Govt under huge pressure as its new Privacy Commissioner tells MPs that Online Spying proposals must be removed from C-13
June 10, 2014
Therrien’s intervention comes following weeks of mounting pressure on the government to split the bill. High profile public figures from across the political spectrum are speaking out to protest how C-13 would expose law-abiding citizens to warrantless government spying. Key figures and groups speaking out include conservative elder statesman Stockwell Day, Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, Carol Todd (mother of cyberbullying victim Amanda Todd), the Canadian Bar Association, and Steve Anderson of OpenMedia, which is leading a huge national coalition against the spying proposals.
Responding to Therrien’s testimony, OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson said: “Thousands of Canadians from right across the political spectrum are speaking out about this reckless online spying bill, and it’s time for the government to listen. Surely Peter MacKay isn’t so stubborn and closed-minded as to go against the expert advice of the man his own government has just appointed to the top privacy job in the land?”
Anderson continued: “Mr Therrien’s intervention this morning should give Minister MacKay pause for thought. The whole point of Parliament’s Committee stage is to give proposed legislation a thorough expert review, and privacy experts have spoken out unanimously against these irresponsible and poorly thought out online spying plans. For MacKay to just blindly proceed with his online spying bill would fly in the face of this expert evidence and the wishes of Canadians, including millions of grassroots Conservatives. The Minister needs to do the sensible thing and remove these online spying proposals so that non-contentious measures to tackle cyberbullying can proceed.”
Bill C-13 has been the subject of huge controversy since it was first tabled last fall. Expert analysis of the bill revealed that over 60 pages were essentially copied from Vic Toews’ failed online spying Bill C-30, which the government withdrew after 150,000 Canadians spoke out against it. Of particular concern is the fact that C-13 grants legal immunity to telecom providers who hand over Canadians’ private information without a warrant, as has already happened 1.2 million times in a single twelve month period - or once every 27 seconds.
Tens of thousands of Canadians are speaking out about C-13 and other privacy issues at http://OurPrivacy.ca
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
OpenMedia.ca is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.
Through campaigns such as StopTheMeter.ca and StopSpying.ca, OpenMedia.ca has engaged over half-a-million Canadians, and has influenced public policy and federal law.
About OpenMedia.ca’s privacy campaign
OpenMedia.ca led the successful StopSpying.ca campaign that forced the government to back down on its plans to introduce a costly, invasive, and warrantless online spying law (Bill C-30). Nearly 150,000 Canadians took part in the campaign. To learn more, see this infographic.
On October 10, 2013 OpenMedia.ca collaborated with over 40 major organizations and over a dozen academic experts to form the Protect Our Privacy Coalition, which is the largest pro-privacy coalition in Canadian history. The Coalition is calling for effective legal measures to protect the privacy of every resident of Canada against intrusion by government entities.
OpenMedia.ca and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) recently announced they will work together to put a stop to illegal government surveillance against law-abiding Canadians. OpenMedia.ca has launched a national campaign encouraging Canadians to support a BCCLA legal action which aims to stop illegal spying by challenging the constitutionality of the government’s warrantless collection of data on Canadians’ everyday Internet use.
- Bill C-13 would let authorities obtain private information without a warrant. Source: Michael Geist
- Supposed “cyberbullying” legislation will erode the privacy of Canadians. Source: OpenMedia.ca
- Canada's Lawful Access Bill Appears to Have Contained a Provision to Enable PRISM-Style Surveillance Source: Michael Geist
- Lawful Access back on the agenda this Fall? - Michael Geist.
- Data breach protocols deficient in 9 federal departments, watchdog finds. - [Source: CBC News]
- Internet Law expert Michael Geist on why Canadians should be concerned about government spying.
- In this article, The Globe and Mail describes the revelations about Canadian government spying as “disturbing and unacceptable”
- This document, obtained by The Globe through Access to Information, shows how Minister MacKay authorized a top secret program to data-mine global ‘metadata’ in 2011.
OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.
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