In February 2012, then-Public Safety Minister Vic Toews introduced Internet surveillance legislation that sparked widespread criticism from across the political spectrum. The overwhelming negative publicity pressured the government to quickly backtrack by placing Bill C-30 on hold. Earlier this year, then-Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced that the bill was dead, confirming “we will not be proceeding with Bill C-30 and any attempts that we will continue to have to modernize the Criminal Code will not contain the measures contained in C-30.”
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that Nicholson’s commitment lasted less than a year. Last week, Peter MacKay, the new federal justice minister, unveiled Bill C-13, which is being marketed as an effort to crack down on cyber-bullying. Yet the vast majority of the bill simply brings back many (though not all) lawful access provisions found in Bill C-30.