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The Stalls of Higher Thought

New “Lawful” Access Legislation Requires ISP Disclosure WITHOUT Court Oversight.

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The Toronto Star: The push for new Internet surveillance capabilities – dubbed the “lawful access” initiative – dates back to 1999, when government officials began crafting proposals to institute new surveillance technologies within Canadian networks that would include additional legal powers to access surveillance and subscriber information. Over the past decade, lawful access has stalled despite public consultations, bills that have died on the order paper, and even a promise from former public safety minister Stockwell Day to avoid mandatory disclosure of personal information without court oversight.

Last June, current Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan tabled the latest lawful access legislative package. Much like its predecessors, the bill establishes new surveillance requirements for Internet service providers. In an about-face from the Day commitment however, it also features mandatory disclosure of customer information, including name, address, IP address, and email address upon request and without court oversight.

Lawful access has long faced at least two significant barriers. The first involves ISP costs associated with installing new equipment and responding to disclosure requests. The government has attempted to address those concerns by promising to help pay the bills. It plans to provide some funding for new equipment and, in a little noticed provision, has opened the door to paying ISPs for providing customer name and address information to law enforcement authorities.

The second barrier involves lingering questions about the need for lawful access. Critics have pointed to the fact that Canadian law enforcement has successfully used the Internet in hundreds of investigations, including a high-profile Toronto terrorism case. Moreover, the law already grants ISPs the options to disclose customer’s names and address information.

bspcomment I do not understand how the government seems to think that individual connections to the Internet which are made in our homes and well behind the long standing and legally accepted demarcation barrier with other telecommunications providers are not PRIVATE connections. We have to push back hard on this absolutely bizarre Tory notion that incorrectly promoted the idea that Canadians accept no privacy while using the Internet.

There is a huge difference between a lower expectation of privacy while suing the Internet and allowing the government to track and record your movement on the Internet WITHOUT a court order.

And it’s NOT about terrorism folks. Recent revelations from a US Senate subcommittee clearly demonstrate the the sneek and peak provisions in the US Patriot Act were virtually NEVER used in terrorism cases but rather drug enforcement cases.

The Justice Department made 763 requests for “sneak-and-peek” warrants in 2008, but only three of those had to with terrorism investigations, Sen. Russ Feingold told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.

And law enforcement legislation that does not require court oversight is unconstitutional and WILL ALWAYS be abused by a sitting government. History continues to prove this fact time and time again!

Written by mattliving

October 12, 2009 at 9:11 am

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