Vic Toews v. C-30

by Aaron Wherry

Also from the Public Safety Minister’s interview with The House, there seems to be some confusion as to what the Harper government’s online surveillance legislation actually entails.

In an interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio’sThe House, Toews said his understanding of the bill is that police can only request information from the ISPs where they are conducting “a specific criminal investigation.” But Section 17 of the ‘Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act’ outlines “exceptional circumstances” under which “any police officer” can ask an ISP to turn over personal client information.

“I’d certainly like to see an explanation of that,” Toews told host Evan Solomon after a week of public backlash against Bill C-30, which would require internet service providers to turn over client information without a warrant. ”This is the first time that I’m hearing this somehow extends ordinary police emergency powers [to telecommunications]. In my opinion, it doesn’t. And it shouldn’t.”

iPolitics has a longer transcript of the exchange. Here is the text of Section 17.

17. (1) Any police officer may, orally or in writing, request a telecommunications service provider to provide the officer with the information referred to in subsection 16(1) in the following circumstances:

(a) the officer believes on reasonable grounds that the urgency of the situation is such that the request cannot, with reasonable diligence, be made under that subsection;

(b) the officer believes on reasonable grounds that the information requested is immediately necessary to prevent an unlawful act that would cause serious harm to any person or to property; and

(c) the information directly concerns either the person who would perform the act that is likely to cause the harm or is the victim, or intended victim, of the harm.

(2) The telecommunications service provider must provide the information to the police officer as if the request were made by a designated person under subsection 16(1).

(3) The police officer must, within 24 hours after making a request under subsection (1), communicate to a designated person employed in the same agency as the officer all of the information relating to the request that would be necessary if it had been made under subsection 16(1) and inform that person of the circumstances referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) to (c).

The police officer must inform the telecommunications service provider of his or her name, rank, badge number and the agency in which he or she is employed and state that the request is being made in exceptional circumstances and under the authority of this subsection.




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Vic Toews v. C-30

  1. What? The deadbeat dad Vic Toews is clueless?
    You don’t say..

    Incidentally, Vic, if you really believe in the rights of children, why’d you stop making child support payments?

  2. So, Vic didn’t know what was in the bill. This means he didn’t read it. This means he didn’t write it. He may have provided some input and direction.

    Question then, who provided input and direction?

    Who wrote this bill? Why? Under whose direction?

      • Well, that’s very interesting. Still, someone on our side of a sovereign border decided to include it. 

        It wasn’t our Muppet Minister of Public Safety.

        • Well it was him or Harper or both…..claiming ‘incompetence’ isn’t much of an excuse.

          • That Harper is involved, and no doubt directed this is the obvious conclusion. Is Toews pleading idiocy throwing some poor civil servant lawyer under a bus? (Oh, those poor, vile, civil servant lawyers!) 

            Interestingly, I questioned at the moment I typed this, as to why I am believing Toew’s statement that he didn’t know, as factual.

            This whole thing then gets lost in a haze of confusion, lies and misdirection.

            But C-30 is so obviously a deliberate action

          • Well the SOP is that no minister is ever responsible…..so I’m sure some underling will be dragged out and fired.

            6 months later we’ll discover them back working in the PMO.

          • @OriginalEmily1:disqus ”No one is responsible. Everyone else is to blame. My motives are pure.”

    • Maybe the oil lobby because it could just as easily have been written to snoop on the dreaded militant environmentalists.  Something is starting to stink about this.

      • You can open a can of paint with a screwdriver. It’s not the proper tool, but it’ll do. Conveniently, that group of extremists would be caught by that big sloppy net. And throwing in yet another metaphor, I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy nut, but ‘Birds of a feather.”

        • Someone  said elsewhere that it’s not if it will be abused, it’s how badly it will be.  Apart from the title. it seems to be a general license to snoop. 

      • This bill, in conjunction with the revelations that Canadian security services view, for example, PETA and Greenpaece as ‘dangers’ to the Canadian populace, certainly makes that sort of snooping a possible, if unintended, eventuality.

  3. Sir Humphrey ~ Ministers must never go anywhere without their briefs, in case they get caught with their trousers down

  4. Don’t forget about all the dumb parts of the bill that criminalize the content of your emails or blog posts that the government will be reading!

    For example:
    372. (2) Everyone commits an offence who, with intent to alarm or annoy a person, makes an indecent communication to that person or to any other person by a means of telecommunication.

    This makes it a crime, with up to 2 years in jail, for:
    - a couple to tease one another on email;
    - using foul language on a blog or forum (eg. “The writer never learned his f—ing history” or “This blogger totally has his head up his a–”.)
    It would be nice if comments were diplomatic, but should we really be criminalizing this?
    - anything else that is annoying, using foul language.

    If we start throwing people in jail for these things, we’re going to need a lot more prisons.

    Oh, yeah — Harper’s already building them.

    • So where, I ask with the greatest respect, of course, are the people who thought that being asked how many bedrooms they have was an invasion of privacy?

      • Just about the only way this makes sense, is that Harper threw a sop to the libertarian faction – the long form census as intrusive, and the destruction of the long gun registry, because he knew it wouldn’t make a difference with C-30 sneaking up behind them anyway.

        • They are used to framing these things with  simplistic jargons and a bunch of mumbo jumbo.  They probably thought they could do the same with this, using the nailing of child pornographers as the emotional hook people would identify with.  Toews blew the whole thing up with his outburst in QP.  But thank God he did it! maybe a thank you note is in order.

          • Toews appeared to be reading from prepared notes when he said ‘the thing’.

  5. Maybe we need to start testing MP’s on the actual contents of bills that they vote on and then nullify their votes if they fail.

  6. You say “there seems to be some confusion”?

    Why not avoid semantic niceties and just state the clear and honest truth:  “Mr. Toews admitted during the interview that he had no idea what he is supporting and defending, because he didn’t read the Bill”.

    People who don’t do their jobs generally get fired when caught loafing like this.

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