Justice Parliamentary Secretary Links Cable Theft to Terrorist Plots, Cyberbullying

Media coverage of the government’s introduction of Bill C-13, the lawful access/cyberbullying bill, quickly focused on the inclusion of provisions that seemingly had little to do with cyberbullying, including terrorism and theft of cable. While the government has tried to justify the omnibus approach on the grounds that it is modernizing investigative powers in the Criminal Code, it is striking that some MPs have claimed that there is an even more direct link.

Bob Dechert, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, said the following during debate on Bill C-13 in the House of Commons:

With respect to the cable, I would like the member to consider if his cable were being tapped into by someone who was transmitting child pornography over the Internet, or if his home Wi-Fi was being tapped into by someone who was using it to cyberbully another child, he would want to know about that and he would want that to stop. The modernization of those provisions is simply to bring them up to date.

The amendments proposed on those long-standing offences of stealing cable are already in the Criminal Code in section 327. They simply update the telecommunication language to expand the conduct, to make it consistent with other offences, such as importation and makes available to the prohibited conduct, which is also set out in section 327. These are really in the manner of housekeeping amendments, which need to be done to make those particular provisions more effective.

However, I would like him to think about the potential for someone who is doing cyberbullying, transmitting child sexual images, or perhaps planning a terrorist act, doing it by tapping into some law-abiding citizen’s cable or Wi-Fi Internet access.

In other words, Dechert is suggesting that accessing a neighbour’s cable or wireless Internet access might somehow be linked to planning a terrorist attack, sending child pornography, or engaging in cyberbullying.  I would happy to think about the potential for cable theft to play a role in terrorist plots. In fact, I think most would agree that there is no likelihood whatsoever and that the government should stop trying link provisions in their “cyberbullying bill” that have nothing to do with cyberbullying.


  1. Amazingly flawed logic
    By this Parliamentarian’s logic, if a terrorist uses a road to drive his explosive-laden Ford Mustang to an elementary school, we should therefore ban the construction of roads…oh, and Ford Mustang cars.
    What a moron.

  2. logic still flawed
    …the analogy works better, if the car was stolen….of course, the logic is still just as retarded.

  3. pat donovan says:

    security till it drops
    I’m sure ‘they’ don’t want anything to run ‘they’ don’t make money from.

    (they are the ones doing ‘it’ to ‘us.) !
    (#$!@$##4%% retards!)

    good security is a zero game. Nothing happens. (the goo effect) so a BB approved cable wrapper (that doesn’t work as advertised.. or at all, like the gun registry)

    is next.

    off topic. Any idea WHY there were three assignations last week in ottawa? All gang related collection agencies?

    given it costs $5000 a court case, and chump-change to have the problem buried instead…

    wanna place any bets on how police ops start tripping over one another anytimr soon?


  4. What law is required to make tapping my wi-fi stop?
    If the police have evidence that someone is tapping my wi-fi, whether for cyberbullying, terrorism, or any other reason, I personally would allow them to tell me and wouldn’t even require them to have a warrant to let me know to change my password. No change to the law nor warrantless surveilance of my network is required.

  5. Thanks Mackay

  6. drive by commentor... says:

    Here we go now we see where this bill is going…
    Forget the children, WE HAVE TO SAVE CABLE!

    And, the government has now noticed that wifi just runs rampant through the air! People can use it for anything!
    But now worries; our government will put a stop to that!

  7. Securing my home network is my responsibility. I do not need the authorities watching it on my behalf. Bob, you will have to do better than that.

  8. There’s no need to adopt copyright industry parlance in either politics or academia. In case of cable theft, that neighbour would know right away since his cable is gone.

    And what’s wrong with having a second SSID unsecured with low bandwidth for passersby to check their email, look up something on the web, etc? Just because you pay the bill *should not* make you liable for everything that passes over your connection, even though scare-tacticians, fear-mongering copyright industry would love it!

    Besides, sit in your hoodie near a McDonalds and you can access their WiFi, special Linux boot stick that randomizes your MAC address and other identifyable items and you’re good to go.

    Looks like they’re just after Joe Common again on behalf of their paymasters.