United States International Privacy Privacy Deficit Free & Open Internet

Govt’s own nominee for Federal Privacy Commissioner calls for C-13 to be split to remove controversial Online Spying provisions

Daniel Therrien, the government’s recently announced nominee for top federal privacy job, said Bill C-13 could violate privacy by allowing police to collect information about Canadians without a warrant

OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Andersonspoke before MPs this morning, offering crowdsourced testimony about Bill C-13. He concluded by telling MPs the bill needed to be split to remove online spying provisions while moving forward on proposals to tackle cyberbullying. Responding to Mr Therrien’s intervention, Anderson said: “It is remarkable that the government’s own nominee for Canada’s top privacy job has sensibly joined calls for C-13 to be split. If Minister MacKay now fails to split the bill, he’ll be acting against the expert advice of the man his own government says is best placed to examine privacy issues.”

Anderson continued: “Peter MacKay needs to take heed of what so many Canadians, including senior figures in his own party, are saying. We need to get the irresponsible online spying measures out of C-13 - that way we can move ahead with important, and quite separate, proposals to tackle cyberbullying while ensuring that Canadians’ privacy is safeguarded.”

Since it was first tabled, Bill C-13 has sparked controversy across the political spectrum. Early on, experts revealed that over 60 pages of the bill were lifted from Vic Toews’ failed online spying Bill C-30, which the government withdrew after 150,000 Canadians spoke out against it. Experts say that Bill C-13 would give a wide range of authorities access to the private lives of law-abiding Canadians. The bill 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


David Christopher
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
[email protected]

About 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.


More Information

  • 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. Take action now

View all campaigns
Take action now! Sign up to be in the loop Donate to support our work