NDP Warns Against Lawful Access

NDP MP Charlie Angus has issued a warning about the government’s lawful access plans, calling for oversight and limits.


  1. Of course it’s dangerous, but…
    … the Cons can implement it whether we like it or not. What angers me is that they’re just kind of slipping it in. If it was more advertised and more people knew about it you’d see heavy opposition but no, all the Cons say is it’s a big crime bill to stop crime yada yada.

    Before you know it you’ll be leaving a joke comment to a friend about killing him after he posts your Saturday night drunk picture online, and the over-anxious police will be kicking down your door and arresting you for murder plans.

    You’ll find charges to your credit card that you didn’t make because you used it online and the ass police can see every number

    You’ll find changes to account because your username’s and passwords are all documented.

    Things like these gathered from everyone into a few spots that can be hacked into and now we’ve got countrywide fraud. It’s not like this information is being stored on a top secret government server where they have hundreds of elite technicians watching over it. They’re going to be ISP stored and have the same amount of security as, say, the Playstation Network.

    Also, who among the police will have access to it? All of them? Select officers? As far as I’m concerned you’re just as safe entering credit card info on a public forum as it being watched by the police. Just because they’re police doesn’t mean they’re pure and clean.

    And this isn’t even about security and safety. They just want to watch everyone to halt piracy completely. The evidence is there that shows this will not help in stopping physical crimes. Piracy is dying down over time, I remember reading that Canada is recently one of the lowest, but now they’re throwing rocks at the beast that is about to go to sleep.

    (These MAY seem a little far fetched but they are real fears. I have not seen or heard anything that gives me reason not to think of these.)

  2. Rolfe- All good points I entirely agree with. Except you only mentioned the police having access to it. What about ISP workers? There’s also no mention of where it will be stored and what persons within the ISP will have access, nevermind what security measures would be taken.

    As for piracy my biggest concern is how the assorted industries will get access to it. Think back to the RIAA’s “discovery” cases where they’d claim someone is a pirate based on an IP address from a BitTorrent connection and they’d be granted the right to examine the PC.

    Now imagine that here after “lawful access” passes. I’m not a lawyer but it seems like it would take very little effort for anybody like the RIAA to claim something and get a copy of my logs.

  3. @ Joe

    You bring up a point mentioning ISP workers. I, however, am I little more secure with them, the same way I’m secure putting credit card info on Amazon or other online retail stores. They can easily tweak some code to get your details in full. A lot of them build their own purchase forms and may have done that for all we know.

    I’m more secure with them because we are already paying them or their salaries depend on the company running. They get money from the consumers. If word spreads that they’ve used peoples cards for fraud then it’ll hit them extremely hard. They function by consumers and don’t want to risk losing everything. We have that business/client thing going there. Theoretically at least.

    I bring up police because they owe us nothing. We aren’t consumers that increase their income by our use. They don’t have to play up to us for elections. They have power over us and we have to bend over and take it. When I was going through college I saw the guys going into the police force around the school and it’s horrifying knowing what kind of elitist, power hungry and careless attitudes will be entering the police. Picturing them with my info almost gives me an anxiety attack.

    I may never buy anything online again if it goes down.

    I’d also like to note that I can mention my concerns here safely because we’re not being watched. When we are, any person can be singled out as anti-government, anti-police, or a threat to the country simply by stating these points. Because they are the one’s who will decide what can and can’t be said. We’re heading towards being prisoners in our own country.

    I know I may sound like an angry ranter, but this is fear, not anger. I really am scared about the results of this. And I’m not the only one. It just shows how brittle trust is when certain things are in the mix.

  4. Using encryption wherever possible is going to be essential in Canada by this fall. If you download large files, get an SSL enabled usenet provider in another country and make sure you use an SSL connection to it which prevents man-in-the-middle packet snooping. Commercial usenet providers don’t keep logs and the police and/or your local isp will have no way to monitor the traffic.

    Install the Firefox plugin, “https everywhere” which will use the https protocol whenever possible when reading websites.

    Install and use Truecrypt on your computer to store your files.

    The point is, be vigilant. If this law passes there are ways to significantly reduce your risk or being monitored.

  5. Rolfe – You certainly don’t come across as an angry ranter to me, the fear thing is certainly justified and I agree entirely with it.

    Truthfully it’s not credit cards & fraud alone that worries me. It’s just personal data in general. The best comparison I can come up with are the investigate report type stories on computer consultants who, just for the hell of it, will go through somebody’s data on a computer when all they need to be doing is swapping a power supply or something similar.

    My big concern lies with who would be in charge of getting this data and who would have access to it at the ISP. A previous ISP I was with employed many younger people for minimum wage as tech support. They’re a smaller company and the “call centre” was located at their offices. While they’re not elitist cops, they had a real “screw it” attitude towards their job and it made trying to get any problems sorted a nightmare. I don’t want police nor those types of people around my data.

    The scariest thing is that I’ve seen dozens of concerns and complaints about this set of bills. Each person seems to have a different, specific complaint in addtion to the general concerns. Any legislation that can pull that off should give anyone with some common sense an anxiety attack.

  6. The end of the 4th estate
    Why is everyone so focused on how it allows unchecked spying on Canadians?

    Certainly this is bad, but what’s even more dangerous is that it allows spying on investigative journalists, whistleblowers and political opponents.

    1. Investigative journalists:
    Even though investigative journalism is nearly dead due to media ownership by large corporations who fear alienating potential advertisers, the little that’s left must be preserved. This bill will allow officials to track what a journalist is reading online, and to read emails to determine how close he/she is to getting to the truth of any corrupt practices being investigated. If the journalist is too close, then, it’ll be too easy to hide evidence and manage the cover-up.
    This check on power will be nullified.

    2. Whistleblowers:
    Similar problem. For example, the RCMP has been caught doing all kinds of crazy nonsense lately, and so really want to avoid any more scandals. Now, all they have to do is monitor the emails and online activity of anyone they suspect of leaking something to the public, like videos of beatings in a holding cell, etc. Certainty of being caught will intimidate most whistleblowers to stay silent.
    This check on power will also be nullified.

    3. Political Opponents:
    We know from incidents like this:
    that police tend to act in a partisan manner, specifically pro-Conservative.
    What’s to stop them from monitoring the NDP’s and Liberals’ emails and feeding critical info to the Tories? Nothing.
    Harper’s gang will know everything his opponents are up to, giving them the advance knowledge needed to effectively counter or undermine any campaign or argument in Parliament.
    This check on power will also be nullified.

    I’m sure there are even more dimensions to this, that open up all kinds of unchecked power for Harper.

    Imagine being able to know what all your opponents are up to?
    Once this bill is passed, the temptation will be too strong to turn away from.

    Remember that the in the previous versions of the bill, ANY level of police agency has the power to get the data from the ISP. That means hundreds of officers with the power to do this, and so the odds of finding just one or two to do the bidding of politicians in power are pretty darn good.

    But even if every single officer with this power says ‘no’ to this corruption, there’s nothing to stop Harper from creating a whole new police agency, which will do what he wants — effectively an electronic gestapo.