By Jesse Brown - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 0 Comments
By Bruce Cheadle - Monday, February 11, 2013 at 5:44 PM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – The Conservative government is scrapping its controversial and much-maligned Internet surveillance bill…
OTTAWA – The Conservative government is scrapping its controversial and much-maligned Internet surveillance bill in favour of modest changes to Canada’s warrantless wiretap law.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says Bill C-30, the so-called Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, will not go ahead.
The law, which sparked a public outcry when it was first introduced, had been sought by police who said they needed it to go after child pornography, but it quickly met stiff resistance from privacy and civil liberties advocates.
The legislation would have forced Internet service providers to maintain systems that allowed police to intercept and track online communications. Continue…
By Jesse Brown - Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 10:24 AM - 0 Comments
Jim Bronskill, of The Canadian Press, has reported a weird story. He filed an access to information request and obtained an internal memo from the privacy commissioner’s office. In his words, it reveals this:
“The federal privacy watchdog is trying to help the Conservative government find a compromise in its contentious bid to bolster Internet surveillance powers.”
How strange. Strange for the Privacy Commissioner to be helping the state “bolster surveillance,” and strange for her to be doing so in the spirit of compromise. Why compromise with Bill C-30? “Lawful Access,” which was rebranded the “Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act,” but is known widely as the ”Internet Spying Bill,” was pronounced dead the prior spring, in a seeming victory for privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, who opposed it from the start.
So, why cut a deal with a dead foe? Perhaps she didn’t. Continue…
By Jesse Brown - Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 4:23 PM - 0 Comments
Deep in the bowels of the RCMP’s Ottawa headquarters, thousands of Mounties are scanning the Internet for signs of wrongdoing. They read every blog post and comment written by Canadians, hunting for clues. They watch every YouTube video we upload, scrutinizing the shaky footage for incriminating evidence. Eventually, something pops: a kidnapped child in the blurry background of an Instagram picture! An anonymous post on Tumblr containing information known only to a wanted felon! The Mounties pull the I.P. address of each suspicious uploader and immediately contact the Internet service provider associated with it. All they need now is the given name of the subscriber assigned to that unique I.P., and they can swoop in for a quick arrest. But the Internet service provider can’t be bothered. “Do you have a warrant?” they ask. Thwarted by indifferent corporations and pre-digital legislation, our cyber-Mounties twiddle their thumbs, waiting for judges to sign off on court orders while criminals escape into the ether…
The above scenario, of course, exists only in a fantasy that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has been selling to Canadians for months. First he told us that we either stood with his Internet snooping bill or “with the child pornographers.” Then he said his Internet snooping bill would have helped police identify and track Luka Magnotta sooner than they did. But government memos released yesterday to the CBC under access to information confirm what critics of the C-30 have been saying for months: Toews has nothing.
By Richard Warnica - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 11:36 AM - 0 Comments
The Conservative party has quietly shelved Bill C-30, the Internet surveillance act Toews once…
The Conservative party has quietly shelved Bill C-30, the Internet surveillance act Toews once asserted was vital to cracking down on kiddie porn. The bill is unlikely to resurface before the summer recess. In fact, it may never come back at all, wrote John Ibbitson in Tuesday’s Globe:
If the Harper government still wants to pass a law that would make it easier for police to track people who use the web to commit crimes, it will have to start from scratch.
That new bill, if there is one, will probably be shepherded by a different minister. That’s how much damage this botched legislation inflicted on the government and on Mr. Toews.
Ibbitson believes the prime minister is likely to prorogue Parliament before holding the debate necessary to send the bill to committee. If that happens, the so-called “lawful access” bill dies and the Tories start over, possibly with a new public safety minister to shepherd it through Parliament and the court of public opinion.
By Luke Simcoe - Monday, April 9, 2012 at 11:06 AM - 0 Comments
Lately, it seems you can’t swing a LOLcat by its tail without hitting some public official flaunting their ignorance of the Internet. We’ve seen everything from Vic Toews trying to haul Anonymous before the Canadian Parliament to New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly claiming that “the Internet is the new Afghanistan.”
Not wanting to miss out on the party, legislators in Arizona recently tried to make it illegal to say mean things online. Two weeks ago,the state senate unanimously passed Arizona House Bill 2549, which reads:
“It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use any electronic or digital device and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.”
Regardless of the fact that we shouldn’t be legislating civility, or that the right to be as asinine and hyperbolic as possible is one of the basic tenets of the Internet, the law had “First Amendment violation” written all over it. The language was overly broad, and no definition of terms like “annoy” or “offend” was given, meaning the bill could have criminalized being a jerk in the comments section of a website.
By From the editors - Friday, February 24, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
While a certain amount of electronic surveillance is justified, the possibility that such information could be made available without a warrant should be of concern to every Canadian
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has long been seen as the bluntest tool wielded by the Harper government in its misguided law-and-order campaign. Last week, we found out just how blunt, and misguided.
Bill C-30, also known as the “Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act,” provoked a storm of political and public debate across the country due to a provision that allows police to gain access to any Internet subscriber’s IP address (among other identifiers) in order to track their online activity. This would be permitted without a warrant in “extraordinary circumstances.”
While a certain amount of electronic surveillance is justified in the interests of peace, order and good government, the possibility that such information could be made available without a warrant should be of concern to every Canadian with Web access. Approval from a judge is required before Canadian authorities can obtain someone’s personal financial information; why should electronic details be treated differently?