Canada's warrantless spying bill is coming back, and it's worse than before

Michael Geist writes in with news of Canada's bill C-30, the insane, overreaching warrantless spying bill that collapsed earlier this year on a wave of public disapprobation. As you might have suspected, it's back. Michael sez, "The Canadian government has placed Bill C-30, the lawful access/online surveillance bill on hold, but there is no reason to believe it is going away. In fact, a recent report Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights suggests that the changes coming to the bill may not address public concern but rather expand lawful access requirements even further. The committee report on the State of Organized Crime that includes recommendations that reinforce Bill C-30's mandatory warrantless disclosure of subscriber information and envision going beyond the bill by requiring both telecom companies and device manufacturers to assist in the decryption of encrypted communications as well as exploring mandatory verification of the identity of cellphone users. Moreover, Canadians shouldn't be looking to the telcos for help. A Bell spokesperson stated 'our primary concern in this area has always been the capacity of industry to implement any new requirements and who bears the cost.' That is a troubling position for many Canadians who rightly expect their telecom companies to also be concerned with the privacy of their customers."


  1. As a Canadian I can’t believe that after the huge pubic outrage against this bill that
    Toews is making it even more intrusive.  He wriggled out of the last  mess by claiming he wasnt aware of the intrusive warrantless  attacks on  privacy sections – which meant he was either incompetent or lying.   Now that it’s been made even more offensive – he can t possibly claim he didnt know now,  It is as if the conservative govt. wishes to punish the general public – which seems crazy but it explains many of this authoritarian, regressive govt.’s actions.

      1.  They have a majority (despite not having the popular vote by a wide margin — this is why we need to ditch single member plurality and use some form of proportional representation).

        That means we’re likely stuck with them until about 2015-ish, barring something unprecedented happening (such as enough Conservative MPs voting against their party to topple the government, the possible elections fraud issue forcing a new election, or an actual revolution).

    1.  I have a sinking feeling that by now a lot of nasty people have seen Trey and Matt explain how they got Bigger, Longer and Uncut through the ratings board.

      This is the same approach: ‘Oh, they didn’t approve of that, eh? Let’s make it more offensive and try again.’

      1. A variation on the “Big Lie” technique invented (or at least made infamous) by Herr Goebbels.

      2. The producers of Fight Club didn’t want Marla to say, “I haven’t been fucked like that since grade school”, so they changed it to, “I want to have your abortion.”  Worked like a charm to get the original reinstated.

    2. I cannot believe that The Harper Government® got into power by running on a platform that promised MORE transparency. This has got to be, hands-down, THE MOST secretive, opaque, non-communicative and downright deceptive gov’t that we have ever had foisted upon us – at least in living memory. When these sonsofbitches aren’t lying outright, they’re lying about not lying! All gov’ts have their moments – God knows the Liberals and Tories have both provided plenty over the years – but this one takes the cake on so many different levels I don’t even know where to start. Talk about angering up the blood – GRRRRR!!!!!

  2. Toews probably gunned for more powers after Anonymous failed to show up to his committee to explain itself.

    In fact, [Toews’] fondest hope for an eventual outcome to the current inquiry …  will include recommendations on how Parliament can protect all members from similar attempts at intimidation in future, although he was unable to explain exactly how the House of Commons IT department could stop a grudge-holding mischief-maker from posting salacious or embarrassing material on servers that, like Youtube, lie firmly outside its jurisdiction.

    Easy! By monitoring everybody’s Internet traffic! C’est simple!

    Violators will be punished in a manner befitting Canada’s sensibilities. All anons will be drawn and quartered in a UFC ring while we get disgustingly drunk and gamble on the blood splatter patterns. The winner gets to retire at age 65.

  3. The telcos don’t give a rat’s posterior about their customers, except for the following points:

    1) will they send us money?
    2) can we get them to do #1 repeatedly?

  4. The best part is WHEN C-30 (or it’s zombie cousin) passes, it will do nothing to stop crime; the innocent will suffer, that’s about it.

    Politicians know less than nothing about technology, so any legislation they come up with will not do what their handlers (lobbyists) say it will.

  5. Man, these guys just aren’t going to give up. This kind of control must seem so very tempting for politicians and law enforcement.

    They’re going to keep pushing until everyone uses open-source encryption with no escrow keys. Can’t they see that? Dimwits.

    Bring it on!

  6. How’s that lack of a second amendment, and the correlating lack of citizen influence, working for you now, Canada.

    1. Having a second amendment in the US isn’t helping Americans avoid excessive authoritarian behaviour from the government, so what’s your point? 

      1. Only because they did it in a roundabout way that’s taken a good 150 years to implement, and initially involving an actual exercise of second amendment rights against the US government.

  7. Handing over user IDs is the least of the problems with this bill.  In addition to giving the Competition Bureau full access to everyone’s files it also creates the “InterNet Inspector” corps with access to every file on every computer in Canada.  The only time these (politically appointed,  non-law-enforcement) people need any kind of a warrant is to enter a residence to get to the files.  The infinite access to all Canadian data is warrant-less and they are responsible only to Toews with no other oversight mentioned in the bill.

    See sections 33 & 34 of the bill here on Parliament’s website:

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