Should police be allowed to access an Internet user’s records without a warrant?


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Should police be allowed to access an Internet user’s records without a warrant?

  1. If you have nothing to hide, what is your problem?  It is like people who complain that they should not be responsible for speeding if they were “caught” on camera.  If you are guilty, pay the price!

    • sorry, but that is just too simple an approach.  What this would allow is individual police to access this personal information at their whim and for that individual own personal reasons.  The cop may just want to check up on a guy who is dating his daughter or harm a guy who flirted with his wife.  It just gives too many individuals too much power.  It’s that same reason I don’t agree with the power cops here in Ontario have to pull you license and confiscate your car if you blow .05.  Just too much power to give an individual who may be just having a bad day.

      • Just because you are having a bad day you have the right to jeopardize my safety by driving drunk? 

        •  You & Eddie missed Diver’s most sensible and important point: That kind of free access will certainly be abused by some folks on a police force, of that I have no doubt. What part of the police being just ordinary people subject to the frailties that we all suffer, do you not get!? Thank God we dont live in a police state, but if it were left up to people like you two, it wouldn’t take long before we were! I dont want my rights stepped on; one’s privacy should matter and that’s why the police cannot just bust into anyone’s home now and invade their privacy without a warrant. And please stop with that idiotic line: ‘if you aren’t guilty you have nothing to fear’ bullshit…that’s the reply of someone who naively trusts authority way too much. If you want to live in a totalitarian/police state, then bloody well move to one – there are all kinds to choose from out in the world. Indeed, Syria and lots of other nations know this from painful first-hand experience. You two were born to be incarcerated; you’d apparently be perfectly comfortable being under someone else’s arbitrary surveillance 24-7! Happily, the majority of us prefer our Freedom, so long as the exercise of our freedom hurts nobody.
          Drunk driving is already covered by sensible laws. And btw, isn’t .08 the legal limit in Ontario, and therefore blowing .05 is NOT supposed to be legally subject to having one’s license pulled and one’s car confiscated? NOTE: I dont drink.

      • “It’s that same reason I don’t agree with the power cops here in Ontario have to pull you license and confiscate your car if you blow .05.”

        So you just want to be able to endanger others coz you want to have some fun, eh! Right neighbourly of you!  

    • The state has the onus, and the burden, of proving guilt before they can infringe on your rights. It’s a pretty fundamental aspect of a citizen’s relationship with their government.

      Taking away your privacy rights because of the possibility of guilt is the kind of justification that could be used to remove any right.

      Let’s say you live in a house or apartment. I think the police should have the ability to enter your home at any time, without a warrant, because there is a possibility of child molestation. Or a grow op. Or an illegal firearm. Or an illegal day care. Or the illegal disposal of hazardous materials. There are 1,000,001 illegal things you could be doing in your home right now. 0_0

      That sounds like 1,000,001 reasons to search your house whenever the government wants, according to you. It isn’t like you have anything to hide, so don’t worry about the arbitrary police searches, I doubt they will find anything…

    •  This bill ASSUMES we’re all guilty, that’s the problem!

      • Very true.  This will increase as long as the people allow it.

    • Unfortunately photo radar sends the fine to the registered owner, not the driver making it a cash grab not a penelty.

    • You’re assuming all cops are altruistic all the time.
      I’ve got no problem with the police being able to access an internet user’s records — if the oversight is there.

      It’s when you take that oversight away that we have a problem.

    • Based on that logic why require warrants at all or any curtaillment of the power of the police to stop you, ask what you’re’ doing and generally monitor all of your comings and goings.

  2. The RCMP have become a free weiling gang who feel they can do anything, and do. They do not deserve the power the government wants to give them.

  3. The police already have this power available by simply obtaining a warrant.
    The warrant process was put in place to protect the public from arbitrary and invasive incursion of your right to privacy,etc.
    One would hope that any request to breach your rights would be reviewed first by an independent judge to qualify its’ legitimacy and not simply granted at the whim of the police.

