My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) examines recent Statistics Canada data on Internet use. The survey found that nearly 17 million Canadians – 68 percent of the adult population – used the Internet for personal non-business reasons last year. Moreover, almost two-thirds of Canadian adults who […]
Post Tagged with: "security"
The much-anticipated PIPEDA review is scheduled for later this year and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has kicked things off with a discussion/consultation paper. The Commissioner’s comments on the effectiveness of the law will be very important and this paper is presumably an attempt to gauge public opinion on several […]
My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) focuses on last week’s controversy involving Bell Sympatico and a change to its user agreement. The Bell clause, which took effect on June 15th, advised subscribers that the company retains the right to "monitor or investigate content or your use of your service provider’s networks and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy any laws, regulations or other governmental request."
A widely circulated Canadian Press story (which featured several of my comments), noted that the Conservative government is expected to reintroduce lawful access legislation this fall and speculated that the change might have been in anticipation of that statutory reform. Many online pundits also chimed in, pointing to the battle over network neutrality in the United States, expressing fears that the Bell change might be designed to pave the way for a two-tier Internet in Canada under which ISPs levy fees on websites to deliver their content.
For its part, Bell swiftly issued a statement emphatically denying that the amendments were linked to lawful access, maintaining that the company had a "a long and established history of protecting the privacy of its customers."
The gist of the column is that regardless of the motivations for the change – whether harmless drafting amendments, lawful access, or network neutrality – the public and media reaction demonstrates how increased Internet surveillance is a political and business minefield that invariably stirs up vociferous opposition.
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada today released her second annual report, this one focusing on the Privacy Act which addresses privacy protection within the public sector (the first annual report covered PIPEDA, which addresses private sector privacy protection). While the report provides ample evidence that the Office of the Privacy […]
This weekend’s arrest of 17 people in Toronto on terrorism-related arrests have generated significant worldwide attention. Not to be overlooked are the reports that Internet monitoring played a key role in the investigation. According to the Toronto Star "when CSIS began monitoring the sites allegedly used by some of the […]