Last week I posted on how Rightscorp, a U.S.-based anti-piracy company, was using Canada’s new copyright notice-and-notice system to require Internet providers to send threats and misstatements of Canadian law in an effort to extract payments based on unproven infringement allegations. Many Canadians may be frightened into a settlement payment since they will be unaware that some of the legal information in the notice is inaccurate and that Rightscorp and BMG do not know who they are.
The revelations attracted considerable attention (I covered the issue in my weekly technology law column – Toronto Star version, homepage version), with NDP Industry Critic Peggy Nash calling on the government to close the loophole that permits false threats. Nash noted that “Canadians are receiving notices threatening them with fines thirty times higher than the law allows for allegedly downloading copyrighted material. The Conservatives are letting these companies send false legal information to Canadians in order to scare them into paying settlements for movies or music no one has even proved they’ve actually downloaded.”
With the notices escalating as a political issue, Jake Enright, Industry Minister James Moore’s spokesman, said on Friday the government would take action. Enright said that “these notices are misleading and companies cannot use them to demand money from Canadians”, adding that government officials would be contacting ISPs and rights holders to stop the practice.
While that is encouraging, the reality is that this is a mess of the government’s own making. In fact, according to documents obtained under Access to Information, the government previously dismissed calls for changes to the system from Internet providers. Moreover, Industry Canada officials conducted consultations that were designed to create reforms that might have stopped these practices. Moore decided to forge ahead with the notice-and-notice system without any additional regulations, however, a decision that lies at the heart of the current problem.
According to the internal documents, Industry Canada officials prepared a list of issues with the notice-and-notice system as early as July 2012. It raised the possibility of establishing a strict template for use in notices. Had the government implemented a template in the regulations, the threatening notices from Rightscorp would be invalid. Moreover, by the fall of 2012, the government prepared a letter to stakeholders and a backgrounder that invoked the regulatory powers to prescribe the form or content of the notice and to decrease the statutory damages for failing to meet the notice-and-notice obligations. Moore announced in June 2014 that the system would be implemented without regulations.
This was not the first time Moore decided against reforms to the notice-and-notice system. Further government documents reveal that Bell Canada recommended reforms in January 2012 (before the bill was passed) that included a removal of a minimum statutory damage for failure to to forward a notice. Had the reform been accepted, the government would now be in a position to recommend that Internet providers not forward the misleading Rightscorp notices without fear of liability.
Not only does Moore bear some responsibility for establishing the notice-and-notice rules without regulations, but there is now no quick fix. The Minister may promise to talk to the ISPs and rights holders, but what is going to say? His own rules require ISPs to forward notifications to subscribers under threat of a minimum of $5000 in statutory damages for failing to do so. His own rules do not include a specific form that could have been used to exclude the misleading assertions on Canadian law and the efforts to scare individuals into paying settlement fees. ISPs have little choice but to forward the notifications and there seems little likelihood that a company like Rightscorp, which is being sued in the U.S. for its practices, will care what a Canadian government minister has to say.
Merely stating that the government disapproves of the misleading practices is not enough. To address the issue, the government should ask the Competition Bureau to conduct an investigation into the misleading conduct. Moreover, Moore should move quickly to implement the very regulations he previously dismissed, which could be used to prohibit the inclusion of settlement demands within the notices and create penalties for those companies that send notices with false or misleading information.
Is there no legal mechanism for stopping Rightscorp et al from sending legally incorrect threats? I can’t imagine a world where the ISP’s would make the call about whether the threat was legal or not. Short of an approved template, have you thought of any mechanism to check these notices?
Actually, ISPs in the US have started removing threatening content from thier notices. Why haven’t our ISPs done the same? There’s nothing stopping them from doing so that would threaten thier neutral status. It would be conforming to the law of the land. As much as it is Governments fault, ISPs also share part of the blame.
Actually, in Canada, ISPs are required to forward the notice verbatim, as it should be, the ISP should not be altering a legal document in any way, shape or form.
They were quoting US law in some of these. It’s not a “legal” document if the law doesn’t apply.
Another point is that these “notices” are not legal documents. Legal documents come from the court. A lawyer can send you a letter threatening anything. It’s not a legal document unless signed by a judge. It’s a legal threat, not a legal document, and from what I understand, Government is quite clear, that’s not allowed. ISPs should be doing their due diligence.
