Archive for October, 2014

The Canadian Wireless Market and the Big 3: It’s Always Been a Matter of Trust

Appeared in the Toronto Star on October 3, 2014 as Wireless Industry’s Tired ‘Trust Us’ Argument Fresh off the contentious hearing on the future of television regulation, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission jumped back into the fire last week with a hearing on the wireless market that focused on […]

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October 6, 2014 1 comment Columns Archive
Bury your head in the sand... by Sander van der Wel (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/af6AGY

Government Goes for the “Head in the Sand” Approach on Voluntary Warrantless Disclosures

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Spencer decision, I argued that the decision upholding the reasonable expectation of privacy in subscriber information contradicted the government’s claims supporting Bills C-13 and S-4, leaving the government’s lawful access strategy in tatters. I noted that it faced a choice:

The Canadian government could adopt the “bury our heads in the sand approach” by leaving the provision unchanged, knowing that it will be unused or subject to challenge. That would run counter to the spirit of the Supreme Court ruling, however, and do nothing to assist law enforcement.

Yesterday, the government did just that, as Bill C-13 passed another legislative hurdle with the reported committee version of the bill was approved by the House. During the debate, the government insisted that the legislation is consistent with the Spencer decision. While it is true that the voluntary warrantless disclosure provision does not directly contradict the Spencer decision, the reality is that it has been rendered largely moot. In other words, the government is touting a legislative solution to assist law enforcement that the police will not use and that telecom companies will ignore.

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October 2, 2014 2 comments News