Sunday, November 24, 2013
The Con Zombies and the Internet Snooping Bill
Well I'm sure you remember the scary story of the Con zombie Vic Toews, and his infamous internet snooping bill.
The one Toews called the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act (Bill C-30) but was really just a sinister plan to read our e-mails. By among other things forcing internet service providers to hand over information to police without a warrant.
The bill was killed after massive public protests, and Toews retired. But now it's back under a new name, Bill C-13 or The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act.
And so are the Con zombies.
When Justice Minister Peter MacKay unveiled the federal government's proposed cyberbullying law on Wednesday, he touted it as a necessary tool to combat the often hurtful spread of intimate images. To emphasize the underlying point, he made the announcement during national Bullying Awareness Week.
But legal experts were left wondering why a piece of legislation that is meant to rein in online tormentors is also taking on terror suspects and people who steal cable TV signals.
Because although the bill is ostensibly designed to protect bullied children, which would be a good thing. It's more about expanding police powers so the police and the Cons can spy on Canadians.
Among other things, these new measures include giving police easier access to the metadata that internet service providers and phone companies keep on every call and email.
And even though it would now require police to obtain a warrant to read our e-mails, it would allow ISPs to voluntarily hand over that metadata without criminal or civil liability. As they regularly do in the United States.
Which makes it in some respects, as the cyber law expert Michael Geist explains, even MORE threatening...
Geist says C-13 gives police greater access to metadata, which is the information that ISPs and phone companies keep on every call and email, and he adds that in some ways metadata can be more revealing than the substance of a phone call or email. Metadata will enable police to pinpoint a suspect’s "geographic location. It will tell who they were talking to, it will tell what device they were using," Geist told CBC.
And makes the whole sneaky process just as flawed as the last one.
Law enforcement have been asking for some of these provisions for many years and there could be a good debate on the merits of many of the proposed reforms. As this post suggests, some of the provisions raise some serious concerns.
Yet the government is signalling that it would prefer to avoid such debates, wrapping up the provisions in the cyber-bullying flag and backtracking on a commitment made earlier this year to not bring forward Criminal Code amendments that were contained in Bill C-30.
Oh boy. On another night I'll explain why the anti bullying part is also hideously flawed, and does nothing to fight the larger problem. Which as you know I care about deeply.
But tonight I just want to say this:
In a country where parliamentary democracy is all but dead, where the Cons are trying to muzzle their opponents, and the truth is what they say it is, internet freedom is a precious thing.
And the one thing Stephen Harper can't control.
So we need to fight for it as hard as we did last time. And as Dammit Janet suggests, roast Peter Peeper.
For the man really is shameless. Hiding behind children to conceal his real intentions just like Vic Toews did.
And if we lose our internet freedom we will not easily get it back.
The Con zombies will use their new powers to attack or try to intimidate their opponents.
And the monster will be watching us...
Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.