An internal review says the RCMP routinely flouted its own policies when gathering information from the internet, potentially endangering investigations and prosecutions.
The newly released audit report says many members across the RCMP use "open source information" in the course of investigations, intelligence gathering, research and engaging with the public.
The national police force's efforts in the open-source realm range from passive online reading to the creation of fake social media accounts.
A section of the Mountie operational manual provides a framework for the collection and use of open source material.
However, the audit found that many employees were unaware that an open-source policy existed or that it applied to their activities.
Overall, the reviewers concluded that internet-related open-source activities conducted across the RCMP "were not consistent nor compliant with" the operational policy.
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