A Montreal judge has been asked to hear a case in which a Canadian citizen is accused of being the operator of a Chinese-owned website that allows him to access the online records of Canadian citizens.
The government alleges that Andrew Chan has “direct access” to more than a million of the country’s personal records, including names, addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers, as well as email addresses and other sensitive information.
Chan, who has been detained at Montreal’s Saint-Denis prison since April, is accused by the government of hacking the websites of Montreal police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and he has denied all the charges.
The judge is expected to hear the case this week.
The Canadian government says Chan is responsible for creating and running a site called cccamserver.com that is linked to a Tor network.
The Tor network is a program that anonymizes the Internet traffic passing through it.
Chan’s site is not encrypted, and his users can view and access the information in real time.
Chan has been charged with offences under Canada’s Computer Misuse Act, which can carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
Chan was arrested last week, when authorities received information that a man in Quebec had been posting on a private social networking site about the alleged hacking of cccampserver.net.
Authorities say Chan has admitted to the hacking.
In a statement, the Canadian government said it was aware of the situation and was cooperating with authorities.
It said the RCMP “has had no evidence” linking Chan to the alleged hack, but the agency would continue to work with the Quebec police force to ensure there is no “significant breach” of privacy in its operations.
Chan is accused, among other things, of accessing personal information of Canadians from the cccamp.net domain.
Chan owns cccameserver.cn domain, and has claimed to have created it as a way to give himself more control over his online life.
He said he only used it to host personal information and that it had been created as a means to prevent others from accessing his information.
His site also says it is intended for use by “international criminal organizations,” but the RCMP said it has no record of Chan using it.
The RCMP is not able to say whether any of the information it has accessed came from Canada.
Chan did not return messages left at his Montreal home Monday, and no one answered the phone at the address listed on his Montreal residence.
Chan and his lawyers say the charges are politically motivated and the case is a distraction from the government’s investigation into the hacking of other websites.
Chan faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
The Montreal police were not immediately available for comment Monday.
The CBC’s Marcia Langford, who is covering the case for The Canadian Press, contributed to this report.