  4. I agree. If you have nothing to hide what’s the big deal?  RCMP are not the bad guys. There is too much scum getting away with internet crime. I say go get em!

    • The “big deal” is that, even though I have nothing to hide, it is not the right of the police, CSIS, my provincial government, or the federal government (or should I say “Harper Government”) to snoop through my internet usage without having “probable cause”.

      Under current legislation, if any of the above do have “probable cause” to suspect illegal activity on my part, they are able to appear before a judge and seek a warrant to secure the records of my internet usage.  I think that they now have all the powers that they need in a democratic country.

      Remember George Orwell’s phrase in his novel 1984:  “Big Brother is watching you”.  Should it come to this in Canada as a result of public apathy and inaction, I will simply throw up my hands in disgust and conclude that the Canadian public is simply getting the sort of government and laws that it deserves.

      •  I agree that probable cause and a warrant is needed, but so is ” hot pursuit” option as the ability for internet crime to hop jurisdictions and countries in seconds is a problem. I also do not want anyone snooping without probable cause through anyone’s usage but the police are handcuffed when restricted to an ip address or range when I can bounce through 10 ip’s and 4 countries in a single skype call.

    •  If you’ve done nothing wrong, then why should you submit to a police search, without a warrant?

    • Who says the RCMP are not the bad guys?

    • Robert Dziekański would disagree with you.

    •  Nobody is against stopping internet crimes; the point is to have proper safeguards so that probable cause can be established before anyone’s privacy is invaded.

  5. Our rights and liberties are being eroded constantly.  When returning from a holiday in mexico, I was yanked from my plane in Dallas and forced to have my fingerprints and retina scan taken. There was no reason and I wasn’t given a choice about this.  The interesting thing was, I am a white woman, the other people forced into the fingerprints and retina scans were brown men. I asked one of the men if he felt ‘profiled’, and he replied, that as an american, he was proud of the security his country was offering him.  I was never so happy to land back on Canadian soil… Watching the way things are going though, it’s only a matter of time before we become the frightened, obedient and slogan swallowing labour the states have become.  

    • You think things are different here in Canada?  I regard the present body search and naked scan as just as bad, in fact they are horrific since they are conducted on persons with no criminal record and no option if one wishes to fly – inside or outside Canada.  As an elderly person born in London during the war I can tell you that people have become completely gutless and afraid of their own shadow.  My parents and grandparents, who lost so much to preserve freedom and to travel ‘without let or hindrance’ would never have tolerated these actual and proposed infringements.  Because I refuse to undergo the aforementioned, I cannot even travel home for the Diamond Jubilee in June.  Where is my vaunted freedom now?

      • Have you thought about a cruise rather than a flight?

    • I am sick and tired of people spouting off about their “rights and liberties”.  How about some consideration is given to a citizen’s responsibility?

  6. I believe the police need ” a hot pursuit” option on the internet as people forget how easy it is to switch ip’s and countries using spoofing and how time consuming getting warrants is but this carte blanche is too much at this time.

  7. I voted YES before I fully understood the question, oops. If the police can in fact get this info with a warrant, then I vote NO. But I do object to criminals getting away with crime, on a technicality, if it is inadvertently uncovered without a warrant. Which is of course another issue.

  8. Those of you who voted YES: why don’t you just put yourselves in handcuffs, if you really think you deserve to be spied on by the cops?

  9. If you have nothing to hide you shouldn’t be complaining about this legislation.  You expect the authorities to eliminate these predators on line but you want to do sweet bugger all give them the tools needed to accomplish it.  On top of that, the legislation does not give the police a license to invade people’s privacy across the board.  Google up the legislation and read it carefully.  It is only those who break rules and laws that are squealing like stuck pigs over this.  

    • Sorry, but I think this is a load of b.s.

      I haven’t broken any rules, I haven’t broken any laws, but I am sure squealing like a stuck pig because I consider the proposed law a complete violation of my basic privacy rights.

