Canadian businesses lobby for the right to infect peoples' computers with viruses and rootkits

Michael Geist sez,

A coalition of Canadian industry groups, including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Marketing Association, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, are demanding legalized spyware for private enforcement purposes. The demand comes as part of a review of anti-spam and spyware legislation in Canada.

The potential scope of coverage is breathtaking: a software program secretly installed by an entertainment software company designed to detect or investigate alleged copyright infringement would be covered by this exception. This exception could potentially cover programs designed to block access to certain websites (preventing the contravention of a law as would have been the case with SOPA), attempts to access wireless networks without authorization, or even keylogger programs tracking unsuspecting users (detection and investigation).

Sony Rootkit Redux: Canadian Business Groups Lobby For Right To Install Spyware on Your Computer


    1. I know, bizarre eh? It’s almost as if we’re not one giant homogenized entity with a single brain.

  1. It doesn’t even read to me like Geist has fully expanded how ridiculous the proposal is.

    a program that is installed by or on behalf of a person to prevent, detect, investigate, or terminate activities that the person reasonably believes (i) present a risk or threatens the security, privacy, or unauthorized or fraudulent use, of a computer system, telecommunications facility, or network, or (ii) involves the contravention of any law of Canada, of a province or municipality of Canada or of a foreign state;

    Never mind copyright collectives – this would allow a Chinese government agent to install spyware on computers in Canada to look for communications with Falun Gong members in China, so as to more effectively persecute these contraveners of Chinese law.

    1. Or, as someone noted elsewhere, if you believe a Canadian government official (or entertainment executive, etc) is breaking the law, you can infect his or her computer with a key logger.

  2. I have a counter proposal – all of these methods should be illegal and carry jail terms for the board of directors of any company that attempts them.

    1. And a death sentence for the company itself. Maybe for the politicians that voted in favour of it too.

    1. Bob and Doug moved to the suburbs, got SUVs and started voting right along with their neighbours.

      Neither of them had much time for school after all the beer drinking, so they don’t have much in the way of critical thinking skills. 

      Apparently they believe most of their problems are because of the immigrants and those bastards in Ottawa, so (amazingly) they vote Conservative – somehow unaware that the Cons have actually been those bastards for a number of years now.  Being stereotypes, they tend to enjoy repeating stock phrases and things they heard in the echo chamber while sipping brews.

  3. Was anyone else immediately reminded of the Sony BMG rootkit? Right there is a shining example of why this is a bad idea on PURELY TECHNOLOGICAL grounds.

  4. Why not?  While we’re at it, let’s also allow consumer advocates to install rootkits on the work and home computers of all of those lobbyists, lawyers and executives, just to make sure THEY aren’t doing anything wrong.  Bankers, traders and politicians, too, so everybody can watch everybody else.

    If they have nothing to hide, then they have nothing to fear, right?

  5. And just wait for the fun when you have fifteen or twenty of these programs residing on your system, all duking it out and none of them written by decent coders.

  6. The only way to protect against spyware, is more spyware!


    Will be as annoy and likely as effective as DRM. Easily avoided even without technological means by simply choosing not to use those companies. Like Sony for example. Due to buisness practices over the years, I would never, ever buy a product of theirs, no matter the price. So if companies want to commit customer sucide, go right ahead. Unless it is the sort of thing enabling ISP, mobile carriers, etc… that effectively have a state run monolopies, then that would be bad.

    However even then, once it became common place it is just a race with the private tech community to defeat those measures. Which will likely take the better part of a day. So also go ahead and waste your money. So, it might work on demographics like the non-technologically inclined and elderly, but then again, not exactly the target group either.

  7. Well the first refrain will be if you have nothing to hide why worry, and the correct response is okay… but first your going to open all all of your records, emails,texts, accounting and make them public. You don’t want to?  You must have something to hide…

  8. Problem? It would kill and slow down Apple and Droid devices to the point that nobody will ever buy those or using them to surf the Internet.

    Stupid! We surf with virtual machines and we copy every hour a new not infected one.

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