Canada's spying bill also allows appointed "inspectors" unlimited access to ISP data

Criticism of C-30, Canada's proposed domestic spying law, has focused on the fact that the police could access certain kinds of ISP subscriber information without a warrant. But as Terry Milewski writes on the CBC, the bill also gives the government the power to appoint special inspectors who can monitor and copy all information that passes through an ISP, also without a warrant.

The inspector, says the bill, may "examine any document, information or thing found in the place and open or cause to be opened any container or other thing." He or she may also "use, or cause to be used, any computer system in the place to search and examine any information contained in or available to the system."

You read that right. The inspector gets to see "any" information that's in or "available to the system." Yours, mine, and everyone else's emails, phone calls, web surfing, shopping, you name it. But, if that sounds breath-taking enough, don't quit now because the section is still not done.

The inspector — remember, this is anyone the minister chooses — is also empowered to copy anything that strikes his or her fancy. The inspector may "reproduce, or cause to be reproduced, any information in the form of a printout, or other intelligible output, and remove the printout, or other output, for examination or copying."

Oh, and he can even use the ISP's own computers and connections to copy it or to email it to himself. He can "use, or cause to be used, any copying equipment or means of telecommunication at the place."

In short, there's nothing the inspector cannot see or copy. "Any" information is up for grabs. And you thought the new airport body scanners were intrusive?

Online surveillance bill opens door for Big Brother (Thanks, Craig!)


  1. The USA recently vapourized whatever reputation it may have had as a safe harbour for data storage and cloud services with the Megaupload fiasco – they took one of the busiest web resources on earth offline because of a few infringing customers, offering no recourse nor recovery options for the innocent bystanders.  Now Canada is begging to share this shameful spotlight by exposing ANY data to some arbitrarily-appointed investigator.

    Bill C-30 is detrimental to Canada’s freedom, privacy, and worldwide reputation.  No responsible company could ever entrust its data to such a suspicious, irresponsible, outright pessimistic society.  If we want to be considered a viable centre of worldwide internet commerce we had better grease those wheels with sensible policies crafted by engineers and lawmakers, not ignorant MPs vying for undeserved grandeur at the expense of his fellow man under the guise of “save the children”.

    1. Meanwhile, back in the US, Harry Reid is preparing to continue this failure of a global circle-jerk with his new SOPA/PIPA/C-30/etc.

  2. With such an extreme disregard to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I would support the Governor General in dismissing the Prime Minister for passing this bill.

  3. I’m being deadly serious when I say that if these spies want access to my gay and transsexual pornography collection, then they’re going to have to buy all of the appropriate licenses, just like everyone else in Canada has to.

    These latest proposals by the Canadian government are the biggest load of horse-doody that I’ve ever been so disgusted to have stepped in. Just because the FBI feels like it can go around spreading rumours about “naughty” images on the computers of supposed Anonymous hackers does not mean that Canadian citizens will accept similar behaviour. This has gone way too far.

    Oh, and these people still obviously have no clue that there is a difference between data and information. If they plan on taking our data, they should at least take a freshman course in computer science so that they can get the jargon correct. What rank amateurs.

    1. On a much lighter note, I think Twitter needs to #TellVicEverything that Canadians do not think it’s appropriate that their leadership is a bunch of warrantless wireFappers.

  4. so how would this roll with say.. a photographer sending a picture to his other computer and he does not give anyone rights to reproduce the image? Would that be copyright infringement by the government’s own books?

  5. This makes legal what is already going on in the US and probably in Canada: government intelligence agencies filtering Everybody’s transmissions and transactions, of every kind.

  6. Does this mean that “inspectors” can filter and read any confidential documents shared between two corporate headquarters that use the internet to communicate? 
    I understand how this infringes on our personal rights, but the government doesn’t care about people as much as they do corporations. Corporate Canada might not be so into this if its the case.

  7. Wouldn’t it be funny if the FBI, the NSA, the RCMP, and CSIS were to collectively facepalm and cause massive worldwide seismic tremors because they had never thought of the possibility that their wiretapping is effectively useless because Anonymous and others are communicating by piggybacking off of the worldwide geocaching/geocache transport hobbyist movement?

    It’s kind of hard to intercept an encrypted communication when it’s sitting under a fake rock in the middle of a giant forest, totally disconnected from the Internet 100% of the time. I mean, do these governments and modern spies not realize that there was once a time when there was no Internet, that patience is a virtue, and that not all communication is ultra time sensitive? Who knows. It’s not like I’m tapping them like Anonymous is.

  8. I wonder how many of these “inspectors” will be secret members of Anonymous? How much more information could someone like Bradley Manning is accused of being obtain if they were authorized to access the documents he’s accused of leaking?

    What ISPs do members of Canada’s government use?

  9. Seems to me that if this passes, all the government will need to do is declare all us Canadian citizens “special inspectors” and there will no longer be any problem with copyright infringement in our country.

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