National security review tries to tackle needs of law enforcement in digital world | Toronto Star

The Toronto Star:

Lawful access is “a real thorny issue,” said University of Ottawa law professor Craig Forcese, a national security law expert, in an interview with the Star.

“For years I’ve been saying we’ve got to deal with it, and you can’t deal with it without investing people in a discussion, because the best-organized civil liberties organizations in Canada right now are privacy groups,” said Forcese.

“And if you go ahead unilaterally and start tabling stuff in Parliament, you’re going to have a replay of the disaster of the last decade in Parliament where nothing ever got passed, except the cyberbullying bill which didn’t address all the issues.”

Parliament did a lot over the last decade. Including passing lawful access legislation following more than 10 years of public debate that included numerous public consultations (i.e. not just with civil liberties organizations).

That civil liberties groups – which by definition argue hard against infringements of constitutional rights – did their jobs is to be congratulated not smeared.


Bill C-51 aims to ‘remove terrorist propaganda’ from internet

Bill C-51 aims to ‘remove terrorist propaganda’ from internet :

Disclosing identities

Christopher Parsons, the managing director of the Citizen Lab’s Telecom Transparency Project at the Munk Centre for Global Affairs, says that given the top court’s ruling, he’s concerned about ISPs handing over subscriber information.

Before that happens, he says, some sort of judicial process is needed to ensure that Canadians’ personal information doesn’t get disclosed to government unless they get warrants.

Parsons also expressed worry about how expansive the government’s definition of terrorist propaganda will be, especially at what he calls the margins of political and artistic speech.

Given the extent online of what the government calls terrorist propaganda, there’s also a question about the staffing required to find and remove that content from the internet. Parsons noted the challenge the RCMP has getting the resources to take down the vast quantity of child pornography.


CSIS’s New Powers Demand New Accountability Mechanisms

CSIS’s New Powers Demand New Accountability Mechanisms:

It is imperative that the Canadian public trust that CSIS is not acting in a lawless manner. And while improving how SIRC functions, or adding Parliamentary review, could regain or maintain that trust, a more cost-sensitive approach could involve statutory reporting. Regardless, something must be done to ensure that CSIS’ actions remain fully accountable to the public, especially given the new powers the Service may soon enjoy. Doing anything less would irresponsibly expand the state’s surveillance capabilities and threaten to dilute the public’s trust in its intelligence and security service.



Police could see tax info without warrant under proposed law

Police could see tax info without warrant under proposed law:

Omnibus legislation: the most efficient way of pushing through massive changes to the structure of Canada’s laws without most people (including experts) fully appreciating the extent to which things are about to change.


EMI Sues Irish Government

Admittedly this is a few weeks old at this point, but it’s absurd that EMI is trying to sue the Irish government for access to a bill prior to its being introduced.

EMI is effectively confessing here that it’s upset that the government isn’t sharing the bill ahead of time with EMI or others in the industry. Again, the massive sense of entitlement of these guys is such that they expect that they get to write the laws, and when they’re left out of the process, they get to sue over it. And yet, on every one of these laws, the people actually impacted by them – the public – get no real say or can’t see them. Remember ACTA? The public was left totally in the dark, while RIAA/MPAA officials and others had pretty detailed access and the ability to help craft the bills. And yet, when EMI doesn’t get to see a draft of a bill, and it makes them think that it won’t go the way they want, they sue? Damn.

If EMI (and other bodies) get access to these documents then all parties should have access to them, on grounds that the public interest groups should be on equal footing in trying to influence how this legislation is shaped prior to it’s introduction. Perhaps better would be that no one sees the legislation and that experts are ‘simply’ called in to give commentary on the legislation.