Saturday, February 18, 2012

The most dangerous legislation ever placed before Parliament

And if you don't recognize what Vic Toews was (and still is) attempting to do, you're not paying attention.

Toews had (and still has) every intention of sending "inspectors" into your Internet Service Provider to dig up anything and everything without need for reasonable suspicion of a crime and without a warrant. Child pornography has nothing to do with it as evidenced by the lack of such definition anywhere in Bill C-30.

Terry Milewski has identified the portions of the proposed legislation which are most egregious and which so violate the norm of decency in a democratic country as to be near treasonous.

But, then, there's Section 34. After reading it, you wonder whether it's just pandas we're getting from China.
Among other things, the bill requires ISPs to install surveillance technology and software to enable monitoring of phone and internet traffic. Section 34 is there to make sure ISPs comply. So what, exactly, does it say?

Essentially, it says that government agents may enter an ISP when they wish, without a warrant, and demand to see absolutely everything — including all data anywhere on the network — and to copy it all. If that seems hard to believe, let's walk through it.

First, Section 33 tells us that, "The Minister may designate persons or classes of persons as inspectors for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Act." So we're not talking about police officers necessarily. We're talking about anyone the minister chooses — or any class of persons. (Musicians? Left-handed hockey players? Members of the Conservative Party? Sure, that's absurd — but the bill allows it...)

Next, Section 34 spells out the sweeping powers of these "inspectors." And, if they sound Orwellian, welcome to the world of Section 34.

The inspectors may "enter any place owned by, or under the control of, any telecommunications service provider in which the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe there is any document, information, transmission apparatus, telecommunications facility or any other thing to which this Act applies."

And, once he or she is in, anything goes.

The inspector, says the bill, may "examine any document, information or thing found in the place and open or cause to be opened any container or other thing." He or she may also "use, or cause to be used, any computer system in the place to search and examine any information contained in or available to the system."

You read that right. The inspector gets to see "any" information that's in or "available to the system." Yours, mine, and everyone else's emails, phone calls, web surfing, shopping, you name it. But, if that sounds breath-taking enough, don't quit now because the section is still not done.

The inspector — remember, this is anyone the minister chooses — is also empowered to copy anything that strikes his or her fancy. The inspector may "reproduce, or cause to be reproduced, any information in the form of a printout, or other intelligible output, and remove the printout, or other output, for examination or copying."

Oh, and he can even use the ISP's own computers and connections to copy it or to email it to himself. He can "use, or cause to be used, any copying equipment or means of telecommunication at the place."

In short, there's nothing the inspector cannot see or copy. "Any" information is up for grabs. And you thought the new airport body scanners were intrusive?
Read it all. I mean it.

Vic Toews was (and still is) intent on becoming nothing short of Reichsleiter fur die Internet, or at least, appointing one. Remember what this bunch has already done.

And if you don't like the outright linkage to Nazi Germany you can go stand with Vic Toews.



evilscientist said...

The fact that CSIS is covered by the provisions of the bill show that it has nothing to do with child pornography.

What is also interesting and not reported is that under the definition of telecommunication provider, the provisions of this bill also apply to phone calls. So now the phone companies have to record all phone calls and make them available without warrant to the "inspector".

Edstock said...

Maybe Stevie'll privatize the surveillance — farm it out to the Chinese. After all, it seems they did a good job on Nortel, so they have lots of Canadian esperience.

leftdog said...

Great post!

Alison said...

Also, as noted by the Canadian Privacy Law Blog :
" there's a gag order that means you'll likely never find out you've been the subject of such an inquiry even if you ask your ISP. If the person exercises his lawful right to seek his or her personal information and accounting of its use, the ISP is prohibited from telling him or her unless the police, national security agencies or competition cops give their OK."