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CWTA Calls on Government to Use Spectrum Auction Proceeds to Pay for Lawful Access

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Wednesday April 03, 2013
The government may have killed lawful access, but the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association apparently thinks it will return and is urging the government to earmark revenues generated by the forthcoming spectrum auction to pay for it.  In an appearance before the Standing Committee on Industry on March 26th, CWTA President Bernard Lord told the committee that the government should use the proceeds to cover digital economy priorities including "lawful intercept requirements for telecommunication service providers."  As I reported last year, the telecom companies were working closely with the government on lawful access with their key priority being compensation for the costs associated with the requirements.
Comments (7)add comment

Crockett said:

...
On one hand any cost related to implementing government snooping hardware should come from the government, not the consumer. On the other hand the telcom industry supporting these efforts in any way is exactly the wrong stance to take. Pox on them.
April 03, 2013

end user said:

WTF is with
government and corporations obsession on interceptions of communications?
April 03, 2013

David Collier-Brown said:

Pay for ongoing work with one-time money? Epic Fail !
A spectrum auction presumably generates money on the auction day, not a stream of income over the years that one will have to operate and upgrade a snooping infrastructure.

If the government doesn't catch that, they will give a one-time bonus to the incumbents, and raise the barriers to entry.

--dave
April 03, 2013

CharlieF said:

wtf...
Why are they so obsessed with looking at our personal info? Are they secretly spies or stalkers?
The money is gonna end up being wasted once someone beats the stupid 'lawful access' in court...unless their whole objective is to squander money.
April 04, 2013

Pot Stirrer said:

Where's the fire?
Why attribute Mr. Lord's comments to some unknown lawful access legislation, and not to any costs associated with recently released lawful intercept requirements in the conditions of licence for spectrum in the 700 MHz band, or whatever results from Bill C-55?

Assisting law enforcement costs money, and consumers shouldn't have to pay for it. End of story. No?
April 04, 2013

David Webb said:

Re: (Crockett) ...
If the cost of snooping hardware comes from the government, then it comes from the public, because the government spends the public’s money. If it comes from the “consumer,” then it comes from the public, because the public are the “consumers” (I prefer “customers” — as we produce, though our work, the wealth which pays for the services we buy). Either way, we would pay to be spied on. The only way to prevent our money being unjustly taken is to prevent our privacy from being unjustly taken.
April 08, 2013

Grump said:

@David Webb
"The only way to prevent our money being unjustly taken is to prevent our privacy from being unjustly taken."

I wish it didn't seem like that was our government's highest priority. Unfortunately, bypassing warrants is still the essence of C-55.

One can expect as a result of normal regulatory pressure, downright scary copyright enforcement, and the pathological notions that we must protect people from themselves or from too much of the truth, to name a few, that if warrantless access is tolerated in the form of C-55 for example, we will invariably see the full intent of the much broader spying bill C-30 realized in a very short time.

So, I will repeat myself until I'm hoarse for anyone who will listen (forgive me for preaching to the converted): if warrants are too slow, we need to fix them, not step over them. Warrants are a critical check on power. It is not enough to want help people fast, we have to cause no harm first. If someone were coughing, I would not be justified in performing an emergency tracheotomy based on my hunch, but that's figuratively what we are allowing to happen by allowing the RCMP to circumvent warrants - a private right and a public responsibility - based on a hunch. I am not a doctor, and the RCMP are not judges. Warrants are simply not the domain of the RCMP. It is not enough to say "the RCMP are honorable" when the RCMP's integrity stems from respect and due process that need no longer be upheld. It's also not enough to say that reporting requirements counter everyone's concerns when we all know the police are not prosecuted or held accountable as easily as other citizens. Two wrongs do not make a right, and having nothing to hide absolutely does not mean I want my mail read by my carrier.
April 08, 2013

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