Lawful access and online freedom - Macleans.ca

Lawful access and online freedom

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Alexander Ly and Andrew Webb oppose the government’s “lawful access” legislation.

Under current laws, internet service providers (ISPs) can voluntarily disclose customer information to the authorities, but they are only required to do so if served a warrant. Bill C-52, Section 16 (1), would supersede this liberty, and force providers to disclose consumer information to the authorities without a court order. Making matters worse, Bill C-50 would enable the police to intercept “communications” – as vaguely defined by Bill C-51 – without a warrant as long as they deem the intervention necessary. This shift toward warrantless investigations removes court oversight from the monitoring of wired and mobile internet, and allows law-enforcement authorities, without justification, to have a free hand in spying on the private lives of law-abiding Canadians.

Our own Peter Nowak considers the future of governance in the Internet age.