The Nova Scotia government received a cyber-security award this week.
But it wasn’t a good one.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an online non-profit group championing privacy, free expression and innovation, handed the government and police in Halifax the 2019 What the Swat? award.
The award stems from the arrest of a 19-year-old Halifax man in April for accessing 7,000 documents from the province’s freedom of information website. Data accessed included birth dates, social insurance numbers, addresses and government-services client information.
Police charged the man with unauthorized use of a computer.
“The Canadian teen had just downloaded a host of public records from openly available URLs on a government website,” reads the award notification.
“At the heart of the ordeal was some seriously terrible security practices by Nova Scotia officials.”