Canadian Law

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions

Today you will notice many sites have gone dark in opposition to a law proposed in the United States House Of Representatives called CISPA.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act enables private companies and the United States government to exchange information related to internet security issues including private information to prevent cyberattacks, without public disclosure or the need for warrants. And this is of course where the idiom in the subject line of this post comes in.

In order to prevent cyberattacks and attacks against the national security of the United States everyone’s information would be exchanged and stored on multiple computers for analysis, opening this information up to misuse, abuse or theft.

This bill enables the distribution of information that you don’t want made public, from private posts and email to your internet browsing information, without your knowledge or consent. And it also contains an exemption from liability, reducing an individual’s ability to sue if something were to go wrong during this exchange of information.

The proponents of the bill are also relying on people’s inability to understand that the definitions used in this bill may extend the coverage of this bill beyond “cyber attacks”, the term “national security of the United States” having been linked to that country’s commercial interests in past legislation.

Your choice to purchase something outside of the United States could cause your information to be taken under the premise that the purchase was a threat to the American intellectual property owners because the product might not be authentic or authorized by an American company.

Having unfortunately been subjected to counterfeit DVDs in the past via eBay, my personal, private information could be collected and distributed. And because of this, an act beyond my control, I could face further victimization without legal recourse to prevent it.

Yes, some intellectual property provisions have been removed from the bill but what’s to stop them from re-introducing them ? They have no qualms re-introducing warrantless searches, over and over again and warrants do not significantly impede their current efforts to stop crime on the internet. And I have yet to see and evidence substantiating the claim that privacy is a hindrance to law enforcement, so why are these sentiments remaining in Government ?

I suspect internet security firms want to be funded by the public and are doing their best to present these bills as solutions to politicians that have no idea of what is involved.

Vic Toews, for example, is proof positive that politicians can be severely illiterate when it comes to technology.

In February 2012 this Canadian politician had introduced a bill in Parliament that he had not read in its entirety, claiming that it would address child pornography. And he had been so well convinced that it would that he actually accused opponents of this legislation of standing with child pornographers, in the House of Commons of all places.

Even joint statements from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and her provincial counterparts had failed to convince him that there were serious issues with the bill and it took a severe public backlash to get him to actually review what he was proposing.

This isn’t the time for half-baked, open ended legislation that can be exploited by the very criminals that these bills are trying to address. And it is rather stupid to believe criminals would not use arguments about the constitutionality of these laws in their defense.

Opposition has been strong within the United States and a White House petition has apparently convinced the President to threaten to veto the bill, “as currently crafted” in a April 16th, 2013 statement (pdf).

Another petition for Americans and non American alike is also available at Avaaz. There are currently over 800,000 signatories on this petition.

Changes in Retail Sales Taxes in BC and PEI

Effective today, residents of Prince Edward Island will be subject to a Harmonized Sales Tax of 14% on most services and products whilst British Columbia Residents will be subject to a Goods and Services Tax of 5%, which will be replacing the Harmonized Sales Tax of 12% in BC.

In British Columbia there will be a decrease in taxes on books (audio, electronic, bound and printed), basic cable services, concert tickets, music lessons and movie tickets but a combined tax of 12% (5% GST + 7% PST) will remain on most products and services. Individually purchased magazines will be subject to less taxes in this province.

In Prince Edward Island there will be decreases in retail sales taxes on CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, MP3 players, DVD and Blu-Ray players, radios, stereos, televisions, movie tickets, basic cable subscriptions and individual magazine purchases. Audio Books and Books will still be subject to the GST at 5% in this province whilst music lessons will be exempt.

For additional information please consult the following documents :

chapters.indigo.ca

Bill C-30 Killed – Replacement On The Way

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has stated that Bill C-30 will not proceed in Parliament in response to the concerns brought up by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and members of the public.

This bill would have enabled police to access internet traffic without a warrant and would have required the installation and maintenance of extra equipment by internet providers, who would have passed the associated expenditures down to the consumer.

Canadians would not only have lost rights in regards to privacy but could have also been subjected to security breaches via the new aforementioned online spying equipment had this bill gone through.

A new bill will be unveiled shortly in Parliament so additional information will be posted to this blog a.s.a.p.

Keep Those Receipts !

A new virus has been detected by Seculert on point of sale terminals in the United States, Britain and Canada.

“Dexter” forwards information from debit and credit cards directly to fraudsters who can duplicate cards.

Seculert estimates that hundreds of terminals have been infected, in 40 nations, so it’s best to keep an eye out for odd transactions on your bank statements and credit card bills.

You should also consider enabling email and/or mobile alerts on your accounts, as an extra security measure.

Teksavvy Issues Statement

Teksavvy has stated in a recent blog entry that they have received a request for information in regards to 2000 IP addresses.

According to this blog entry, Voltage Pictures LLC intends to file a lawsuit on December 17th, 2012 in order to gain this information from the Chatham, Ontario based internet provider. And many members of the media have speculated that this is related to the illegal downloading of “The Hurt Locker“, an 2008 action film featuring Jeremy Renner and Guy Pearce.

The company claims that it intends to fight for their customer’s privacy. Click here to access the legal documents on this case.

File Sharing Lawsuits In Canada ?

British Columbia based NGN Prima Production will soon be sending notices to individual Canadians who have illegally downloaded a film entitled “Recoil“.

This company has successfully sued to gain access to the identifiable information behind 50 IP addresses, that it suspected were involved in the illegal distribution of this Steve Austin action film.

Four internet providers (3 Web, Access Communications Co-Operative, ACN, and Distributel Communications) have been ordered by the Federal Court in Montreal to hand over information in regards to those 50 IP addresses to NGN Prima Production, by the beginning of December.

The maximum penalty for non-commercial infringement is $5000 now that Bill C-11 has come into force. But many experts suspect that it may be significantly reduced by the courts in some cases.