I think ISPs are not doing their due diligence because they want to play some sort of game with all of this, to get the government back to the table to discuss how they can profit off of this new system by setting fees. That seems more of a viable conclusion as to why ISPs are taking yet another hands off approach to copyright complaints.
I can’t speak for all ISPs, but speaking for the one I work for, I can absolutely assure you that due diligence is being done. The problem is that ISPs face $5000-$10,000 in statutory damages for failure to forward a notice, and it isn’t even clear that doesn’t mean per-notice. Because the law itself does not spell out limitations on which notices comply with the law – the issue being addressed in this piece by Mr. Geist – ISPs are in a bind. Trust me, I would love nothing more than to bit bin these kinds of notices, or edit them to remove reference to US law and demands for payment. We just can’t afford the financial risk that entails without legal certainty on the matter. There is currently no legal certainty on the matter, so we have to err on the side of forwarding unedited, or at most with a wrapper that tries to put it all in some legal context to reassure our subscribers.
As far as ISPs wanting to monetize the process, it is a non-trivial cost to handle compliance with these notices, and that should be taken into account. Further, imposing a fee to forward the notices would raise the bar on those who would send the notices in the first place. Given the low likelihood of a rights holder ever winning sufficient damages in court in Canada, a fee may discourage these notices altogether, and most especially discourage these demand notices as “not cost effective”. As long as it is free to have them forwarded, I would expect them to continue in some form.
I hope that puts some of this into context from an ISP perspective. I can’t say all ISPs care about their protecting their subscribers in this, but some of us really do.
@ISPGuy said: “We just can’t afford the financial risk that entails without legal certainty on the matter.”
Wouldn’t a notice forwarded off quoting US law, put the ISP at risk in the first place, especially if the subscriber pays? Doesn’t that create more of a liability to the ISP, than not forwarding off these notices, if one pays, than obtains legal advise.
I’ve seen some of these “wrappers” ISPs are using, none of which properly informs subscribers of the current law. By not doing that, does that not put the role of the ISP as an accessory to what could be a criminal act of extortion? Shouldn’t properly informing customers on the law be a priority here over anything else copyright related? I think there’s much, much more of a legal risk to ISPs that haven’t properly informed their customers than there is with a fine for editing those letters with the proper legal information.
I can’t see any judge getting mad because an ISP edited the notice to ensure proper education around current law (which is the goal with notice to notice), so the risk to ISP’s IMO would be minimal.
@ISPGuy said: “Further, imposing a fee to forward the notices would raise the bar on those who would send the notices in the first place. Given the low likelihood of a rights holder ever winning sufficient damages in court in Canada, a fee may discourage these notices altogether, and most especially discourage these demand notices as “not cost effective”. As long as it is free to have them forwarded, I would expect them to continue in some form. ”
In theory. The reality is Canadian telecom business models are changing and are being disrupted. The profiting from disclosure of personal information, or notice systems is expected to be a viable business model for Canadian telecom in the near future:
So as those costs you mentioned are “trivial” Canadians need to be well aware of that fact moving forward. Will a set fee discourage groups like the MPAA (who have very deep pockets) from harassing Canadians, or will it just add to the bottom lines of Canadian telecom during a time of disruption.
Therefore process for setting “fees” should be subjected to public scrutiny and public debate through a consultation process and public hearings, as a result of telecom disruption. These fee’s should not be negotiated behind closed doors with only the telecom lobby and the entertainment lobby present.
Again, the issue with the question “to forward, or not to forward” is legal certainty, and the only legal certainty is what is spelled out in 41.25(2). All it states is that the notice of claim shall include the claimant’s name and address, identify the work, state the claimant’s rights in the work, the infringing IP address, the infringement that is claimed, and the date and time of infringement. That’s it. That’s the sum total of what the law spells out for a “compliant” notice. That’s the problem.
As it currently stands, if a notice ticks off all those boxes, our understanding is that we are legally required to forward them. However, as the Minister’s office said, (some of) “these notices are misleading and companies cannot use them to demand money from Canadians”. So there is some hope we may get some more “legal certainty” on this issue. All I can tell you is that as it stands right now our greater legal risk appears to be not complying with the mandate to forward, rather than with forwarding specious claims that still tick all the boxes. This is precisely the issue that Mr. Geist is addressing in this piece. We applaud him in this.
