younes (a.k.a CASHOUT00 and Masteratm) – $50,000; Souial Amarak (a.k.a Wealtyman and Supreme) – $50,000; and Moustapha Sabir (a.k.a La3sa) – $50,000. As part of the investigation, the CRTC says a number of other vendors have been identified.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) is reminding the public that it does not make decisions based on the number of complaints received and does not deal with concerns about web content after being flooded with complaints about online articles on the Canadian Trucking Alliance posted by CTV and CBC. It’s also had to emphasize that CBC is not a CBSC broadcaster associate and subject to a separate complaint process. The CBSC received a large number of similar complaints concerning Julie Snyder’s interview with children on Jan. 18 asking how unvaccinated people should be punished during La semaine des 4 Julie on Noovo. CBSC says the large number of complaints exceeded its technical processing capacity. “Accordingly, while the CBSC will be dealing with this broadcast under its normal process, it is not able to accept any further complaints about this particular issue. Other concerns about La semaine des 4 Julie broadcasts or Noovo will still be accepted.” A change.org petition calling for the cancellation of the show has received more than 65,000 signatures.
RTDNA Canada is establishing its own Hall of Fame to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to the fields of video, digital and audio journalism. The association says inductees will include “the giants of our industry, the leaders who shape the future, the innovators who enhanced news gathering, and the people who maintain the highest standards of our craft.” The first inductees are the 13 individuals previously honoured with RTDNA Canada Awards in their name, including Bert Cannings, Adrienne Clarkson, Charlie Edwards, Peter Gzowski, Hugh Haugland, Ron Laidlaw, Byron MacGregor, Dan McArthur, Trina McQueen, Dave Rogers, Sam Ross, Gord Sinclair, and Dick Smyth. Each year, the RTDNA Canada Board will review nominations and select an inductee. RTDNA Canada is accepting nominations for the 2022 Hall of Fame now. The closing date for nominations is March 11.
The 2021 Michener Awards are now open to submissions until Feb. 18. The Michener Awards celebrate and promote excellence in Canadian public service journalism. The Michener Awards Foundation offers two fellowships, one in support of investigative reporting and one dedicated to the enrichment of journalism education. Each fellowship is for $40,000 and up to $5,000 in expenses. Established in 1970 by the late Right Honourable Roland Michener, Governor General of Canada from 1967 to 1974, the awards are administered in partnership with the Rideau Hall Foundation. Winners will be announced in June.