Post Tagged with: "toews"

Public Safety Shuffle Could Allow for an Internet Surveillance Restart

Sometime in the next few weeks, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is expected to be appointed to the Manitoba Court of Appeal. The Toews appointment is among the worst kept secrets in Ottawa, with the move causing a domino effect that will lead to a new minister and an opportunity for a fresh start on Internet surveillance legislation, one of the government’s biggest political blunders to date.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that Toews infamously introduced the Internet surveillance bill, often referred to as lawful access, by stating that critics of the bill could either stand with the government or with child pornographers. The comments sparked outrage from across the political spectrum as Canadians questioned the need for the legislation, the lack of privacy safeguards, and the divisive communications strategy.

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August 21, 2012 10 comments Columns

Public Safety Shuffle Could Allow for an Internet Surveillance Restart

Appeared in the Toronto Star on August 19, 2012 as Public Safety Shuffle Could Allow for an Internet Surveillance Restart  Sometime in the next few weeks, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is expected to be appointed to the Manitoba Court of Appeal. The Toews appointment is among the worst kept […]

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August 21, 2012 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Canadian Privacy Gets Toews-ed Again: Why a PIA on Airport Eavesdropping Isn’t Good Enough

For the second time this year, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has found himself at the centre of a major privacy backlash. In February, Toews was the lead on Bill C-30, the Internet surveillance legislation that sparked a huge public outcry that forced the government to shelve the bill within ten days. While Toews maintains the legislation will return (and implausibly argues that it could have assisted in the Magnotta investigation), it hasn’t moved in months.

The toxic connection between Toews and privacy escalated over the weekend with a report that Canada Border Services has installed surveillance equipment in the Ottawa airport that will allow for eavesdropping on traveller conversations. The report led to immediate questions in the House of Commons with Toews defending the practices and even revealing that the eavesdropping activities may be more extensive than initially reported. A day later, Toews was backtracking, announcing that the eavesdropping plans were on hold pending a review from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

That’s a start (the federal commissioner’s office expressed concern that no privacy impact assessment (PIA) has been filed), but frankly it isn’t nearly good enough to address the privacy concerns associated with this issue.

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June 20, 2012 8 comments News

Toews Draws False Link Between Magnotta Investigation and Lawful Access

As the search for Luka Magnotta continues, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has used the case as an opportunity to claim that Bill C-30 would have helped with the investigation. According to Toews, the Internet surveillance legislation would be helpful – “Certainly, that’s what the police have told me – […]

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June 4, 2012 20 comments News

Is Lawful Access Dead? Not Yet.

The Globe’s John Ibbitson has a column that confirms much of the private speculation about lawful access, namely that the bill is going nowhere so long as Vic Toews remains public safety minister. This is consistent with the prevailing view that Toews is so closely associated with the worst of […]

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May 16, 2012 2 comments Must Reads