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Online Spying Bill absent from government list of fall priorities

I spy with my little eye something that is missing from the government’s fall calendar. It’s something that’s been highly controversial, would become an invasive measure towards Internet surveillance, and would provide authorities with warrantless access to our private information. Out of guesses? It’s the hotly-contested Bill C-30, otherwise known as the online spying bill, that the government has so far omitted from their Parliamentary schedule. This is a huge victory for those who signed the petition, spread the word about the bill using our educational resources, or called on MPs to take a stand against warrantless online spying. Your participation in Canada’s Internet freedom movement is clearly making a difference—the government had initially committed to pushing this invasive and costly online spying bill through the legislative process within the first 100 sitting days of Parliament last year.

When last we heard of the online spying bill, there had been additional provisions that suggested extending surveillance of our Internet use to U.S. authorities. During the summer Parliamentary recess, we had heard rumblings of a possible reassignment for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews—the main proponent of Bill C-30—and received news that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) had been advising him on how to proceed to get the online spying pill passed.

We know that the government has been keeping tabs on public opinion surrounding online spying, so we’re making sure to be aware of any further developments that may suggest a return of Bill C-30.

For now, though, let’s celebrate the fact that the online spying bill has been left out of this first round of legislative priorities. It’s a clear indication that with your support of Canada’s Internet freedom, you’ve allowed the campaign to amplify Canadian voices as you speak out against Bill C-30’s invasive and costly breaches of privacy. Our voices are being heard nationwide—by taking actions like calling on our MPs to stand with us, Canadians are making waves on Parliament Hill.

As lobbyists, CSIS included, will surely be continuing to push the government for new warrantless spying powers, it’s essential that we keep raising our voices until the government finally makes a commitment to trash the bill entirely and respect our right to privacy. Send a message to your MP at and help spread the word to friends, family, and on Facebook.

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