“Legally informing” our subscribers is a fine line to walk. We don’t want to be found liable for legal advice that later proves bad either. This is why some of these wrappers are perhaps maddeningly vague. We want to inform our users as best as possible, but at the same time we can’t stick our own necks out too far, lest our heads be later lopped off.
I don’t know if I really agree with the assertion that fees for forwarding notices or disclosing private data are to become a viable business model. What I said was the cost of forwarding notices is non-trivial. Speaking again only for ourselves, our potential interest in fees for forwarding is to discourage copyright trolling and to offset some of our costs in complying with the notice-and-notice regulations. Not profit above that. Our position on the disclosure of subscriber information is to never disclose without a court order. I don’t foresee that we would advocate for fees on that, unless court orders became rubber stamps (to be discouraged by fees) or so onerous a cost that we’d otherwise need to pass it on to subscribers. We certainly wouldn’t advocate for disclosure of subscriber information for fees *instead* of court orders. Should fees ever be considered for these things, we would certainly be more than happy to have those fees justified and debated publicly. Again, speaking only for ourselves.
@IPSGuy Said ““Legally informing” our subscribers is a fine line to walk. We don’t want to be found liable for legal advice that later proves bad either. ”
I haven’t at all suggested that ISPs provide legal advice. Properly informing Canadians by quoting Canadian law against those who quoted US law in the notices would be more or less what I’m speaking for here. IMO, I can hardly see any ISP being dragged into court for doing so.
@IPSGuy “I don’t know if I really agree with the assertion that fees for forwarding notices or disclosing private data are to become a viable business model. ”
It’s an accepted fact by some of the global leading market analysts who are closely watching what has been taken place with telecom and content distribution. I quoted and provided a video to one of Google’s market analysts explaining just that to the head of EU’s ITC executives. If market disruption is not an accepted fact by now in 2015 by our telecom providers, I worry what kind of moral hazard lies ahead. Are we going to have to bail out telecom next?
The government recently paved the way for a lot of the sale and distribution of users info in Bill S-4, under the noses of Canadians. I have a very hard time believing that Canadian telecom didn’t play a role in that.
Canadian Teleco’s have a long history in this country of presenting themselves towards the public as consumer friendly. Often arguing that high prices for a connection and crappy speeds is what Canadian consumers want to our dumbfounded idiotic regulator.
I’m looking forward to the day when these fee’s would be publicly and openly debated in parliament, and I would hope that Canadian Telecom would be lobbying for just that approach. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. I learned a long time ago not to trust anyone in telecom. They are only out to protect their own behinds, and the response you’ve put forth (although I would love to believe) seems rather representative of that fact unfortunately.
Jason K wrote “I haven’t at all suggested that ISPs provide legal advice. Properly informing Canadians by quoting Canadian law against those who quoted US law in the notices would be more or less what I’m speaking for here.”
That’s the very definition of giving legal advice, actually.
I wish I would get one of those notices. I would tell Rightscorp where to shove it…
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The notice I read on line contained a threat as well as a demand for money. Why does that not qualify as extortion?
Would this not be already covered by criminal law? Canada has some RICO equivalents which they have used to deal with biker gangs in the past.
They just need to be convinced that their corporate masters are not above the law.
Is it just a coincidence that scammers and trolls seem to appear after conservative legistation has passes? In Ontario this happened after deregulation of Utilities by he Harris government and now with this.
1. This fiasco doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.
2. Who elects these ignorant fools?
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I get all you’ve been trying to say, however, there’s still the elephant in the room…
There’s no law that obliges anyone to forward false information.
End of story.
The law quite explicitly and exactly states that we shall forward a notice without delay if it complies with subsection 41.25(2) . It does not say we shall forward a notice without delay if it complies with 41.25(2), “but only if it contains no inapplicable references to foreign laws”. That is one of the fundamental problems we are trying to address with the government right now. When even Mr. Geist, a law professor who specialises in this area of law, is saying, “ISPs have little choice but to forward the notifications,” is it honestly so perplexing that ISPs are also reaching the conclusion that we “have little choice but to forward these notices”? Trust me, the very last thing I want to be doing is sending my subscribers extortionate demands for payment based on fraudulent threats made based on U.S. law.
And for the record, we ourselves have actually chosen NOT to forward any of the demand notices since the law came into force, on the faint hope that the government would clarify the issue before the clock ran out on us and we might face statutory damages. I can all but guarantee you that without clarification our lawyer is going to instruct us to err on the side of forwarding. It appears the Minister may have implicitly given us some of the clarification we were hoping for, now we just need to see it made more explicit.
