Show some love for online privacy – Send Vic Toews a Valentine
The writing is on the wall (or in this case perhaps it’s the homepage) – the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act is on the federal government’s Order Paper, and according to media reports, will be introduced in Parliament today.
Although we still don’t know the details of the bill, the government had previously promised that it would re-introduce its ‘lawful access’ legislation without any major changes, and this appears to be it. As has been pointed out by others, ‘lawful access’ is a gross misnomer. Terms others have used include “online spying” and “e-snooping.” Ontario’s privacy commissioner prefers to describe it simply as “a system of expanded surveillance.” CCLA, which had named the last version of this legislation the Cyber-surveillance Bill, agrees.
Previous versions of these bills gave law enforcement more powers to access, track and monitor a host of online and wireless information. The government argues that Canadian law enforcement must have investigative tools that are equipped to deal with 21st century technologies. We can all agree that this is true. Investigative tools without accompanying oversight such as full warrants, however, is not what we need. There are good reasons to require the police to obtain warrants and seek judicial oversight before invading individual privacy. The advent of the Internet, email, cell phones and smart phones has not changed Canadians’ basic rights to privacy and freedom from unwarranted government surveillance.
On February 14th tell Minister Toews that you love your online privacy by sending him this valentine.