Canadian cops want to wiretap the net

Alys sez, "A new bill is due to be introduced Thursday in the Canadian House of Commons that will give police the ability to eavesdrop on online communications. This legislation would apparently allow them to force ISPs to allow the police to tap into their systems to obtain information. Naturally, this comes about with the spectres of 'gangsters, sexual predators and terrorists.'"

They forgot pirates. The Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse are gangsters, child pornographers, terrorists and pirates. As a Pirate-Canadian, I am deeply insulted.

The proposed legislation would force Internet service providers to allow law enforcement to tap into their systems to obtain information about users and their digital conversations...

Privacy advocates and civil libertarians, however, have vocally opposed the prospect of giving police "lawful access" to the digital conversations of Canadians by being able to access such things as their text messages, e-mails, web surfing habits and Internet phone lines.

Feds to give cops Internet-snooping powers (Thanks, Alys!)


  1. Time to brush up on TOR and SSH tunnels, I guess. Not that I’m engaged in anything particularly nefarious online (aside from an occasional visit to a certain Swedish file-sharing site), but still… I don’t like the idea of anyone monitoring my private communications, be they work related, family and friends, or outright political (green issues with a small side of copyfight).

  2. Shaw (major ISP in B.C.) is very opposed to this kind of thing. They have stood up against the government while informing their customers of the situation on many occasions. The chances of them being able to get this through are slim to none.

  3. Yeeeiiii, welcome Canada to the club along with China, Iran… Wonder when they are to start wearing swastikas and all that…

  4. Feel free to SSH, TOR, PGP/GNUPG everything you do. Srry t brng th wt blnkt t yr g, bt th plc dn’t gv sqrt f pss n prs bt y r yr frnds. Y r nt mprtnt, Canada is not a police state.
    The law is updating what is already on the books.
    It clarifies things in the digital era, and the police STILL REQUIRE A WARRANT!
    The same burden of proof for a warrant will be there (like you actually have to be suspected of a crime…)

    Srry t brng th wt blnkt t yr g, bt th plc dn’t gv sqrt f pss n prs bt y r yr frnds. Y r nt mprtnt,

    “This is really not about the warrantless tracking of Canadians’ Internet use,” said Clayton Pecknold, of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

    Further to note, Intellectual property infringement is not (currently, and hopefully forever) not a crime in canada. So you can’t get a warrant for it, nor will the police get involved.
    Piracy on the other hand is an Internationally recognized crime.
    Lets not confuse the two.

  5. It’s a proposed bill, and it won’t pass.

    The current Session’s nearing its end, and there likely will be an election in the Fall. Which the Conservative, the current government, will probably lose.

    The problem is: Will the Liberal try to pass the same bill?

  6. It amazes me that encryption isn’t baked into absolutely everything. Would it really slow anything down?

  7. @2 Supernova_HQ – thanks for noting that. I use Shaw as well, and I hadn’t heard that they were against it.

  8. This is OK, PROVIDED that the Warrants are not simply “rubber-stamps”: that is, that their issue involves some Judicial consideration of the adequacy of the evidence supporting the request: AND if it is further provided that the individual targets of the surveillance ARE NOTIFIED 90 days after the tap is commenced, if there are no Charges laid….or else another Judge has to renew the Warrant…

    Cannot be too careful of the rights of other people, what with the presumption of innocence, and the disparity of power betwixt the State and the Citizen!

  9. The above assumes always that the judge is not simply the creature of the Police or State: an independent judiciary being the last line of defense for the liberties of the people.

  10. @5

    I know sensationalizing anything against the police is great to raise traffic. But perhaps dropping the “Still Require a Warrant” part mentioned in TFA, is a bit of a stretch.

    Let’s be clear here – this law proposes to allow the police to snoop on digital communications without a warrant.

    The “still require a warrant” bit of the article is simply a mention that Stockwell Day had previously made a promise that any future laws like this would still require a warrant. Peter Van Loan proposed this bill which goes against what Day had promised.

    Do a text search of the article for the word “warrant” – it turns up twice: once is a cop claiming that just because the law says the cops can track Internet use without a warrant, it doesn’t mean they would, no slippery slope in sight, nosiree; the other time is a reference to Stockwell Day’s worthless promise.

    Two stories with the “warrantless surveillance” angle spelt out more clearly:

  11. Sorry, the first part of my post should have been formatted:


    I know sensationalizing anything against the police is great to raise traffic. But perhaps dropping the “Still Require a Warrant” part mentioned in TFA, is a bit of a stretch.

  12. No Warrant?
    Was there an Amendment to our Charter of Rights?

    But this Reform Party minority Government has demonstrated contempt for the Law.

    No Warrant is required by this Legislation?
    Then this is a proposal for a “make-work program” for Reform Party government-contract (ie patronage-appointment) lawyers/shysters, who shall inevitably lose their fight to maintain this Legislation: support for this proposed “Law” (purporting to allow surveillance without Warrants) is advocacy for the establishment of tyranny.

