From the “I can’t believe this is Canada” file, the government is pushing a new “lawful access” bill, basically granting the police and government officials the rights and means to freely and on a hunch, spy on your internet usage. Assuming that if you have nothing to hide, you should have no fear of arbitrary search and seizure, of course.
Michael Geist has a good article about the bill and why it is crazy. The insanity first becomes evident when Public Safety Minister Vic Toews tells people “You can stand with us, or you can stand with the child pornographers“. As if everyone with a desire for online privacy and against widespread internet surveillance is somehow automatically “for” child pron! Yep, there is no middle ground here. Line up with the rest of ’em, mate.
I agree with Tech Dirt’s post, this is totally ridiculous, and a cynical political move that assumes the Canadian public is stupid and will just roll over. I sincerely hope that is not true, that there is enough outcry against this bill that it is thrown out faster than last week’s Metro. Yes, it may be difficult and time consuming to obtain a judge’s consent in the form of a warrant, but you don’t just subtract an individual’s rights from the equation in the name of expediancy and convenience for law enforcement. You cannot and should not assume that the entire public is suspect, and then launch a witch hunt to see who floats and who sinks! Continue reading