Tax Lawyer Predicted Spying on CRA Accounts - 4.7 out of 5 based on 3 votes

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Tax Lawyer Predicted Spying on CRA Accounts


On April 9, 2014, a day after Google engineers identified a serious vulnerability in the SSL website security software used by many governments, banks, and corporations, the Canada Revenue Agency abruptly shut down all external access to its online services, including e-filing of tax returns. This at the height of tax filing season .

“Keep your tax matters private. Keep tax offline,” wrote Philippe DioGuardi on the DioGuardi Tax Law facebook® page, twitter® feed, website blog, and news page.

Mr. DioGuardi had predicted that your online behaviour had already been collected by spy agencies, and could easily be reviewed by CRA and related to your tax records.

 It seems Mr. DioGuardi was right. The CRA re-opened its website for efiling on April 13, 2014, only announce a day later that the SIN numbers of 900 lucky early e-filers had been stolen from the CRA e-filing website. In the space of six short hours, hackers got into the CRA e-file portal and got away with the 900 SIN numbers.

How did the CRA realize the SIN numbers had been stolen?

An internet security expert told the Globe and Newspaper that the theft would have been spotted by the network monitoring tools of “other federal agencies that capture and analyze transiting data packets”.

We can only take that to mean CSEC – the Canadian counterpart of the NSA, and one of the infamous FIVE EYES identified by Edward Snowden in his revelations of government surveillance of internet activity.

Even more revealing, it was reported that the RCMP had tapped into the CRA website and followed the trail of an IP address to a home in London, Ontario, and computers belonging to a young engineering student at the University of Western Ontario, who was charged with theft of the SIN numbers.

These events confirmed the ease with which the CRA and the police can access internet information from the spy agencies and use it to track you down.
It all confirms the DioGuardi position: Tax is too private for online.

Philippe DioGuardi, it seems, is a Cassandra of all things tax.

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© DioGuardi Enterprises Inc.