I participated in a talk at the Toronto Public Library titled Who Owns our Secrets. The discussion was moderated by Brent Bambury of CBC Radio and participants included former CSIS Assistant Director Ray Boisvert, world-renowned surveillance scholar David Lyon and BC Civil Liberties Association Policy Director Micheal Vonn. We discussed the balance between security and privacy.
Archive for April, 2014
The U.S. Trade Representative issued its annual Foreign Trade Barrier Report on Monday. In addition to identifying the geographical indications provisions in the Canada – EU Trade Agreement, telecom foreign ownership rules, and Canadian content regulations as barriers, the USTR discussed regulations on cross-border data flows. I wrote about the […]
The lawful access fight of 2012, which featured then-Public Safety Minister Vic Toews infamously claiming that the public could side with the government or with child pornographers, largely boiled down to public discomfort with warrantless access to Internet subscriber information. The government claimed that subscriber data such as name, address, and IP address was harmless information akin to data found in the phone book, but few were convinced and the bill was ultimately shelved in the face of widespread opposition.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the government resurrected the lawful access legislation last year as a cyber-bullying bill, but it has been careful to reassure concerned Canadians that the new powers are subject to court oversight. While it is true that Bill C-13 contains several new warrants that require court approval (albeit with a lower evidentiary standard), what the government fails to acknowledge is that telecom companies and Internet providers already hand over subscriber data hundreds of times every day without court oversight. In fact, newly released data suggests that the companies have established special databases that grant law enforcement quick access to subscriber information without a warrant for a small fee.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on March 29, 2014 as Internet Data Routinely Handed Over Without a Warrant The lawful access fight of 2012, which featured then-Public Safety Minister Vic Toews infamously claiming that the public could side with the government or with child pornographers, largely boiled down to public […]