…Justice Canada says the proposed legal shield against liability offers nothing new. “This protection already existed under the jurisprudence,” said spokeswoman Carole Saindon in an e-mail responding to Globe questions. She added that the “language in the bill is not a substantive change.”
Privacy advocates are not reassured by any of this.
The “unaccountability is absolutely unacceptable,” blogged Chris Parsons, a researcher for the University of Toronto Citizen Lab on Thursday. “And it’s made worse by the fact that the currently proposed lawful-access legislation, C–13, would indemnify [Internet Service Providers] for sharing even more information with state authorities while not requiring these authorities to report on how often, and to what extent, they ‘request’ such information.”
Needless to say, I fundamentally disagree with Justice Canada’s position that they sufficiently account for federal agencies’ surveillance programs. And if the liability shield that is being introduced in C-13 isn’t needed and the language not a substantive change then the government should be happy to remove it when the lawful access bill goes to committee.