Mercedes Stephenson from Global News has done some excellent follow-up coverage on the arrest of RCMP Intelligence Director Cameron Ortis. Mr. Ortis is facing seven serious charges of intelligence violations including obtaining information to pass to a “foreign entity.” The intelligence compromise is the biggest scandal in “a generation”.
A man named Victor Ramos was the CEO of Phantom Secure, an enterprise that provided encrypted communication devices to criminal agents involved in drug smuggling, money laundering and human trafficking.
Ramos was arrested by United States FBI officials in Washington State. Ramos gave the FBI information about intelligence for sale that was coming from a source deep inside the Five-Eyes intelligence apparatus. That information led to RCMP Director Cameron Ortis.
The scale of the compromise is still being analyzed. Ortis was director general of the National Intelligence Coordination Centre in Canada. In essence, Ortis was the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence (James Clapper/Dan Coats); and had access to the most sensitive intelligence information amid the entire Five-Eyes network that includes: Canada, The United States, The U.K. Australia and New Zealand.
(Global News) […] “By virtue of the positions he held, Mr. Ortis had access to information the Canadian intelligence community possessed. He also had access to intelligence coming from our allies both domestically and internationally,” RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said Monday.
The charges have “shaken many people throughout the RCMP,” she said in a statement, adding the police force was “assessing the impacts of the alleged activities as information becomes available.”
“We are aware of the potential risk to agency operations of our partners in Canada and abroad and we thank them for their continued collaboration. We assure you that mitigation strategies are being put in place as required.”
[…] From his position as director general of intelligence in Ottawa, Ortis would have been able to access almost any sensitive information he wanted.
This could include the force’s blueprints for covert operations worldwide, as well as the identities of undercover officers, police agents working within transnational crime groups, officers from Five Eyes partners used in RCMP probes, and even witnesses relocated to other countries.
“He could have passed on our methodologies, our tactics, and our whole covert infrastructure,” Majcher said. “If it is true that he is dealing with some of the worst people in the world, they will be looking for what do the police know, how do they do stings on us?
“The damage he has potentially done could be quite massive and it could be generational.” (read more)