Lawful Access Bill to Be Introduced This Week

It appears that the lawful access bill is about make its return – a Bill entitled “An Act regulating telecommunications facilities to support investigations” has been placed on the notice paper for introduction tomorrow or Friday.


  1. Rick Harris says:

    (the first link is broken).

    Keep up the good fight

  2. Is Marlene Jennings behind this bill?
    She was behind the bill last time.

  3. To answer Name’s question, no. This is a government bill being tabled by the Public Safety Minister himself, so it has Cabinet support and the backing of the department. The bill Jennings tabled was a private bill, really a left over from the version the Liberal government tried (twice) to pass. Micheal was just quoted in the Citizen on this incidentally: My favorite quote is from the Chiefs of Police association … that this bill is NOT about monitoring Canadians internet use without a warrant. Except for the part where they go the ISP and get all the names, addresses, contacts and transactional data they want. Without a warrant.

    Also keep in mind this will be tabled with a second piece of equally (or more) significant bill, one that allows for broader intelligence-sharing and data-porting between police and national security agencies internationally. Of course, both these items (modernized interception and expansion of mutual-assistance provisions) are the basis of the 2001 EC Convention on Cybercrime.

  4. Marnie Tunay says:
    Big deal, who cares – the Joint Terrorism Task force in the U.S. already has those powers and more – plus, the budget to do some serious snooping on ‘ordinary’ law-abiding citizens. Got email with Google? Got a web-site with them or with Microsoft? Said anything lately about the U.S. government or Osama bin Laden? The JTTF’s little robo-hackers may well already have your sites in their sites. Big Brother is already here – and his name is the JTTF. Personally, I find the JTTF to be at least as scary as Osama bin Laden.
    Marnie Tunay
    Fakirs Canada

  5. In general, so long as the bill simply extends the existing laws to cover new forms of technology, then I don’t have a problem with the idea of the bill (I haven’t seen the text of the bill). A requirement for law enforcement to have a warrant to get any information from the telecoms provider provides a necessary check on the power of the police. Thus, even getting the name and address of an account holder from an ISP should require a warrant.

    The trick is to balance the needs of the police, in order to prosecute criminals and prevent crime, with the people’s Charter rights. Too much to the police and we end up with a police state, or even a case where people are being arrested for “future crime” in the name of protecting society. Too little to the police and they don’t have the tools necessary to gather evidence necessary to prosecute.

  6. The last place we have free speech
    This is quite disturbing as the internet is one of the few places left that we have free speech. The USA has invested billions of dollars to take away civil rights and freedoms purposed by the homeland security act. The so called war on terror will never end as there always will be a fear in mass populations of people, This makes bills like these ones more agreeable to pass. If this bill moves forward it goes to prove that Canada may have already lost its soveignity and we are just a slower moving USA with different approach and wording but overall the same goal. This sense of policing is one step towards Martial law and this goes against everything that Canada stands for.The true north, strong and free From far and wide, O Canada We stand on guard for thee. We must protect what freedoms we have left that our founding fathers (from canada) and our veteran’s died for. Freedom is never free and we must make a stand before this gets way out of hand. first this bill than what?

  7. I think
    This bill would allow the enforcement agencies to acquire any email, phone conversation, your browsing habits, IM conversations, SMS, without any warrant. I think the idea is to scan everything for keywords and then going on “fishing expeditions”. This is unacceptable. It’s not going to protect anyone, since criminals will use encryption and stenography to conceal their communication if they’re not already doing so. There be a lot of false positives and innocent people will suffer prosecution. I think the cops are getting lazy and want computers to tell them who the criminals are instead of rolling up their sleeves and doing real police work.

    If they like surveillance so much I propose installing surveillance equipment in the offices and homes of all politicians and law enforcement staff. Then make all the data available to the public as part of the five year project. Lets see if they still want to pass this bill after the five years.

  8. I’m comming from the future
    Any immigrant comming from an ex communist state can tell you what’s next if you don’t wake up.
    Without control the guvernment can transform into a dangerous weapon.

  9. Isn’t it interesting that in Canada and the US we’re always attempting to introduce new legislation to poke holes in a citizen’s privacy or make it easy for law enforcement to snoop on innocent citizens without oversight. Yet the same day the legislation is introduced, people in Iran are revolting against a government that they contest is suppressing them. Furthermore, the only reason they’ve been able to protest in the first place is because of the freedom the Internet affords, even though their government has tried to suppress all other means of communication.

    Government officials and legislators don’t know enough about what they’re trying to legislate. There are infinite ways to spoof the source of an email or forge an identity online. As such, in many cases, it makes the preservation of logs by an ISP totally facetious and irrelevant to an investigation of criminal activity in the offline world. Information in the digital world is totally ephemeral and there’s no way an ISP can ever say definitively without a shadow of a doubt WHO it was that generated a log entry or message. All they can say is “such and such IP address connected to our servers and performed such and such activity”. It’s extremely rare that there is any “biometric” correlation of online activity to a human being in the offline world.

    If a 15 year old can hack into a bank and cover their tracks, then law enforcement officials have a long way to go before they can ever claim to lay hands to the sophisticated online criminal element who are light years beyond them in knowledge, capabilities and experience. It’s different when there is a clear offline element. e.g. a criminal sends someone a picture of themselves committing a crime. Even then, there are many photo manipulation methods that an average person couldn’t differentiate between that make the line blurry.

    They’re also assuming the information ISPs store is credible or somehow authoritative and indelible. Far from it. Logs can be filtered, manipulated, deleted, altered etc and no law enforcement official would be able to differentiate an altered log from an unaltered one. You’re also relying on the people who work for an ISP to have the skills and knowledge to deliver the information in a reliable manner that doesn’t alter the context or content of the data. How many times have ISPs, Telcos etc screwed up your bill or left you on hold for an hour or infuriated people with their ineptness? How can we rely on them to deliver reliable evidence?

    Clearly law enforcement needs help. But laws like this amount to internet eavesdropping and don’t serve the greater good over the long term. What law enforcement needs are a) the brightest of the bright computer science people working in their midst and b) embedded liaisons in the industry that can help enforce current laws and c) more credible information gathering techniques that don’t rely on ephemeral, alterable information.