Come back with a warrant by Rosalyn Davis (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/aoPzWb
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 166: Colin Bennett on How the Government Is the Using the Budget Implementation Act to Weaken the Privacy Rules for Political Parties
For the second consecutive year, the government is using the Budget Implementation Act to quietly pass concerning legislation with minimal oversight or public attention. Last year, the BIA was used to extend the term of copyright in order to comply with the USMCA. This year, it is privacy that is at issue, with provisions related to political parties. Why would the government squeeze in privacy rules on political parties in Bill C-47?
Colin Bennett, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria and a leading privacy expert, has the answer. He’s been focused on Canada’s inadequate privacy rules governing political parties for a decade and is now sounding the alarm on the bill, noting that the provisions appear to be an effort to sideline a case in British Columbia that would apply tougher provincial privacy rules to Canada’s national political parties. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to explain.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 119: Canada’s Zombie Policy Proposal – Christopher Parsons on the Never-Ending Debate Over Lawful Access
The political and policy battles over lawful access have been going on for decades, cutting across multiple governments both Liberal and Conservative. The so-called zombie policy proposal resurfaced again last summer as then Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault included elements of lawful access within his online harms consultation. The government plans to revisit its plans for online harms, but the lawful access issue is sure to return.
Dr. Christopher Parsons is a Senior Research Associate at the Munk School’s Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, where his research focuses on third-party access to telecommunications data, data privacy, data security, and national security. He previously appeared on the podcast to discuss the questions about the use of Huawei equipment in Canada’s telecom networks and returns to talk about the history of the lawful access debate, the implications of warrantless access to subscriber data, and the recent revival of the lawful access issue.
Anti-Lawful Access Tide Continues: Security Consultation Finds Public Strongly Opposed to New Reforms
Law enforcement efforts to revive lawful access reform continue to face political and public opposition. Earlier this month, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security recommended that the current approach remain unchanged. Indeed, Committee Chair Rob Oliphant said that police sought expanded powers, but that the argument was not yet “compelling.”
Public Safety’s report released last week on responses to its national consultation on security indicates that the broader public agrees. The issue drew the majority of feedback during the consultation:
Public Safety Committee Recommends Against Lawful Access Reforms
Last month, I wrote about the recent initiative to revive lawful access, the rules that govern police access to Internet and subscriber information. A cybercrime working group has held consultations (I participated in one) as law enforcement seeks new powers for warrantless access to some ISP information (called “pre-cursor” data) and a new, lower threshold warrant for other subscriber data. While law enforcement has argued that the current system is broken, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security has recommended that the current approach remain unchanged.
The committee’s much anticipated report on developing a road map for national security contains dozens of recommendations (my colleague Craig Forcese reviews many of them) including one on lawful access. It states:
Why Warrantless Access to Internet Subscriber Information is Back on the Legislative Agenda
The federal government has yet to release its response to last year’s national security consultation, but at least one thing is increasingly apparent. Lawful access, the regulations that govern police access to Internet and telecom subscriber information, will be back on Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s legislative agenda. My Globe and Mail column notes that the details of the complex new rules that would grant warrantless access to some telecom and Internet information system are still a work-in-progress, but the final outcome is sure to raise concerns with the privacy advocates as well as telecom and Internet providers.
A cybercrime working group comprised of senior officials from federal, provincial and territorial governments have spent months developing the new lawful access framework. It recently held two invitation-only consultations on the issue with Canadian telecom and Internet companies as well as civil society groups and academic experts. I participated in the latter event, which was held under Chatham House rules that allow for disclosure of the content of the meeting without attribution to specific commentators.