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Michael Geist's Blog

Anti-Counterfeiting ACTA Bill Referred to Industry Committee

Bill C-56, the anti-counterfeiting bill that opens the door the Canadian implementation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, has been referred to the Industry Committee for review. The government imposed time allocation on the bill to move it to committee. The debate on the bill yesterday suggested that all parties support the premise of the legislation, but the opposition wants further study and potential amendments. Perhaps most troubling was the intervention of the Liberal party, who are seeking to extend the bill to seizures of in-transit shipments. In Europe, in-transit shipment seizure provisions have led to seizures of generic pharmaceuticals, creating a major access-to-medicines concern.
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Who Is Watching the Watchers?: Ten Questions About Canada's Secret Metadata Surveillance Activities

The surveillance story may have started last week in the U.S. with the leak of several secret surveillance programs including massive surveillance of the metadata from all cellphone calls, but the Canadian questions continue to mount. The U.S. disclosures immediately raised questions about the possibility of Canadian involvement or the inclusion of Canadian data. Given the common communication infrastructure and the similarity between Canadian and U.S. laws, it seemed likely that Canada was engaged in much the same activities.

By Monday, the Globe was reporting  that the CSEC has its own metadata surveillance program with approval granted through a ministerial directive from Defence Minister Peter MacKay in 2011. When questioned about the issue, MacKay sought to assure Canadians that the surveillance only involved foreign communications.  Despite those assurances, the questions have continued to mount:

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