Coalition Protests Government Lawful Access Plans

A coalition of advocacy groups and professors (myself included) have written a public letter expressing concern over the government’s plans to reintroduce lawful access legislation. The letter generated coverage from the CBC here and here.


  1. I hope it sways some descisions.
    Thank you for fighting!

  2. i doubt it
    harper has a plan and he’s tunnel visioned on it. if his own party has complained about him not listening why would he listen to us?

  3. Dan, the point is…
    It’s not about telling Harper. Do you think that he have not fully researched all the pros and cons? Of course, no one can fully predict the scope of public interest, which is want we have to expand to balance law in favor of the informed public.

  4. They want to introduce …
    the “Long IP Address Registry”

  5. @Dan G
    Such powers have been requested by law enforcement and CSIS for many years; I remember hearing about calls to expand the lawful access regime back in the mid-90s.

    One of the main issues that I have with the bills is the removal of the requirement to get a warrant in order to get access to the information. Frankly, I can’t see this surviving a Charter challenge.

    I could see a requirement for an order to the provider to maintain the data for a period of say 24 hours… this would have to be signed off on by a designated official (say four or 4% of the strength of the force, whichever is larger), not just any beat cop. The rationale for this is so that, in an emergency situation such as an Amber Alert, data is not destroyed before the police have the chance to present a warrant for it. However, in order to hand over the data a warrant would have to be provided. Note that this is not retroactive beyond what logs the provider already has normally. Basically, it says that data related to a specifically named person or organization cannot be destroyed for the next 24 hours. If the police fail to provide a warrant in the proscribed period, the held data can then be destroyed.

    Note as well that this is not a general retention requirement; it is not intended to impose a minimum length of time that logs for all customers must be provided, only that data for specified customers cannot be purged once such an order is received.

    Now, what I wonder about, however, is the concern about a provider not indicating to the subject of warranted intercept that they are under such a warrant… I’d have thought that it would not be legal currently (interference with a police investigation).

  6. David Collier-Brown says:

    To be fair to my adversaries ..
    The process for tracking down a person to sue is far more onerous on the ‘net than in the world of atoms. York University had to go so far as to apply for two (actually three) Norwich orders, just to be able to identify a person in a suit (York > University v. Bell Canada Enterprises, [2009] O.J. No. 3689). This is an extraordinary amount of work to do, and discourages people from doing it save for very extreme circumstances. As far as I know, only one other Norwich or Anton Piller order was granted in all of Canada that year.

    At the same time, I want a court to rule on the validity of an action that expose my personal information.

    The trick is to find a reasonable balance.

    –dave c-b