Monday, October 29, 2012

Canadian Association of Police Chiefs Calls on Government to Approve U.S.-Style Internet Surveillance

For those who think that certain countries are somehow immune to the sweeping cancer that is the total erosion of privacy and our most essential rights, that myth should be at least partially swept away by the fact that the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs is calling on the government there to pass a controversial internet surveillance bill.

Indeed, this trend very well could go global with the United Nations calling for worldwide internet surveillance and data retention laws, thus going far beyond the current system in place in the United States.

Unsurprisingly, the push is being carried out under the guise of fighting crime, evidenced by the arguments the president of the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs and Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu.

Chu says that if the bill, known as Bill C-30, fails to be passed, “officers investigating criminal activity on cellphones and the internet will still have to get a warrant every time they want to intercept communications by cybercriminals,” according to the CBC.

“Law enforcement continues to be handcuffed by legislation introduced in 1975, the days of the rotary telephone,” said Chu.
This argument is almost identical to that used across the United States. The typical claim is that warrants take too long to obtain and that law enforcement is held back by the Constitution.

Bill C-30 dates back to last winter when it was introduced by Vic Toews, the Canadian public safety minister.

As the CBC rightly points out, Bill C-30 immediately was questioned by groups concerned with the disturbing powers it would give the Canadian government “to track the ordinary activities of citizens online without judicial oversight.”

If anyone wants to know how well such a strategy works, just take a look at the United States.

While it is regularly claimed that such legislation in no way infringes on our rights or that we should be content with giving up said rights in the name of safety, such assertions are clearly without merit.

Unsurprisingly, Chu claims it is not actually about spying but about getting information from telecommunications companies in a timely manner.

“If we don’t take a strong stance on this issue Canadians won’t appreciate the limitations that constrain law enforcement in the cyberworld,” claimed Chu, according to the CBC.

If Bill C-30 passes, providers of internet and cellphone services will be forced to release the name, address, phone number, email and IP information of targeted individuals to police whenever requested.

While this might seem fine in principle to some, the problem is that there is no oversight whatsoever. Allowing this type of legislation to pass just opens the door to more freedom-crushing bills in the future.

“Like the chief said, I can tell you right now there are gangsters out there communicating about killing someone and we can’t intercept that,” said Vancouver deputy police chief Warren Lemcke.

Lemcke’s argument has become quite stale at this point as it is the same faulty line of reasoning used by supporters of internet surveillance in the United States and now the UN as well.

“Section 34 of the bill essentially would give any government appointed agents, who may or may not be a police or intelligence officer, the right to access and copy any information and documentation collected by internet providers and telecommunications companies, without the need for a warrant, judicial oversight or even a criminal investigation,” according to the CBC.

Full article: http://theintelhub.c … ternet-surveillance/

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