Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Opposing the Lawful Access legislation

The folks over at OpenMedia.ca are starting up a campaign to engage Canadians on the Harper government's proposed lawful access legislation, likely to come back before Parliament when it returns in early June. It is supposed to be part of that 100 day omnibus bill extravaganza of justice related bills promised by Harper during the campaign, although it's not clear how the summer break factors into that one. I suggest heading over to their site to read up, they've got some of the concerns about the bill highlighted: "Internet Surveillance: How Do We Stop It?" Further, they're looking for input on what kind of campaign might be effective, building on their recent successful Stop the Meter campaign.

There's just no way this bill should be rammed through a majority Parliament without proper legislative diligence being undertaken. As you can see from below, they've been talking about this legislation for a while but they've never given it time to get through parliament. They introduced it in the summer of 2009 on the second last day of the session, for example, and the 2010 Harper prorogation further stalled his own crime bill efforts. So there remain a good number of concerns about privacy rights, the potential for abuse of warrantless production demands by police and other unanswered questions that need to be addressed in the lawful access bill, despite the Conservative talking points likely to come. The majority situation will make public opinion all the more important in ensuring that those significant concerns actually do get scrutiny and hopefully reined in.

Other related posts:
Harper's aggressive internet surveillance push
Coming soon to an internet near you
June, 2009: Conservatives to introduce their internet eavesdropping bill today
Feb, 2009: Still shuddering