Edmonton MP Thomas Dang says he is free of foul play, though

In March, Dang admitted to hacking the Alberta government’s COVID-19 vaccine registration system last year using Premier Jason Kenney’s birthday.

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Edmonton South MPP Thomas Dang expects to be fined under the province’s Health Information Act after he hacked into the Alberta government’s COVID-19 vaccine registration system. last year, but says he has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing.

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In a statement on Thursday, Dang said he was no longer the subject of a criminal investigation related to his actions – which led him to resign in December from the NDP caucus to sit as an independent – and that he would not face criminal charges.

“I am pleased to put this matter behind me and am grateful to the RCMP and the Crown Prosecutor for working quickly to bring about this resolution,” Dang said in the statement. “I learned a lot from this experience and will absolutely do things differently in the future if similar concerns or issues are brought to my attention.”

RCMP spokesman Fraser Logan told Postmedia Thursday that police have referred the findings of their investigation to Alberta’s Crown Prosecution Service for an opinion. The RCMP does not confirm any of the details written in Dang’s press release, he said.

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A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In March, Dang admitted to hacking the Alberta government’s COVID-19 vaccine registration system last year using Premier Jason Kenney’s birthday.

In an explanation posted online, Dang said he was able to use a script plus Kenney’s birthday and COVID-19 vaccination date – both publicly available – to guess the insurance number. -illness of an Albertan who was not Kenney but who matched that of the Prime Minister. Other details. Dang was able to access that person’s vaccine passport PDF, but said he immediately left the website and did not save any information.

He maintained that he hacked the system to highlight vulnerabilities and argued that companies often hire security experts to test their systems.

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In an interview with Postmedia, Dang said his lawyer was told by the prosecutor handling his case that he would not face criminal charges. He said he wouldn’t do something like that again because of the chilling effect it would have on others.

“It will have a chilling effect on people who want to disclose other vulnerabilities that affect every Albertan and what I have learned is that there is no proper disclosure process that would allow someone who discovered the vulnerabilities to report it without possibly going through something like this again,” he said.

“I think frankly it’s a shame and we need to make changes that move forward on safety issues without the prospect of a criminal investigation.”

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After admitting the hack, Dang began advocating for cybersecurity-related changes. He has promised a private member’s bill in the fall that will include a vulnerability disclosure program for people to report concerns.

Dang expects a fine for illegally accessing or attempting to access information under the Health Information Act. The fine has not been issued and the amount has not yet been determined.

When asked if he would plead guilty, Dang said he would assess the situation with his lawyer.

It’s unclear what this will mean for Dang’s future with the NDP. He sent a letter to NDP caucus chair Joe Ceci asking for permission to join the caucus.

Last month, NDP Leader Rachel Notley said the constituency verification process was still ongoing.

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“If the (police) investigation is still ongoing, it is certain that Thomas will not be able to stand in the next election for us,” she said at the time.

In a statement, UCP MP Brad Rutherford said the fine and the police investigation showed Dang was wrong.

“Given the seriousness of this RCMP investigation and the resulting fine under the Health Information Act, MP Dang should not be allowed to join the Official Opposition Caucus” , did he declare.

At a news conference on Thursday, moments after Dang’s statement was released, Notley said the party and caucus would seek more information.

“I’ll talk to the caucus executive about it and we can get back to the people once we have a clearer picture. The same would apply to members of our provincial executive who are responsible for endorsing candidates,” she said.

Dang said he wanted to run for the NDP next year.

“What I did is all out there in the public and people will have to make their own decisions about how they think I handled it,” he said.

“But certainly, I think in terms of ethical acts, it’s important to have a system in place for that kind of disclosure.”

— With files from Lisa Johnson

ajoannou@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/ashleyjoannou

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