If you’re worried about the government snooping on your online activities, then you’re siding with the child pornographers, according to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. Toews is expected to introduce a bill on Tuesday that would expand the police’s powers to conduct online surveillance without a warrant. When Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia pointed out the privacy concerns involved, Toews responded, “He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.” Among the many contentious items in the bill are the provisions that would force Internet service providers (such as Rogers, which owns Maclean’s) to hand over data, including names, mobile phone numbers, email and IP addresses, all without a warrant.
This is not the first time Toews refers to opponents of the bill as siding with child pornographers. Toews made similar comments on Twitter earlier this month and during Question Period back in November. And as The Globe and Mail‘s John Ibbitson points out, similar remarks by Stephen Harper may have cost him the 2004 election.