Canada Free & Open Internet

Citizens’ concerns reinforced by Privacy Commissioner letter about online spying

Stoddart cites the recent public discussion—the extensive conversations on social media, blogs, and in the news—about online spying as the reason for her renewed concerns. She writes, "Canadians expect their government to respect their fundamental rights and freedoms. [...] To date, Canadians have not been given sufficient justification for the new powers when other, less intrusive alternatives could be explored."

The government's own Privacy Commissioner has now sent multiple letters to Toews, and he has responded neither to those, nor to the joint letter from academics and public interest organizations in the Stop Online Spying Coalition. Toews has also failed to respond directly to the outcry from the tens of thousands of Canadians who have signed the petition at

"The government clearly has no real justification for these poorly thought-out online spying bills," said Steve Anderson,'s Executive Director. "It is clear that Canadians' privacy rights are at stake, which is made all the worse by the fact that we'll have to foot the bill for new invasive surveillance infrastructure." and the Stop Online Spying coalition support Stoddart's call for strengthened oversight and reporting safeguards in the online spying bills.

About is a non-partisan, non-profit public engagement organization working to advance and support an open and innovative communications system in Canada. Our primary goal is to increase informed participation in Internet governance.

About the Stop Online Spying Coalition

The Stop Online Spying campaign is supported by a group of public interest organizations, civil liberties groups, businesses, and concerned academics that have come together to encourage the government to reconsider "Lawful Access" legislation. The group points out that this type of legislation enables warrantless surveillance that is invasive, excessive and costly. Over 75,000 Canadians have signed the Stop Online Spying petition at



Lindsey Pinto
Communications Manager,
[email protected]

More Information

The Stop Online Spying Campaign

Survey indicates vast majority of Canadians oppose warrantless online spying

Techvibes: OpenMedia's petition wins battle against online spying but the war is far from over

Globe and Mail: Conservative majority would hustle crime bills into law all at once

Joint letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper from academics and public interest organizations

NDP MPs Angus & Sandhu write to Toews: Online spying bills are "disturbing"

Letter to Public Safety Canada from Canada's Privacy Commissioners and Ombudspersons on the current 'Lawful Access' proposals

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