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...


  1. ben burd3:58 PM

    And the saddest aspect of all is that the ISP is forbidden to tell the person who's information has been gathered is that it happened.

    1. hi Ben...yes that's one of the least publicized part of the bill, and in my opinion one of the most totalitarian. The only way to avoid this is to make sure that ISPs are never allowed to become a vast spy network for anyone. If police need to go after criminals they can do it, and they don't need this bill...

  2. Anonymous4:44 PM

    go to the gov. web site and read Bill C30; Exemptions, section 34. No warrants needed to examine ANY file, computer, document, or anything else IF you are an inspector. Section 32 says the gov. can make any person or class of person an inspector;If cops are appointed inspectors, all files open

    1. hi anonymous...yes and after that the Con operatives will start calling themselves inspectors and nobody will be safe. The more I read this bill the more I dislike it. And anyone who believes in civil liberties should too...

  3. Anonymous11:18 PM

    This almost sounds like the Patriot Act
    gotten up in new garb.

    A Bush-era legacy export, then?

    1. hi Torontonian...not only does this bill sound like the Patriot Act is practically a carbon copy of the one in the U.S. And for good reason. Not only will police in this country be able to grope our computers so will the Americans. It's one vast conspiracy and its got to be stopped...

  4. I am confused as to how the government sees this bill as good! From the sounds of it, there would be more potential crimes because the information is just sitting there waiting for someone to ask for it.

    1. hi SLL755...it makes no sense whatsoever, it gathers info on everyone, places it in the hands of ISPs, and just dares the police, or hackers, or disgruntled employees to access it and steal our freedom AND our identity, and our money. There is no way to salvage this bill, it's not necessary, and it must be scrapped...