Canadian Law

Lawful Access Missing For Latest Proposals

It appears the Conservative Government has omited lawfull access from their latest crime reform bill, named the “Safe Streets and Communities Act“, which was tabled today.

Lawful access may be introduced later. But it appears that the 70,000+ signature Openmedia.ca petition may have caused this delay and may result in a more indepth review of this proposal.

Motion Tabled Against HST/GST on Books

A motion was filled by Irene Mathyssen, the Member of Parliament for London-Fanshawe, asking the Minister of Finance to “introduce legislation to eliminate the GST and the HST on all reading materials“.

This motion was seconded by another NDP member, Alex Atamanenko, Member of Parliament for BC Southern Interior.

Click here to contact your local Member of Parliament in regards to this issue.

New Parliamentary Session Starts Today

Parliament will be in session today and many bills are scheduled to be introduced by the last scheduled sitting day in December, including two re-introduced bills that consumers should be made aware of.

Both should be of concern to Canadian consumers as they are scheduled to be re-introduced with little to no changes, possibly resulting in a loss in the ability to make private copies from copy protected recordings, loss of privacy when it comes to the internet and higher subscription fees for internet access.

The Hurt Locker Lawsuits Come North

It appears that Bell Canada, Cogeco Cable and Videotron GP were ordered to provide Voltage Pictures LLC subscriber information by a Federal Court in Montreal yesterday.

The producer of the film “The Hurt Locker” had used a previous rulling in regards to music piracy to obtain this information and it appears that the internet providers will comply, including Bell who were asked to divulge information on less than 10 subscribers according to Mediacaster Magazine.

It’s time to secure those open wi-fi connections guys.

Long-awaited copyright bill returns, but top court to wade in too

Long-awaited copyright bill returns, but top court to wade in too.

The above link is to an article from The Winnipeg Free Press, which confirms that the government intends on re-introducing Bill C-32, as is.

Lawful Access – Consumer Unfriendly

The Conservative Government wishes to re-introduce legislation enabling law enforcement to access online communications without a warrant.

They believe that this would help them combat terrorism and crime. But unfortunately they may rely on internet providers to retain information on their behalf, which could be costly for the consumer because the internet providers would require more equipment and personel to do so.

In searching for illicit activity online our internet providers will be required to store vast amounts of information and these extra expendatures will be passed down to their subscribers.

According to a 2002 Statistics Canada report, law enforcement are hindered by the use of pseunomyms, anonymous remailers, dial-up connections and public wi-fi.

One can only imagine how much information would be required to keep track of suspects that use “public Internet stations in airports, bus depots, libraries, cyber-caf├ęs and convenience stores” alone, examples mentioned in the report.

Anyone using any of the above mentioned services would have their information catalogued and accessible for cross referencing and analysis, which is not only a burden on resources at the internet providers but may result in a violation of our privacy laws according to the Office Of The Privacy Commissioner Of Canada.

In an October 27th, 2009 letter to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, the Privacy Commissioner stated :

“Though isolated anecdotes abound, and extreme incidents are generally referred to, no systematic case has yet been made that demonstrates a need to circumvent the current legal regime for judicial authorization to obtain personal information. Before all else, law enforcement and national security authorities need to explain how the current provisions on judicial warrants do not meet their needs.”

The aforementioned 2002 Statistics Canada report may claim a lack of standard in cybercrime statistics, possibly resulting in a lack of classification or reporting of these crimes. But crime in Canada is down according to this June 2011 Statistics Canada report.

These costly, potentially insecure systems, are not required. Law enforcement has managed quite well with the current regulations, even with their limited manpower, and the flood of information will probably overwhelm them requiring costly automation.

This is, in my opinion, not the way to go. And this is why i’ve signed the following Openmedia.ca petition :

Please sign the above petition and contact your local Member of Parliament about this issue as soon as possible, preferably before September 19th. Thank you.