For those of you not already familiar with Bill C-30, also known as the “Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act” I highly recommend reading up on this legislation that is currently being debated in the House of Commons. In short, Bill C-30 would grant police the power to compel Internet Service Providers (Rogers, Bell, Telus, etc…) to provide your personal information, including phone numbers, addresses, and Internet Protocol addresses without a warrant. Those same companies would also be required to install tracking equipment so that authorities could monitor your behaviour online.
For a government that thought that the mandatory long-form census and the Canadian Wheat Board were egregious violations of personal freedoms, does it make any sense to expand the lawful access powers of police in such an extraordinary manner? Or, perhaps, all of its rhetoric concerning the freedoms and rights of Canadians is, in fact, a lot of hot air.
Curious to learn more? Here are a few places to start:
- Professor Michael Geist from the University of Ottawa has an excellent run-down on all of the major issues with this legislation right here.
- The BC Civil Liberties Association has an excellent paper that outlines the constitutional implication of the expansion of lawful access here [PDF].
- The Globe and Mail also has a short article explaining some of the major details and points of controversy over Bill C-30 here.
- Watch a short mini-documentary about the issues surrounding changes to lawful access in Canada here.
If you are not convinced by Minister Toews’s red herring justification for this egregious over-reach of state power and you are offended by the suggestion that opposition to potentially unconstitutional breaches of citizen privacy is akin to supporting child pornography, take a moment to sign the online petition opposing Bill C-30 here: