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Security vs. Privacy: Ottawa Citizen on Lawful Access

The Ottawa Citizen ran a detailed feature on the lawful access bills with comments from both law enforcement and privacy advocates.  Police say requiring warrants for ISP subscriber data is "harmful to public safety."

9 Comments

  1. Law abiding citizen says:

    but.. but…the children!
    Clayton Pecknold: “How are we going to master identity theft, and how are we going to combat child pornography and sexual exploitation of children and Internet luring and all of these things that are going on in the digital world if we don’t have the tools that are necessary?”
    ————————————————————————
    A common fear tactic: remind us of the children! Absolutely pathetic. This is the same argument for the removal of ‘violent’ video games. Let me be clear, teach children the dangers of the internet; self monitor your children if need be. Do not erode everyones right to unreasonable search and seizure in the process. What a greasy comment Mr Clayton. Greasy.

  2. Last time I checked, it was the police who were the most likely to infringe on my freedom. If they did so, they’d be in the wrong, but it would cost me many dollars in court fees and legal representation to show that this was the case.

    I am good decent moral citizen and I fear the police because they don’t understand the law and any misunderstanding they might have can change my economic outlook in a heartbeat.

    The police are a danger to the public and I don’t see why we should give them tools to invade our privacy further. Last time I checked, I was innocent until proven guilty.

  3. No warrant?
    I love the example of a phone book. The phone book contains publicly published information about your phone number. If your phone number is published here, you have no expectation of privacy about that. However, there is no equivalent for internet accounts and email addresses (that I know of). A better comparison would be to an unlisted phone number.

    Do the police need a warrant to access the basic subscriber info for an unlisted phone number?

    The bills do contain some useful stuff; in particular the ability to tap communications, on production of a warrant. However, the requirements to produce basic subscriber info without a warrant is a weakly justified, some would say unjustified, invasion of privacy.

  4. So terribly thought out
    This is just ridiculous. It undermines the expected privacy of Canadian citizens, presents an incredible security risk to Canadians and will both dissuade and hinder investment and innovation in the Canadian technology and telecommunication industry.

    Not only does it violate and undermine my expectations of privacy, it is completely foolish and ridiculous in it’s methods and intent.

    The summary of this legislation paints the act as providing police forces a means to investigate and apprehend “sophisticated” criminals. It will do nothing of the sort. Sophisticated criminals are and have been for some time utilizing techniques to circumvent each and every surveillance and interception technique or methods used by law enforcement. This bill will _not_ stop that.

    What this bill will do is open the door to a myriad of abuse. The extent of which is unimaginable at this time. This bill is open to so much abuse. Not only will this legislation destroy any expectation of privacy, it will also put at risk Canadians security. What happens when the “interception device” at an ISP is compromised or sold?

    As well, this legislation will place a virtual stop sign on the road of investment and innovation in Canada. Would you invest in a country where your business and personal communications were subject to interception without oversight? I might guess that there are many investors and innovators who would not.

    This bill is extremely harmful, ill-thought out, foolish and will do absoulutely nothing to accomplish it’s intended goals.

  5. Marc Rotenberg says:

    “Lawful Acccess” = Pursuant to Law
    One of the side stories in the long history of the privacy v. surveillance battles concerns how the intercept afficionados hijacked the phrase “lawful access” and gave it the meaning “the government gets access.” The phrase means, of course, “pursuant to law” with the clear implication that if the government wants to intercept, it must do so in a lawful manner.

  6. Lawful Access = Canadian “Patriot Act” ’nuff said.

  7. Peter Hillier says:

    The Citizen’s piece, while well presented, fails to articulate that Bills C46-47 are not law enforcement bills, but are meant to set the foundation for additional intelligence gathering efforts. One only has to look south of the border and at the United Kingdom to see the effects of similar legislation there. The poster children, which they set out to protect with the child exploitation rhetoric, are the very ones whose privacy will be undermined down the road. See the following article for additional information:
    http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/opinion-what-you-dont-know-about-lawful-access/138876

  8. Peter Hillier says:

    The Citizen’s piece, while well presented, fails to articulate that Bills C46-47 are not law enforcement bills, but are meant to set the foundation for additional intelligence gathering efforts. One only has to look south of the border and at the United Kingdom to see the effects of similar legislation there. The poster children, which they set out to protect with the child exploitation rhetoric, are the very ones whose privacy will be undermined down the road. See the following article for additional information:
    http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/opinion-what-you-dont-know-about-lawful-access/138876

    With regard to the “pursuant to law” comment above, given the breadth of the current language in the Bills, a great deal of work needs to be done to balance out the definition of “pursuant to law”, before these Bills move forward.

  9. I can’t envision any scenario where the police require any of these provisions without judicial oversight. Its not like they’re screaming down the 401 at 100 mph, sirens blaring, screaming into the radio – “quick, intercept his email!”.

    I can however envision a number of scenarios where there could be extreme abuses of these powers both in fishing for information as well as pursuing “political” enemies.

    As far as terrorists and pedophiles are concerned, this will only prompt them to take measures to circumvent these provisions (which doesn’t seem that difficult) which ultimately will make it even harder to find and convict them.

    My first thoughts as a security professional were to fight this legislation, but I’ve concluded that is an uphill battle. The simpler and more certain approach is to find/develop the equivalent to digital body armour.