Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act and what it really means.
bill c-13 internet surveillance of canadian governmentThis is not about the sky falling, this is really happening:
“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.” – 1984, George Orwell
The present government of Canada has made considerable efforts to explain how this new legislation is going to protect Canadians from criminals; but nothing is said about it also changes internet privacy of everyday Canadians to a point that offers an overwhelming amount of surveillance and preservations of online activity. It also covers tracking locations of persons, phone, banking data, and other personal information. Many of which is premised on nothing more than suspicion.
Difficulties in understanding the legislation for the every day Canadian.
The legislation is very dense, and probably on purpose, making it almost impossible for the average Canadian to understand what exactly is happening to their online privacy (in effect, you don’t have much when this comes into force). Indeed, for me as an experienced lawyer in search and seizure law, the legislation is very condensed and difficult to understand. This is an attempt to provide an average Canadian with a proper understanding of the new legislation and how its real effects are must more to do with protecting Canadians as it is being able to monitor them immediately and secretly when very low legal thresholds are met:
Why Bill C-13 (Protecting Canadians From Online Crime Act) is more about surveillance than it is about “revenge porn”:
As mentioned, there this Bill covers much more than “revenge porn” and the mass appeal such legislation would otherwise have. Beyond news headlines, lies an impending law that is nearly impossible to distill to quick headlines. Here is a summary of how Bill C-13 will drastically change the manner in which Canadians may be watched by the government, and internet history and activity preserved on nothing more than “suspicion”.
These are simply highlights and does not capture all aspects to the proposed legislation and the extent to which it extends.
Police and “Public Officer” Preservations Demands and Orders For Data
Without going through a Court, police, or other government agent (“public officer”), can make a secret demand to an internet/data to preserve the internet history/activity of a person for 21 days (90 days for foreign state requests). (Section 487.012, Form 5.001)
Police/pubic officers may also impose conditions they deem appropriate including preventing the ISP/date holder from disclosing such a request was made, etc.
This can be made on the premise that police/government have reasonable grounds to suspect of a crime, or if the target is subject to “an investigation” of a foreign state – i.e., the global US surveillance efforts made public through the Snowden leaks. (Section 487.012(2)(a)-(c))
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