      As I understand the legislation, it is not targeted at child molesters, it does not require the authorities to show probable cause for invading the citizen’s privacy, and it allows the authorities to pursue any line of inquiry that they (in their infinite wisdom?) deem fit.

      I do not have this much faith in any unrestricted authority!

    • And if cops weren’t human and instead some sort of magical justice robot that never had motives beyond enforcing the law, I’d agree with you.

      They’re not. The oversight of a warrant needs to be present.

  10. Pierre Trudeau once pulled the gov out of my bedroom. Now I say GET OUT OF MY COMPUTER.

  11. Correct me if I am wrong, my understanding of this bill is, that it allows the police to obtain certain addresses such as email and IP, but if those records have to be looked at, which would then be private, a warrant is required.

    • Yup. And billing address. And it allows them to do it verbally, and ISP’s must comply ASAP or be hit with a big fine — because supposedly this is super urgent, right?

      Now, tell me how you think ISPs will be able to verify that the person calling them on the phone is indeed a police officer? 

      There’s a lot of abusive spouses out there looking for information on their other half.  I imagine even a very few police officers.

      Presenting a warrant should be required.

  12. This should only be used if time is of the essence and they would lose the chance to get the data they need if they had to take time to get a warrant from a judge, There should not be a blanket warrant, Without a warrant only under extenuating circumstances,

  13. The police should be abolished altogether. Why? This is a “free country”. Everyone has “rights”…to say and do what they want, when they want without restraint of any kind, without considering the consequences of their actions or thoughts. The police or any restrictive authority has no business existing in such an environment. Why? If we are supposed to be “free” to do and say what we want, then how can restrictions exist!? Is “freedom” really the illusion it seems to be? 

    24 hours into this policeless environment, the majority of the folks against police “power” will be clamoring for protection from the people who take their freedoms far more seriously that them. 

    Are there any books (fiction or non-fiction) about a policeless society? 

    • Geez Eddie dont be daft – nobody’s saying abolish the police! I’d say we’re all pretty unanimous in saying police are necessary, but giving them unrestrained powers of search and seizure is plain and simply wrong. We dont want Canada to become a police state. Your comments seem ignorant of human behaviour and history. For example: the SIU exists for a good reason: cops are imperfect just like the rest of us. Cops are often under lots of stress while doing a very tough (and often dangerous) job…consequently, sometimes justice is NOT being served by their actions. During the G20 in Toronto, yes there were scumbags burning patrol cars, damaging private/public property, etc. who deserved to be arrested, but we also saw police abusing individual rights during the G20 event too!

      • Am not asking for a police state. But you have you understand, the police can’t operate without us. We are supposed to be part of the system. The cops would function a LOT better if we did our part in the process. But instead of that we complain about them for everything they do. Yes, there are times when they over step their boundaries and yes, there are some bad cops out there, but that doesn’t change the fact that WE are also part of the system. The scumbags at the G20 mostly got away because no one was willing to identify them, and those who were identified simply used the law against itself. Individual rights were abused not because the police wanted to (well, some of them probably did); but mostly it was good people refusing to listen to simple reason. If we choose to work with the Law rather than against it, it can actually work. Then all these new draconian rules would not be needed.

  14. Looks like Mcleans are polling to see which way the wind blows before taking a stand themselves. Where are the libertarians?

  15. It’s about time that journalists stop reflecting on the law enforcement uses of this pending legislation and start homing in on it’s uses by public officers, ergo the Crown, where the spying bill takes on a whole new life! This Child Exploitation spin, dreamed up to pull at the heart strings of Canadians has been successfully funding technical crime units worldwide! We’re not stupid, we can read and understand the contents of the Bill, focus on the intended uses; another source of Intelligence for the Government. That’s exactly why Bush implemented the Internet Scraping in 2001 with AT&T. The legislation came after! 

  16. Where is the option for “Computers should be treated the same as all other property”

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