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Michael Geist's Blog

Canadian Government Quietly Drops Lawful Access From Its Cyber-Security Strategy

Jesse Brown had an interesting post  yesterday that raised concerns about the prospect that the government might use mounting fears over cyber-bullying to re-start their failed lawful access legislation. While it is important to remain vigilant about the possibility of the re-emergence of Internet surveillance legislation, I think a more important signal suggests the bill really is dead (at least until after the 2015 election).

First, Bill C-30 actually did include a provision that could arguably be used to help address cyber-bullying. It wasn't the provisions involving privacy and surveillance, but rather the expansion of a Criminal Code provision on harassment. Section 372(3) currently provides:

Every one who, without lawful excuse and with intent to harass any person, makes or causes to be made repeated telephone calls to that person is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

The limitation to harassing phone calls would seemingly exclude instances of cyber-bullying. Bill C-30 would have made provision technology neutral:


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