“There’s no law that obliges anyone to forward false information.” The problem with this is that it requires determining first that the information is false. By making that determination the ISP could be abandoning its neutrality and making itself a party to the dispute. Accompanying the notice with a letter explaining the law is perfectly fine, but it should avoid calling the claimant a liar or making any other accusations.
“The problem with this is that it requires determining first that the information is false.”
So ISPs who let letters go through quoting US law isn’t false information to Canadian consumers. I don’t understand?
“By making that determination the ISP could be abandoning its neutrality and making itself a party to the dispute. ”
I very much disagree with the notion that determining that US law quoted in these letters false information and correcting that would affect in an ISP’s neutrality status. Misinforming Canadians on law is a disservice, it’s unfortunate anytime ISPs quiver under the brills of copyright trolls, the neutrality card is consistently played by anon telecom supporters. If you are forwarding off a notice with false misleading information, you are NOT neutral in any respects imo.
At least there are some ISPs who have thus far NOT forwarded off these letters, and assumed some risk to protect their customers rather than coward under false and misleading claims of neutrality.
“Accompanying the notice with a letter explaining the law is perfectly fine,”
My point exactly.
I think there’s some preaching to the choir going on here. I think there are also some misconceptions about the realities on the ground where legal uncertainty exists. I think that most people would agree, including I suspect most lawyers, that if it were tested in court that ISPs would probably be exonerated for not forwarding these notices. However, for the lawyers who guide the decisions that ISPs make in how to handle these notices, that we would “probably be exonerated” is simply not good enough. Not when the potential consequences of being wrong are so high. So that means no one is actually prepared to test this in court. Not yet at least. That doesn’t mean we are all riddled with cowardice though. It just means that outright defiance in preparation for testing this in court isn’t a logical first step. A logical first step is to try and get some more legal certainty drawn into the picture, and get ourselves explicit guidance from the government not to forward these notices. Hence the efforts underway by Mr. Geist, and the subsequent comments by the Official Opposition, that ultimately led to the Minister of Industry’s office indicating their intention to try and create some more legal certainty around this issue. This certainty then allows ISP lawyers to instruct us to NOT forward these messages, without the worry (and expense) of testing it in court, and the consequences of getting it wrong. As a result of efforts in this direction I am sure most/all ISPs have ceased forwarding the Rightscorp notices. In fact, early indications are that Rightscorp may have ceased delivering these notices to Canadian ISPs themselves (for the moment, at least) as a result of these efforts. In short, tactics other than open defiance do not necessarily imply apathy. Things have happened very quickly to help right the ship on this issue.
I completely understand what ISPs have been doing, it’s essentially a risk assessment. Some don’t want to even take a small risk in sticking out their necks for their customers. However when you are running any business you assume risk on a daily basis, and a good solid reputable company will assume risks to protect their clients, or in this case subscribers. That’s a vary rare quality among those in telecom.
To be sure. I just wanted to make the point that even if the neck isn’t being stuck out all the way immediately that necks aren’t being stuck out at all, or that we aren’t working on behalf of our customers on these things. Again, I should mention that I am just speaking for ourselves, and if it’s not already perfectly obvious, I am most certainly not an employee of one of the “Big ISPs”. I can speak for them least of all. The point is, even among those of us who I would argue strongly are very much on the side of users in the very ways you would probably wish, these are difficult tactical decisions. We haven’t yet forwarded a single one of these Rightscorp notices, ever. However, without more explicit guidance from the government, we very well my have felt compelled to do so. Or in the very least we would have to have a very serious discussion among ourselves about the risk we’d be absorbing to defy it, and the potential costs of testing it in court, if it ever came to it. (We absolutely would have discussion though, and some of us would have argued intensely for defiance. The final decision is above my pay grade though, and would be based on legal advice, not my impassioned pleas, lol.)
Not to sound overly critical here, I think the ISP you work for should be congratulated for what you have done. However even you yourself stated the risk was minimal for ISPs not to forward off the misinforming notices. In hindsight and by your own admission the necks of the ISPs would have most certainly not been extended to the point of a legal execution.
“The point is, even among those of us who I would argue strongly are very much on the side of users in the very ways you would probably wish, these are difficult tactical decisions.”
