Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Bill C-30 and the Big Red Button
One of the most outrageous aspects of Bill C-30 is that not only would it strip us of our civil liberties, it would also require us to pay for that privilege.
Forcing service providers to install monitoring equipment on their networks and adding additional reporting requirements will only serve to drive up the cost of service — and Canadians already pay some of the highest prices for Internet access in the G20. It could also force smaller providers that cannot afford the additional expense to close shop.
And once that equipment is installed police will be able to routinely ask internet providers to provide them with your internet protocol address, and your name, without a warrant.
This means that the police could conceivably collect a pseudonym you've been using to comment on websites, present it to the relevant company, and say, “Who is this person?”
By trading pseudonyms for IP addresses, then IP addresses for real names and addresses, and repeating the process, police could get a pretty clear picture of what you've been up to online.
Which is bad enough eh?
But what makes it even worse is that once that equipment is installed all kinds of other people could also press the big red button.
Once we've rebuilt the Internet machine to feature a big, red “Spy” button that wasn't there before, we'll never be entirely sure who's using it.
After all, a system that allows for real-time surveillance, or for the archiving and sorting of your data, would be the holy grail for criminals (and possibly the office intern), whether they're out for profit, political ends or a good time. You can't bring oil barrels full of honey to the forest and then act surprised when bears show up.
So merely requiring the police to get a warrant wouldn't be enough to protect our online safety. And is yet another good reason the internet snooping bill shouldn't just be modified, it should be KILLED.
Which in turn makes it even more important that your MPs get that message. To make sure they do please write to them. Or sign this petition.
For once that big red button is installed, it will be game over. The internet will become a threatening place with enemies real and imagined.
And it doesn't really matter whether we believe the police, or the PMO, or the hackers are after us.
We will all live in his kingdom of fear...