By Open Media,
Special to The Post
Parliament resumes debate on Online Spying Bill that provides immunity for telecom companies who are helping authorities spy on Canadians without a warrant.
Legislation being debated by Parliament on March 26, 2014 would enable a range of government authorities access to the private lives of millions of law-abiding Canadians. It would also grant immunity to telecom providers who hand over their customers’ private information to authorities without a warrant. That’s according to legal experts consulted by OpenMedia.ca, which is leading a campaign against the legislation.
Over 65 pages of Bill C-13 were lifted from the government’s failed Online Spying Bill C-30, which was introduced by Vic Toews and withdrawn amidst public uproar after over 150,000 Canadians spoke out against it. The bill also problematically includes proposals to tackle the important issue of cyberbullying. The Official Opposition has joined OpenMedia.ca in calling for Bill C-13 to be split, so that important measures tackling cyberbullying can be dealt with separately.
“Let’s be clear: This online spying bill is a dangerous piece of legislation that would open the floodgates to government spying on innocent Canadians,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “We know the government has been spying on Canadians through their spy agency CSEC. Now it seems they’re trying to cover their tracks by granting legal immunity to telecom providers who hand over private information to authorities.”
Anderson continued: “What’s even worse is the way the government is using bullied children as an excuse to try to smuggle through this deeply unpopular online spying legislation. If Peter MacKay had any sense of decency he would split this bill so that important measures to tackle cyberbullying can be passed separately. It seems Minister MacKay is too cowardly to advance his online spying bill on its merits instead of trying to smuggle it through with this reprehensible approach.”
Canadians are already speaking up about Bill C-13, with a recent video launched by OpenMedia.ca going viral and making the top 2 posts on Reddit Canada. Over 34,000 have now joined the Protect Our Privacy Coalition which is calling for effective legal measures to protect Canadians’ privacy from government spies.
OpenMedia.ca is a network of people and organizations working to safeguard the open Internet, and works toward informed and participatory digital policy.