Archive for September 29th, 2009

Van Loan’s Misleading Claims: Case for Lawful Access Not Closed

The push for new Internet surveillance capabilities – dubbed the "lawful access" initiative – dates back to 1999, when government officials began crafting proposals to institute new surveillance technologies within Canadian networks along with additional legal powers to access surveillance and subscriber information.  Over the past decade, lawful access has stalled despite public consultations, bills that have died on the order paper, and even a promise from former public safety minister Stockwell Day to avoid mandatory disclosure of personal information without court oversight. Last June, current Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan tabled the latest lawful access legislative package.  Much like its predecessors, the bill establishes new surveillance requirements for Internet service providers. In an about-face from the Day commitment however, it also features mandatory disclosure of customer information, including name, address, IP address, and email address upon request and without court oversight.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, Ottawa Citizen version, homepage version) notes that lawful access has long faced at least two significant barriers.  The first involves ISP costs associated with installing new equipment and responding to disclosure requests.  The government has attempted to address those concerns by promising to help pay the bills.  It plans to provide some funding for new equipment and, in a little noticed provision, has opened the door to paying ISPs for providing customer name and address information to law enforcement authorities.  

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September 29, 2009 83 comments Columns

Van Loan’s Misleading Claims: Case For Lawful Access Not Closed

Appeared in the Toronto Star on September 28, 2009 as Case For Net Spying Not Closed Appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on September 29, 2009 as The curious case of the ISP access request that wasn't The push for new Internet surveillance capabilities – dubbed the "lawful access" initiative – […]

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September 29, 2009 1 comment Columns Archive

Business Resumes Attack on Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation

Business groups resumed their attacks on proposed anti-spam legislation yesterday. The Investment Funds Institute of Canada argued against consent provisions before a House of Commons committee.

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September 29, 2009 1 comment Must Reads

Pirate Party Success in German Election

The German Pirate Party enjoyed unprecedented success in national elections this past weekend.  The party won two percent of the vote and, more notably, garnered 13 percent of first-time male voters.

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September 29, 2009 1 comment Must Reads

CAUT Reports SSHRC Funding Threatened Over Conference Support

The CAUT reports that Minister Gary Goodyear, who holds responsibility for science and technology, threatened to withhold federal budget funding to the SSHRC over its support of a controversial academic conference.

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September 29, 2009 3 comments Must Reads