Canadian cops want to add a spying tax to phone bills to pay for warrantless wiretapping

Michael Geist, "One of the major unanswered questions about Bill C-30, Canada's lawful access/online surveillance bill, is who will pay for the costs associated with responding to law enforcement demands for subscriber information ('look ups') and installation of surveillance equipment ('hook ups'). I recently obtained documents from Public Safety under the Access to Information Act that indicates that the government doesn't really have its own answer. But apparently the police do. The documents indicate they proposed a new 'public safety' tax to be added to Internet and wireless bills."


  1. Finally some good news on this bill. Once the conservative voting block hears there is a new tax associated with this daft piece of legislation, they are sure to squash it.

    1. And by ‘squash’ you mean ‘suggest simply billing those wiretapped; because only suspicious and probably guilty people would be attracting police attention like that’?

      I’m pretty sure that’s what the Department of Information Retrieval did in Brazil…

      1. Exactly, the world is becoming a satire.

        $100 to not have the TSA xray your privates and now you have to pay someone to listen in on your calls.

        I may be voting Republican.  Lets go back to the stone age.

  2. So, not only does our government want to spy on us, but they want us to pay for it, too?  And directly at that!

    The CPC majority is probably one of the worst things that’s happened to this country in recent memory. 

    1.  Indirectly paying for it would mean that those without telephones would be subsidizing the tapping of those with telephones.

      AFAIK, only those of us wearing tinfoil-beanies are paying the Tinfoil Beanie Orbital Mind-control Laser Surveillance Tax. But if you want to chip in, be our guest!

    2. Hey, there’s precedent. Condemned prisoners in China have to pay for the bullet used to execute them. And Harper visited China in February. Just saying.

  3. Just when you thought Hollywood was Insane with SOPA and PIPA….This is a huge slap in the face to Canadians who hate this bill with a passion of a 1000 burning suns…I mean really!? Big Government wants a spying bill to prevent Copyright Infringement but wants it’s citizens to pay it via a tax!? That’s Totally Fucked Up!

  4. I remember so many people voting for the Cons because they wanted “lower taxes”. Suck on that! Everyone has internet now, so this is a tax on EVERYONE.

    A lot of people voted for the Liberals in Ontario too because of their tax freeze idea. And then they got the health care levy.

  5. This seemed dystopian to me, and I ruffled through the “D” drawer in the pop culture archive in my brain (Dwarves; Dwarfs; Dwindle, significance of and use in ‘The West Wing,’ Dystopian: See also Mad Max, Naked Lunch, Brazil, THX-1138) Ah-ha!  It was THX-1138 where you had to pay for your own pursuit and arrest directly…

  6. Public Safety Tax? You mean the Anti-Terrorist and Anti-Pedophile Tax don’t you?

    One might argue we already pay such a tax, by which we pay the government already to provide us with “Armed Forces” and “Police Services”.

  7. Some of you may recall that in the United States, phone companies stopped complying with warrantless wiretaps after the FBI didn’t pay their warrantless wiretap bill. (BB link)

    This was especially hilarious as it came out at about the same time that the telecoms were defending their role in the whole wiretap mess by saying, basically, that they hadn’t really wanted to get involved in the whole shredding-the-constitution thing, but they were helpless before the awesome might of the all-powerful federal government. 

  8. Well, this proves my theory that “government” is an ancient Greek phrase meaning “make work”.

  9.  These people do realize that anyone with at least half a brain will commit criminal offenses while using some random stranger’s poorly secured WiFi, right?

    These people do realize that it’s easy to spoof one’s MAC address, right?

    These people researched this, right?

  10. Last spam… I have a feeling it worked out this way because some idiot (me) suggested about a month ago that we all should flood our email boxes with random images so that the ISP disk resources become used up rather quickly. Oops.

  11. Oh sure, when they want legislation the lobbyists have deep pockets, but they won’t pay a cent to help enforce it.

  12. Wow, it’s that easy to pass something like this?  When do we get the oil companies to pay a tax to be policed up there in the tar sands?

  13. Who cares who pays for it?  It shouldn’t even get passed into law in the first place.  Hopefully the more onerous sections will be killed in committee, but regardless of what eventually gets passed, the bill will either be passed on to the taxpayer.  If government  or a government agency chooses to “pay” for it, it will come out of general tax revenues, if it gets shoved off on the ISPs in any way, it’ll be passed on to the user in the form or higher rates.  Either way, whether we’re paying more for internet access, or more in taxes, we’ll be paying to have our privacy invaded.

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