The Internet is ablaze with fury at the news that a content company – Voltage Pictures – is requesting the private information of thousands of Canadian Internet users, who it claims violated its copyright. Crackdowns on alleged infringement are sweeping the nation, as ISPs are being pressured to give private companies the personal information of their accused customers. This “guilty by accusation” approach to copyright enforcement is bad for free expression, and it adds new costs for Internet service providers, which will certainly be reflected on our monthly bills. Do you want to pay for a copyright witch hunt? As the definition of infringement expands, and everyday uses of the Internet increasingly include sharing images, videos, and more, anyone could be considered a potential infringer. If you or someone using your Internet connection—even someone accessing your wireless connection without your knowledge—clicked on a link to something covered by copyright, should your information be passed along? What if the accusation is wrong?
As law enforcement officials continue to lobby for the return of warrantless Online Spying Bill C-30, Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner is speaking out in defending Canadians' right to privacy online. We need to have our right to privacy protected – not compromised. Join us in speaking out against invasive Online Spying Bill C-30 at StopSpying.ca. Commentary by Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario As Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, I have a deep respect for law enforcement. I frequently work closely with the police to help them succeed in fulfilling their important functions without sacrificing our vital right to privacy. The guidance I have provided over the years on the privacy implications of new technologies has given the police a roadmap on how to be effective, yet also protect our privacy. That is why I am perplexed by the ongoing disagreement between law enforcement and Canada’s privacy commissioners over the federal government’s highly intrusive surveillance legislation, Bill C-30. Repeatedly, privacy commissioners have identified a pragmatic and principled approach to fixing the flawed aspects of the Bill. Time and again, members of the law enforcement community have insisted they need overly broad powers, while failing to recognize that they can have both new and effective law enforcement powers, while still protecting the privacy of individual Canadians.
International governments are pushing for Canada to enact Online Spying Bill C-30 – an intrusive piece of legislation that would provide authorities with warrantless access to Internet users' private data. Law-abiding Canadians shouldn't have to compromise their online security and privacy. Speak out against this invasive and costly Internet surveillance plan at StopSpying.ca. If you've already signed onto our campaign, encourage others to do the same at OpenMedia.ca/SOSChallenge. Article by Jordan Press for Postmedia News The Harper government, under pressure at home over its controversial Internet surveillance bill, including a renewed push from law enforcement to pass the legislation, continues to come under international pressure to pass Bill C-30. The legislation, dubbed the “lawful access” bill, contains provisions that would allow Canada to ratify an 11-year-old convention on Internet crime, which its allies are antsy to see approved. Bill C-30 created a storm of outrage when it was tabled because it would allow authorities access to Internet subscriber information — including names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses — without a warrant in cases where companies refused to provide it voluntarily.
A few months ago Canadians sent a loud, clear message to the Canadian government to StopSpying.ca. This followed the introduction of warrantless Online Spying Bill C-30, a bizarre piece of legislation that would grant ‘authorities’ with unrestricted access to Canadians’ private information, leave our personal and financial information less secure, and implement costly spying technology that taxpayers would have to fund. When Public Safety Minister Vic Toews proclaimed that Canadians who didn’t support his bill were standing with child pornographers, the outrage was palpable, and citizens made sure Parliament heard us. In short order, online spying bill C-30 was quietly sent directly to Committee and it has yet to come back to the floor to be debated again.
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has called on the government to revive the invasive Online Spying Bill C-30, granting warrantless access to the private data of citizens. Law-abiding Canadians shouldn't have to compromise their online security and privacy. If our police chiefs and government want to target criminals, they need to start over in crafting legislation for that purpose. Speak out against the intrusive Online Spying Bill C-30 at StopSpying.ca and read more about this push by police chiefs to resurrect Bill C-30 at MichaelGeist.ca. Take local action against online spying through our SOS Challenge by encouraging friends and family to join the campaign!