All ISPs are on the sides of users especially when they are used as ploys in political wrangling. In this case ISPs got what they wanted politically, which was further clarification in law to further minimize an already minimal legal risk. There’s no logic in that.
There’s a time and place for political tactics. Those tactics IMO should never be used when the legal risk is minimal. Putting the users in the middle of a political battle between the telecom lobby and government at a time when those risks are minimal for all, expends important political capitol, and also creates apathy on important user issues. Maybe telecom needs better political advisers.
Point being, users should not be brought in the middle of a fight in which ISPs are more than capable of dealing with on their own.
The risk of *minimum* statutory damages of $5000 for failing to forward a compliant notice is NOT a “minimal risk”. The wording of the law implies this is *per notice*. I do not know if you are aware of the full volume of notices the industry receives. Teksavvy recently publicly stated they receive around 3000 of these a day. (I have reason to believe the vast majority of those are Rightscorp notices.) That would be facing the potential risk of $15 million in statutory damages for a single day’s worth of notices. That’s “minimal risk”?
I do not know what your professional background is, but there is there is a vital difference between what we as legal amateurs can agree is a “relatively low risk” of serious legal repercussions, and what my company’s lawyer might advise is an “acceptable risk” given the full body of law and possible consequences of a loss in court. If you do not appreciate the distinction, then I am not sure it is possible for this conversation to proceed any further. You will not understand the reasoning I am describing, and it will not be possible for me to explain it.
Truthfully, I can’t see why you’re expending so much effort defending the providers (non-) stance.
It’s blatantly obvious that providers have decided to take something that should be a non-issue, and treat it like a liability. (And, I’ll avoid speculating at the moment about why they would do this.)
Providers certainly have the right to refuse to knowingly forward false information to their customers, as well as demand a more appropriate notice to forward for them. It’s completely disingenuous to present the argument that they can’t be “determining what is legal”, when that very determination has already been made for all of us.
Canadian laws already state:
1) There’s a $5,000 cap on non-commercial infringement.
2) Internet connections are not being terminated,
3) No threats, whether direct or implied are to be made via these notices.
4) False information invalidates many legal claims.
5) As a provider, you can be charged with supplying false or harmfully misleading information to your customers.
6) As a legal representative, you can be charged with supplying false or harmfully misleading information in a notice of official or legal capacity.
Rightscorp is perfectly aware of #6, but also knows that THEY’RE not directly affected by OUR laws…
The same way WE’RE not directly affected by U.S. laws.
As far as I’m concerned, any provider that chooses to ignore the elephant in the room – and forward this knowingly false and negatively-motivating information – without so much as an acknowledgement or disclaimer, deserves every headache and/or loss they’re about to bring on themselves.
@ISPGuy Said: ” I think that most people would agree, including I suspect most lawyers, that if it were tested in court that ISPs would probably be exonerated for not forwarding these notices.”
I’m sorry but you’re starting to contradict your responses. My point being is that these notices “could” have been dealt with exclusively by the ISPs, without this situation becoming a public fiasco, expending political capital in the process.
@Devil’s Advocate said “As far as I’m concerned, any provider that chooses to ignore the elephant in the room – and forward this knowingly false and negatively-motivating information – without so much as an acknowledgement or disclaimer, deserves every headache and/or loss they’re about to bring on themselves.”
To that I agree, and the rest is PR fluff from industry lobbyists, who are kicking and screaming because they don’t want to accept any risk, no matter how small for sticking up for the user base. That’s sad.
We’re getting deep into dead horses and flogging here, but for the sake of clarifying misconceptions: No, I am not contradicting my own responses. I am explaining that there is a difference between expounding on a legal theory, and testing a legal theory in court, with a real judge, and real consequences if said judge disagrees with said legal theory. Many lawyers may agree with that it’s “likely” ISPs would be exonerated if they tested this “legal theory” in court. That doesn’t mean most lawyers would agree that it’s an “acceptable risk” to test that legal theory in court, especially when there are still other avenues that can be explored to get clarification on the law. There’s a lot that goes into the decision to test a new law like this in court, and it’s not to be taken lightly with so much potentially on the line. Whether you wish to believe that or not, it’s no less true. Oversimplifying that reality for the sake of advancing a preconceived idea of what everyone’s true motives are doesn’t strike me as a productive use of time, but to each their own.
