The Harper regime’s online spying law is back.
In 2012, you may have joined a national campaign to block their highly invasive online spying legislation, Bill C-30. The government claimed it would “help police combat child pornography.” But many critics, including the federal privacy commissioner, noticed the sweeping legislation would force internet service providers to maintain systems allowing police to intercept and track online communications without a warrant, effectively wiping out fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of speech. The intent was clear: Increased powers for a surveillance-obsessed regime.
OpenMedia.ca led a national campaign to kill the Bill. In February 2013, the federal Minister of Justice announced that the government “would not proceed” with Bill C-30. “We’ve listened to the concerns of Canadians who have been very clear on this.” Nor, he added, would the government pursue any other measures for “the warrantless mandatory disclosure of basic subscriber information or the requirement for telecommunications service providers to build intercept capability within their systems.”
Turns out they lied.
Now known as Bill C-13, the undead spy bill is back. Now they claim it’s to fight cyberbullying. A good thing to fight. But it’s a cover. Bill C-13 consists of just 2.5 pages aimed at cyberbullying, and 65 pages aimed at making it easier for the government to spy on the online activities of all Canadians. These provisions are lifted straight from Bill C-30. Micheal Vonn, BC Civil Liberties Association: “This is not a bill about cyberbullying. It’s a bill essentially to reintroduce most of the components of Bill C-30, despite the government’s assurances that they would not do so.”
It’s not too late to join the resistance. Here’s how.
(Follow this story in What next? Doing science in dangerous times. Coming in 2014 from Between the Lines.)