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European Commission Refers ACTA to the European Court of Justice

The European Commission, which has been a staunch supporter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, today announced that it is referring ACTA to the European Court of Justice to determine whether ACTA is incompatible - in any way - with the EU's fundamental rights and freedoms. While the move may mean European delay of ACTA ratification, it comes as a growing number of countries and European Parliament members signal their willingness to vote against the agreement.
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Why Bill C-30 Gives the Govt the Power To Install Its Own Surveillance Equipment on ISP Networks

Over the past few days, I've posted on some of the implications of Bill C-30, including the mandatory disclosure of subscriber information, the "voluntary" warrantless disclosure of emails and web surfing habits, and the stunning lack of detail on a wide range of issues including costs and surveillance capabilities. While the bill includes some detail on surveillance capability requirements, perhaps the most dangerous provision is Section 14, which gives the government  a stunning array of powers:
  • to order an ISP or telecom provider to install surveillance capabilities "in a manner and within a time" specified by the government
  • to order an ISP or telecom provider to install additional equipment to allow for more simultaneous interceptions than is otherwise specified in the law (the government sets a maximum and then can simply ignore its own guidelines)
  • to order an ISP or telecom provider to comply with additional confidentiality requirements not otherwise specified in the law
  • to order an ISP or telecom provider to meet additional operational requirements not otherwise specified in the law
Given these powers, Section 14 essentially gives the government the power to override the limits and guidelines it establishes in the bill (it must pay the provider an amount the government decides is reasonable for doing so). If that wasn't enough, Section 14(4) goes even further. It provides:

The Minister may provide the telecommunications service provider with any equipment or other thing that the Minister considers the service provider needs to comply with an order made under this section.
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Rick's Rant on Online Privacy


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