The Lawful Access Law is a new bill that Harper is trying to pass that would require all telecommunication and internet providers to install surveillance equipment that would monitor all their customers phone calls /text messages/emails(to whom and from who)/downloading /surfing/internet shopping purchases etc. and then the communications companies would in turn be legally required to turn over all and any of their customers records to the police who could demand at any time without any prior notice these records without restrictions or a warrant.
Privacy International, one of the world’s leading privacy organizations, last year released the results of a multi-year investigation into the shadowy world of the commercial surveillance industry. Dubbed "Big Brother Inc.," the investigation placed the spotlight on dozens of companies that specialize in covert surveillance technologies that are typically sold directly to governments and law enforcement agencies.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews certainly upped the rhetoric on this debate by connecting critics of the legislation to child pornographers , but Canadians are clearly against some of the basic tenets of the bill. The survey suggests Canadians believe cracking down on online crime is important – but they are not prepared to give up some of their freedoms to do it. In fact after the uproar and eventual withdrawal of the bill, Vic Toews, stated that he hadn’t read it.
Our local newest MP, Kellie Leitch spoke to Metroland Media about the controversial bill, which if passed in its current form, would give law enforcement the ability to obtain names, addresses, IP addresses and e-mail accounts from Internet service providers. The bill is called the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act. Some in opposition believe the bill is a violation of Canadian’s online privacy and freedom. She possibly even went to school with Vic Towes, or maybe they have the same instructions on what to say. Vic never read the bill, you have to wonder if Leitch did either. Why is it elected officials only do what the Prime Minister tells them to do, and they never listen to the people who elect them.
As usual with any Bill introduced there are hidden agendas and obtuse language to hide distasteful items. One detail that hasn’t really seen the light (and it may not be an accident) is the hidden gag order. Not only will the police, national security folks and the competition cops be able to get customer names, addresses, IP addresses and e-mail addresses without a warrant, there’s a gag order that means you’ll likely never find out you’ve been the subject of such an inquiry even if you ask your ISP.
After a strong public backlash, the Tories had originally agreed to send Bill C-30 to a Parliamentary committee for review before Second Reading – a rare step that invited opposition input before the government itself had even signalled its support for the Bill. The government had even pre-emptively declared itself willing to consider what the opposition had to say – and the Tories weren’t particularly good at that even when, as a minority, they needed opposition support much more than they do now. But they might be giving it even more review – Saturday’s Globe and Mail reports that the Tories are taking their foot off the gas pedal. While sources in the government told the Globe that the Conservatives still plan to push ahead with C-30, the timing of their next move is unclear.