Why are the Conservatives doing this???
I'm all for the new powers, but there must be judicial review.
Police will be given new powers to eavesdrop on Internet-based communications as part of a contentious government bill, to be announced today, which Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan has said is needed to modernize surveillance laws crafted during "the era of the rotary phone."Stockwell Day had previously said there would still be a need for warrants....but somehow this seems to have been shelved. Let's hope some sanity returns to the front bench and this gets amended.
The proposed legislation would force Internet service providers to allow law enforcement to tap into their systems to obtain information about users and their digital conversations.
Police have lobbied for a new law for almost 10 years, saying that they need to access "Internet safe havens" for gangsters, sexual predators and terrorists.
"This is really not about the warrantless tracking of Canadians' Internet use," said Clayton Pecknold, of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.
Privacy advocates and civil libertarians, however, have vocally opposed the prospect of giving police "lawful access" to the digital conversations of Canadians by being able to access such things as their text messages, e-mails, web surfing habits and Internet phone lines.
"It is an issue that has proven to be very, very controversial," said Michael Geist, a law professor at University of Ottawa and public commentator on Internet legal issues.
"The consistent criticism and concern that has been expressed is that there has to be some evidence that there is a real problem here and in the past we haven't seen that," he said. "Why is the status quo not good enough? What investigations have been impeded?"