But when Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia attacked the Conservatives for “preparing to read Canadians' emails and track their movements through cellphone signals” – which does appear to be a severe distortion of the bill’s powers – Mr. Toews’s counterattack was fierce.Just wanted to have that on the blog for the record. One of the worst political statements of recent memory.
“As technology evolves, many criminal activities, such as the distribution of child pornography, become much easier,” he told the House. “We are proposing to bring measures to bring our laws into the 21st century and to provide police with the lawful tools that they need.
“He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.”
Canadians, of course, have every right to stand up for their rights to privacy and to be free from our government snooping on their internet activity. That is something that privacy experts and privacy commissioners across the country agree is going to be made possible by the lawful access legislation that is to be tabled this week:
The so-called "lawful access" legislation, to be tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday, means Internet service providers and cellphone companies won't be able to say no to law enforcement if they ask them to cough up the basic subscriber information of any of their customers.One lonely upside to Vic Toews' asinine comment. He sure helped to get this draconian legislation a lot more attention today. It absolutely deserves it.
This provision, contained in a previous bill that died when the federal election was called last year, resulted in a sustained campaign by the federal and provincial commissioners to get "warrantless access" to subscriber info scrapped from the bill before the Conservatives re-introduced it.
In addition to a name, address, phone number and email address, companies would also be required to hand over the Internet protocol address and a series of device identification numbers, allowing police to build a detailed profile on a person using their digital footprint and to facilitate the tracking of a person's movement through the location of their cellphone.
The bill, dubbed "online spying" by critics, is also expected to require ISPs and cellular phone companies to install equipment for real-time surveillance and create new police powers designed to obtain access to the surveillance data. (emphasis added)