By Glyn Lewis
May 16, 2011
Internet Surveillance: How Do We Stop It?
The government is preparing to put forward an invasive, anti-Internet set of “Lawful Access” laws that would have Internet providers collect our personal information without court oversight. If this Internet surveillance bill goes through, authorities will have real-time access to our personal online information.
Law-abiding Canadians should be able to use wired Internet and mobile devices without a constant eye watching over their shoulders. Canadians need citizen-centric policies that ensure we have access to an open and affordable Internet, not unchecked Internet spying.
We’ve already heard some of these concerns about the bills from Canadians:
- It will force online service providers to identify, monitor, track and store our online activity without a court order, and without the need to demonstrate that there is even suspicion of wrongdoing
- It will put in place open-ended requirements that may require millions of dollars in ISP investment in new surveillance technologies. This cost will be passed on to Canadian customers. .
- It will create red tape for online innovators and businesses, which will hurt our economy and cost Canadian jobs. In an age when other nations are surging ahead with technological innovation, Canadian businesses can’t afford roadblocks if they want to compete in the digital economy.
- The vague, open-ended language in the bill has lead many to question if it will criminalize anonymity and the certain uses of hyperlinks - what many consider the core features of the web. The bill is far too open to interpretation and will thus likely have a chilling effect on free expression. Linking should not put Canadians in legal jeopardy.
According to Privacy Commissioner “the federal government has presented no compelling evidence that new powers are needed.”
We want to hear from you.
OpenMedia.ca has already been critical of these Internet surveillance bills and we're preparing a response in case the Government tries to push these through without proper debate. We know from our past work that if this bill goes to parliament, the best way to stop it is make sure Canadians are aware and engaged. We want to know what you think is the simplest and most effective way to engage all Canadians in this issue. Tell us:
- What is it about the bill that concerns you most?
- What's the best concept to use to make this Internet surveillance issue resonate?
- Example: The parking meter worked well for the Stop The Meter campaign in part because it was a simple concept and many could easily relate to it. Which concept or theme tells the story of Internet surveillance? Is it the idea of authorities spying on us? The concept of Big Brother watching? The feeling of a watchful eye? Tell us your ideas!
Together we can prepare an action that will work.
For the Internet,
The OpenMedia.ca Team
P.S. If you are concerned about this issue please join the pro-Internet community. The bigger our community is the better we can ensure the Internet is open and affordable: http://openmedia.ca/community
Read more on the subject with this collection of articles put together by Maiden Heaven with
the help of the pro-Internet community: http://on.fb.me/jlC4NO