Commissioner's Directive

Use of Web 2.0 Technology


  • To enable Correctional Service of Canada staff to maximize the benefits of Web 2.0 technology, while understanding expected behaviours, benefits, risks and consequences, and in accordance with all legal and policy requirements, including the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector


Applies to all Correctional Service of Canada staff, including managers. For the purpose of this Commissioner’s Directive, "staff" denotes all Correctional Service of Canada staff, as well as other personnel associated with CSC including students, contractors and volunteers. This does not apply to third party group members, such as Advisory Committee members


  1. The Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, will:
    1. ensure all staff are made aware of the appropriate use of Web 2.0 technology
    2. establish and maintain mandatory procedures for staff on the use of Web 2.0 technology
    3. authorize, direct and coordinate all Web 2.0 activities for official use.
  2. Staff will:
    1. ensure that their communications using Web 2.0 technology comply with all policies pertaining to professional standards, and do not reflect negatively on CSC or the Government of Canada. The duty of professional conduct applies at work as well as outside of work, and during any type of leave, and whether the use of Web 2.0 technology is work-related or personal (refer to CD 060 – Code of Discipline as well as the Standards of Professional Conduct in the Correctional Service of Canada)
    2. report any suspected unlawful or unacceptable use of Web 2.0 technology to their manager(s), and ultimately to the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, whether the activity occurred during or outside of work hours and whether Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) resources or non-CSC resources were used
    3. seek clarification from the Office of the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, when in doubt as to whether the use of Web 2.0 technology (planned or otherwise) is lawful and acceptable.

Use of Web 2.0 Accounts

  1. Official use: designated CSC spokespersons may use the official CSC Web 2.0 accounts (e.g. @csc_scc_en on Twitter) to which they are granted exclusive access, for work-related activity in accordance with CD 022 – Media Relations.
  2. Professional networking use: staff may use their personal Web 2.0 accounts (e.g. @JaneDoe on Twitter) for non-official communication purposes related to professional activities. This includes communicating with professional associations, professional networking, knowledge sharing and career development.
  3. Personal use: staff may use their personal Web 2.0 accounts on their personal time within normal working hours, in accordance with CD 226 – Use of Electronic Resources. Staff must not share information through Web 2.0 tools and services that could be perceived as an official Government of Canada position, as opposed to personal opinion, under any circumstances.


  1. Official CSC Web 2.0 accounts must never be used for non-work related activity.
  2. When using Web 2.0 technology in any capacity, staff will:
    1. adhere to the requirements of political neutrality in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act (Part 7)
    2. ensure the protection of personal information and privacy rights, pursuant to the Privacy Act and applicable policies
    3. ensure the security of information. This includes respecting the litigation nature of matters before the courts, national security, Cabinet confidences and ministerial responsibility. All sensitive information must be treated with discretion.
  3. When using Web 2.0 technology, staff must not enter into any kind of personal or business relationship not approved by their authorized supervisor, with an offender or ex-offender, or the friends or relatives of an offender or ex-offender, in accordance with CD 060 – Code of Discipline, excluding Security Intelligence Officers (see “Monitoring Offenders” for further information).
  4. Staff must not use Government of Canada or CSC identifiers, including CSC badge and ensign (flag), in any communications in relation to personal use of Web 2.0 technology. In relation to professional networking use of Web 2.0 technology (e.g. an employee’s LinkedIn account), limited use of the Government of Canada wordmark is acceptable, in accordance with the Treasury Board’s Technical Specifications for Social Media Accounts.
  5. A staff member’s Government of Canada e-mail address may only be linked to Web 2.0 technology if used exclusively for professional networking purposes (e.g. an employee’s LinkedIn account).
  6. Staff must not share work-related information, unless it is already publicly available, via Web 2.0 technology. As per CD 060, staff must treat information acquired through their employment in a manner consistent with the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Policy on Government Security, and the Oath of Secrecy taken by all employees of the Public Service of Canada.

Monitoring Offenders

  1. Staff must not use personal Web 2.0 accounts to monitor an offender’s compliance with his/her conditions of release or to investigate any possible criminal behaviour. Notwithstanding, certain positions (e.g., Security Intelligence Officers or Parole Officers) may, if expressly authorized by their supervisor, require the use of approved Government of Canada accounts provided specifically for this purpose.

Intellectual Property

  1. In using Web 2.0 technology, staff must abide by the requirements of the Copyright Act (refer to CD 226 – Use of Electronic Resources).

Official Languages

  1. Content on official CSC Web 2.0 accounts must be provided in both official languages, pursuant to the Official Languages Act, and the Treasury Board Directive on Official Languages for Communications and Services.

Media Inquiries

  1. All enquiries from the media received through personal Web 2.0 accounts must be forwarded to CSC’s Media Relations at National Headquarters, pursuant to CD 022 – Media Relations.


  1. CSC may pursue disciplinary or administrative measures or sanctions in cases of unlawful and/or unacceptable use of Web 2.0 technology. Disciplinary measures will be commensurate with the seriousness and aggravating and/or mitigating circumstances of the unlawful and/or unacceptable use. In cases where disciplinary measures are required, it is recommended that Labour Relations be consulted to ensure that the application of disciplinary measures is consistent across CSC.
  2. Disciplinary or administrative measures may include:
    1. a verbal or written reprimand
    2. suspension of employment, financial penalty or demotion
    3. termination of employment
    4. review of an individual’s reliability status or security clearance
    5. any other measures deemed appropriate to remedy the situation and correct the employee’s behaviour.


Original signed by

Don Head



Related Legislation

Treasury Board Policies and Publications

CSC Policies and Guides


Official use: use of an official Web 2.0 account on behalf of the Government of Canada. Only those individuals who have been authorized to represent the Government of Canada can use official accounts.

Official social media account: an account on a social media platform that is used for official Government of Canada purposes such as communication, service delivery, collaboration and other purposes within the scope of a department's mandate, including as a designated spokesperson for the department.

Personal use: use of a personal Web 2.0 account for purposes unrelated to professional development or employment (e.g. blogging about gardening tips, sharing personal or family photos).

Professional networking use: use of a personal Web 2.0 account for purposes related to professional activities, such as communicating with professional associations, professional networking (e.g. participating in an online conference), knowledge gathering and sharing (e.g. using Twitter to stay up-to-date on trends, visiting government Facebook pages), and career development (e.g. maintaining a LinkedIn profile).

Social media: online platforms that allow for participants to have a distinct user profile and to create, share and interact with user-generated content, which can include text, images, video and audio (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube).

Staff: for the purpose of this directive, “staff” applies to all Correctional Service of Canada staff, as well as other personnel associated with CSC including students, contractors and volunteers.

Unacceptable use: any use of Web 2.0 technology that violates CSC, Treasury Board or other government policy.

Web 2.0 technology: includes Internet-based tools and services that allow for participatory multi-way information sharing, dialogue, syndication, and user-generated content. This can include social media and collaborative technologies.

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.