  13. “When I find myself in times of trouble, PRZ, he comes to me.

    Speaking words of wisdom, ‘PGP, PGP.'”

  14. YouOverThere: All fine and well but a little bit of recent history will show that “sleepwalking into surveillance” tends to occur as a series of individually rational but taken-together insane steps.

    The point is that because it’s electronic, it’s better done automated. So now they need a warrant. Soon the law is amended to allow them access to information but apply for a warrant after the fact (in emergencies). A little while later deadlines get pushed and warrants become “paperwork”. Since this essentially happened to our cousins to the south, I wouldn’t call the scenario far-fetched.

  15. Meh. They should just do it and ask for forgiveness later, like the American government. No person or agency in the US has had to suffer significant consequences from illegal wiretapping and email monitoring. And it is still going on!

  16. Would it be too cynical to suppose this is an example of a party asking for more than it wants, so that later on what it actually intends will seem like a reasonable compromise?

  17. People who drive drunk are potential killers, and ought to be treated as such by Society: but the proposed changes (pulling over and demanding a breath sample on apparently at the whim of police – why not a blood test too?) aren’t reasonable, in light of the greatly reduced level of drunken carnage on our roads compared to say twenty years ago.

  18. who the FUCK are these people?

    The Commons justice committee recommended in a report released Thursday that police be able to request a breath test at any time, regardless of whether the driver smells of alcohol or shows signs of impairment.

    “Committee chairman Ed Fast conceded that such an amendment would likely be challenged under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects individuals against unreasonable search or seizure. He said, however, the committee concluded that random testing is the most “effective deterrent” available to police.

    “We believe the issue of impaired driving is grave enough in Canada to warrant the government allowing randomized breath testing, and it would be up to the courts to determine whether in fact it’s reasonable,” Fast told reporters at a news conference.”

    How about compulsory drug and alcohol tests for all Canadian politicians? They can do a hell of a lot more harm than one drunk at the wheel.

  19. And as far as the “tap the Net without a Warrant” thing goes, I note that “Child porn” is the “evil” they use to justify this new power of surveillance – gee I guess it was just “luck” that the possession of child porn was made a crime in 1989: or else they would have ZERO justification to “monitor the Net”.

    IMO this “police Net monitoring” is a political thing, wherever it occurs. That it flushes out the occasional bona-fide dangerous perv (how many? how many caught without the police posing as little girls?) is a bonus for those in power, nothing more.
    I am suggesting that those in power might stoop to using moral outrage as an engine of tyranny.
    The Net has them spooked, it seems….

  20. The minority Conservatives want to know their public just like the US politicians do….by reading everyone’s surfing history, all their e-mails, all their postings…

  21. Two dead teens who may or may not have been killed over drug money do not make for a “huge, violent ‘drug’ war” (more accurately, such would be a ‘drug-money war’: since the politico-created illegality of drugs obviously brings the $$ into it in the first place, such accuracy of expression is apparently discouraged, as too easily expressing the true cure to the ‘problem’).
    Canada no es Mexico. Although, a la Mexico, the deadliest & most dangerous weapons used in these battles usually come in illegally, from the USA (where they are usually legal).
    And make no mistake – the politicos/cops desperately NEED the drug biz to be violent & desperate: or else there’s not even a specious and spurious reason to waste the taxpayer’s and citizenry’s resources & energies on a “war” on “drugs”- more accurately, “punishing drug users”.

  22. why not just make it so easy that unscrupulous cops just have to click an icon to watch over someone’s internet? That way, when it’s a slow day at the office, they can just record someone’s banking info and go on a shopping spree to cure their boredom. Since they’re the ones monitoring the net, it’s likely that they aren’t the ones being monitored so they’ll never get caught. Weeeee!

  23. OK I recant this sucks.
    Gives the cops a direct link intoISP’s systems, and worse:

    The Warrants are “reasonable suspicion of illegal activity”, not “reasonable belief that a crime is/has been committed”.

    Spot the difference!!

  24. Am I the only one here thinking that all of these things can be very easily circumvented by a careful criminal?

    What evidence is there that law enforcement could obtain from internet “wiretapping” that can’t be circumvented by a combination of things like PGP and public internet terminals/wi-fi hot spots?

    Wow, a proposed law that will only catch the incompetent pedophiles, drug smugglers, and human traffickers.

    This hits me as the legislative equivalent of “security theater”.

  25. no, it’s the legislative equivalent of marking for later attack any critics of the government.

  26. The Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit ranks protesters high on its list of threats to this coming February’s Olympic Winter Games. If Canadian security and police agencies have come to view law abiding citizens who exercise their Constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as a security threat, then you can bet their private online communications will be intercepted and stored in the mainframe along with video footage of their movements throughout the city, their telephone conversations, their face to face conversations (through cell phones that are not turned off), etc.

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