Home > News > Canadians Debate Online Snooping Laws • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Canadians Debate Online Snooping Laws

Canadians Debate Online Snooping Laws
Get XBIZ News
Mar 8, 2005 1:30 PM PST    Text size: 
OTTAWA — Canada is considering legislation that many critics in that country fear would strike a devastating blow to their online privacy by giving governmental agencies unprecedented power to intercept and act on private communications.

“There are dark clouds on the horizon,” wrote Toronto Star columnist Michael Geist in an article titled, “Say no to Big Brother plan for Internet.”

“[The government seeks] an Internet with ubiquitous surveillance featuring real-time capabilities to monitor online activity,” Geist continued. “It is an internet that would seek to cut off subscriber access based on mere allegations of wrongdoing, without due process or oversight from a judge or jury.”

Commonly referred to as the “lawful access” initiative, the proposal has been the subject of rabid debate since 2002, when the government began soliciting comments from interested parties on Canada’s existing rules regarding the lawful interception of private communications.

Critics like Geist have tried to stir public sentiment against any such legislation by comparing it to the U.S. Patriot Act.

At a February meeting with representatives from the telecommunications industry, Canada’s departments of Industry, Justice and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness laid out the specifics of the legislation, which would require phone and Internet service providers to refit their networks to allow for real-time interception of communications by law enforcement and national security agencies — without prior notice and without court order.

“Legislation governing lawful access was originally designed for rotary telephones, not email or the Internet,” said Solicitor General Lawrence MacAulay during the presentation. “Dated laws allow criminals and terrorists to use technology to hide their illicit activities. This initiative is about keeping our laws current so that the police can do their job and keep Canadians safe.”

MacAuley said that updating access laws is essential to help investigative agencies fight crimes such as terrorism, child pornography, drug trafficking, smuggling, Internet and telemarketing fraud, price fixing and money laundering.

But Privacy Commissioner George Radowski issued an open letter criticizing the proposal for giving the government sweeping and excessive power to snoop on private individuals.

“The interception and monitoring of private communications is a highly intrusive activity that strikes at the heart of the right to privacy,” Radowski wrote. “If Canadians can no longer feel secure that their web surfing and their electronic communications are, in fact, private, this will mark a grave, needless and unjustifiable deterioration of privacy rights in our country.”

What’s more, Radowski said, the government has not demonstrated that there is a serious problem with the country’s existing online surveillance policy.

Columnist Geist also pointed out that the required retrofitting of networks would cost service providers hundreds of millions of dollars, adding: “While some changes may be needed for security purposes, the government has yet to make the case for why the current set of powers, which include cybercrime and wiretapping provisions, are insufficient. [And] there has been no evidence provided that this approach is the least privacy-invasive alternative.”

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

OPINIONS & VIEWS

‘Alternative Facts’ of PC vs. Mac Users

Now that we live in a world of “alternative facts” it feels like somehow everyone has become a little more critical about what information and data they are digesting, and where it came from. Don’t... More »

Putting a Dollar Figure on Your Website's Worth

Daily, I get asked the question, “what’s my website worth.” And it’s the hardest question for me to answer. Someone will go to my website and fill out the contact form, put in... More »

New Solutions Require a Bullheadedness, Different Process

Each January we lead a small group of industry leaders on a tour of the crazy innovations at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. It’s a grind on our bodies. We all train for it beforehand.... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.

UPCOMING EVENTS

EXXXOTICA Denver

Mar 31 - Apr 02
Denver, CO.

Eurowebtainment 2017

May 17 - May 20
Majorca, Spain

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!