My only purpose for posting here is that I personally care about the outcome of this, because it troubled my conscience deeply to have it legally mandated that we forward specious notices that demanded payments from people. I thought some people might benefit from the perspective of one ISP insider who has been personally wrestling with the implications of this law since it came into force earlier this month. You can trust my sincerity or not, but everything I have said about what has gone into our thinking on this has been truthful. Take it for what it’s worth.
“My only purpose for posting here is that I personally care about the outcome of this, because it troubled my conscience deeply to have it legally mandated that we forward specious notices that demanded payments from people. I thought some people might benefit from the perspective of one ISP insider who has been personally wrestling with the implications of this law since it came into force earlier this month. You can trust my sincerity or not, but everything I have said about what has gone into our thinking on this has been truthful. Take it for what it’s worth.”
The last time I heard something very close to this, was from an ISP who mislead users on points of copyright law, and who refused to get involved in defending their customers, rather taking a back seat to issues this ISP’s CEO was personally wrestling with. It’s was great speech then, as it is now.
I’ve sat in a broad room of an indie ISP before. I know the culture in Telecom putting the business interests first over consumers. It’s a cut throat industry. While you sound very sincere, your responses are very representative of that telecom culture I used to belonged too, and as such I probably would have been doing the exact same thing if I was in your position.
I’m beginning to believe people have forgotten how to think. There’s a couple of ideas that keep getting regurgitated…
1) “The problem with this is that it requires determining first that the information is false.”
NO DETERMINATION IS REQUIRED.
The information quotes American Law, and doesn’t reflect Canadian Law. Once conveyed to a Canadian, this information BECOMES false AUTOMATICALLY.
2) “a letter… should avoid calling the claimant a liar or making any other accusations.”
NO COMPLETELY TRUTHFUL STATEMENT CAN BE CONSTRUED AS AN ACCUSATION.
However, you can certainly be sued for making FALSE or MISLEADING statements, or for supplying such to clients.
Sometimes it’s helpful to remember it’s “HORSE” first, then “CART”.
@Devil’s Advocate said: “However, you can certainly be sued for making FALSE or MISLEADING statements, or for supplying such to clients.”
My synopsis The problem is with the legal risk assessments. Often when lawyers are looking at situations like this they take into account the level of understanding the client may or may not have regarding their rights. Then the look at the likely hood of people coming forward to sue on those rights, and what the ISP would be responsible for paying if they are successfully sued.
Now compare that with the damage awards for not forwarding a notice, and you have your risk assessment, which theoretically would out weigh the risk of people knowing what their rights are and suing the ISP for these notices.
The problem with that risk assessment, is the fact, that there is a lower risk in this case of a rights holder becoming successful in court than there would a client. So knowing this, they took to the public (because they want zero risk) and tried to get the public on their side, to ensure zero risk. It has nothing to do with being on side of the consumers. It has to do with assessing risk, which ISPs are quite clear want none when dealing with copyright complaints.
It’s starting to become a common theme now.
“User rights” or “On side with the consumer” statements are often than not, being used politically by all in Telecom lobbying to protect their own business. Unfortunately the political meaning of those statements has changed significantly in recent years, and no longer believable, and is also creating apathy.
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This is a relatively small, if annoying, oversight in an otherwise fairly reasonable bill. Its not really hard to “solve” this. Pass an amendment to issue fines for sending false or misleading notices. Problem solved. (Hell depending on how far you want to stretch your interpretations, you might even be able to squeeze it into existing fraud laws or maybe even something like false advertising laws.)
But I think that this could end up being lucky for Canadians in the long run if the right people bring it up in the right contexts. This shows VERY clearly that any new law, no matter how benign and balanced, can and will be exploited to the full extent of every possible loophole, and generally that will happen almost immediately.
Lawmakers need to be reminded of this every time there’s a potentially invasive or harmful law proposed, and the current incident provides a recent, well-published and extremely obvious example of exactly what can go wrong if they aren’t careful, no matter how small the loophole.
Warrantless wiretapping? You can pretty much assume that some agency somewhere will immediately decide to use it as a basis for wiretapping everything all the time — a PRISM-style system but running under the full light and blessing of the law — unless there’s some extremely strict oversight included in that law. Such as say, requiring a warrant. (Post-mortem oversight isn’t really strict enough as its far too easy to “lose” relevant evidence.)
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