The Conservatives promised that transmission data would not include anything relating to the content of what Canadians are doing online. Fraser disagreed. He told the committee that it included everything from a user’s IP address, details on what computers and browsers are being used, the URL of the website, and ultimately, some level of content from what users are browsing.
Then he moved on to immunity—the complete legal protection for any company that voluntarily forks over Canadians’personal information to police, even without a warrant: “This provision, I believe, should be removed. It can’t be fixed, and will only encourage overreaching by law enforcement,” Fraser said.
Chu says that police have the onus to always take the least intrusive route to an investigation. He, however, incorrectly believed that companies would not have immunity if the requesting officer was acting in bad faith, like if a cop called up Bell to request his ex-wife’s call logs. The language in the bill is clear though: if a peace or public officer requests the information, and the company is legally allowed to disclose it, the company “does not incur any criminal or civil liability for doing so.”
The Tories admitted that, yes, companies can volunteer our personal data without a warrant, but, they maintained, those companies already have that ability. C-13, they argued, just codifies and clarifies it in the law.
However, re-wording the provision will make it a whole lot easier.
I think that the author is bullish in thinking that the legislation might be stopped, but then I was equally depressed at the prospect of C-30 being halted.