Citizen Action Monitor

Harper government bungling and stumbling its way towards an Internet Snooping Law

First dubbed the Lawful Access bill, later changed to Protecting Children from Internet Predators, now known to most Canadians as the Internet Snooping Law.

No 419 Posted by fw, February 23, 2012

“Despite activity on many fronts, it will be a week dominated by a new piece of legislation the government first dubbed the “Lawful Access” bill but later changed the title to “Protecting Children from Internet Predators,” and known to most Canadians as the “Internet Snooping Law”. Opposition members especially attacked public safety minister Vic Toews over provisions in the bill allowing police virtually free access to people’s cell phone data. Later in the week, Toews admitted to CBC News that he himself was not aware of all the bill’s provisions.”Ish Theilheimer

That’s Ish of Straight Goods News taking the lead in this post, which is essentially about, as Ish puts it in his sub-heading, “Conservative drive for control”. I might have phrased it: “Harper’s obsessive drive for control.”

To read Ish’s original story, and see a video interview with the articulate NDP MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay),  click on Opposition struggles against death grip: “VikiLeaks” tempest underscores Conservative drive for control, February 21, 2012

Alternatively, watch the 3-minute video here. Given the potential significance of Harper-inspired legislation to snoop on Canadians, check out the related reading following the clip.

Charlie Angus speaks to reporters about the “Internet Snooping Law.”

MY COMMENT – Rather than focusing on the specifics of the bill, the few questions reporters did ask appeared to be feeble attempts to get the clearly incompetent Mr Toews and Harper government off the hook. Which makes one wonder whether these reporters have even bothered to read the proposed bill? This kind of dumbed-down, biased questioning of politicians on topics of import makes it doubly-difficult for Canadians to stay responsibly informed. Thank goodness for Straight Goods News for its efforts to raise the bar of political reporting.


  • Matt Gurney: Vic Toews should step down, National Post, February 21, 2012 – “Unfortunately, the efforts of the federal Conservative government . . . have been badly mishandled, not only because the proposed Bill C-30 would empower the state beyond what is reasonable, but in large part because of the underwhelming performance of Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety. As the government prepares to rethink its approach to cybercrime, Canadians have lost faith in the ability of Minister Toews to oversee that task. Prime Minister Stephen Harper should ask Mr. Toews to resign from his cabinet post immediately.
  • Bill aimed at internet predators empowers Big Brother government, by Michael Harris, iPolitics, February 15, 2012 – “They [citizens] have the right to know that the police should not have the power to access their private communications with the silky-smooth cooperation of their internet provider on the basis of the suspected criminal activities of the few. Nor should internet providers have to install back-door spy-ware so that they will always be in a position to pass that information along to the police. It is just plain bad policy to undermine the rights of millions of internet users and private companies in order to more easily investigate the misdeeds of hundreds.”
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