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Canada kills its internet snooping bill

Government says it listened to the people
Tue Feb 12 2013, 11:01

THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT has kicked its proposed internet snooping bill to the curb.

Bill C-30 was widely described as a snooping bill, and its cancellation was announced yesterday, according to a report at the Canadian Globe and Mail.

"We've listened to the concerns of Canadians," said justice minister Rob Nicholson outside the Canadian House of Commons on Monday.

"We will not be proceeding with Bill C-30. And any attempts to modernize the criminal code will not contain... warrantless mandatory disclosure of basic subscriber information or the requirement for telecommunications service providers to build intercept capability within their systems."

One element of the bill remains, and that is the legal right for warrantless wiretaps during emergencies.

In November the Ontario Privacy Commissioner warned in an open letter that "new surveillance powers must not come at the expense of our right to privacy" and asked for proof that the extra reach provided in the bill was warranted.

"We understand that the police may need new tools to investigate crime as technology advances. However, Commissioners have consistently asked for evidence that police need the power to compel Internet Service Providers to turn over personal information of subscribers without a warrant in order to attain these ends," said the missive that was signed by three Canadian information and privacy commissioners.

"To date, law enforcement officials have failed to provide persuasive factual evidence that current law has impeded police investigation of serious crimes, like those involving individuals who exploit children."

Those opponents are happy at the news. Well, "delighted" actually, and said that this is a "victory" for every Canadian.

"I'm absolutely delighted that our government listened to the enormous public outcry against unauthorized, warrantless access," said Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario today.

"The death of Bill C-30 upholds our fundamental right to privacy, and in turn, preserves our freedoms. This is a victory for every Canadian!" µ


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