Canadian ISP's would be forced to become Net spies, if new plan goes through

By Jon Newton 10/28/02

Private and anonymous Canadian Net accounts will be wide open to Canadian police and intelligence agencies if a plan revealed at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) goes through.

The scheme - floated in a 'discussion draft' - also suggests creating a national database of every Canadian with a Net account.

Dressed up as a way of, "keeping our laws current so that the police can do their job and keep Canadians safe," the plan was offered to the CAP meeting at the end of August by Lawrence MacAulay, at the time, Canada's Solicitor-General, Martin Cauchon, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Minister of Industry Allan Rock.


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This October, MacAulay was forced to resign over a contract scandal.

Involved in 'lawful access consultations' are the Department of Justice Canada, Solicitor General Canada, Industry Canada, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Competition Bureau.

"A central element of these proposed options would require all wireless, wireline and Internet service providers to have the technical capability to provide access to communications and information, under legal authority, to law enforcement and national security agencies," said a 'backgrounder', continuing: "Proposed Criminal Code amendments include the creation of production and preservation orders for data as well as other amendments to modernize the law to deal with new technologies."

In a media release, MacAulay, Cauchon and Rock said, "Lawful access is the lawful interception of communications, and the search and seizure of information by law enforcement and national security agencies. Updating lawful access legislation is essential to a broad range of investigative bodies, in their continued efforts to fight crimes such as terrorism, child pornography, drug trafficking, smuggling, Internet and telemarketing fraud, price fixing and money laundering.

"Lawful access can only be exercised with a lawful authority, and is well entrenched in laws such as the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Act, the Competition Act and other Acts of Parliament. Lawful access legislation also recognizes the privacy rights of all people in Canada and their rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"This consultation process will involve key stakeholders including law enforcement, telecommunications companies, civil liberties and privacy organizations. The public will also be given the opportunity to consider lawful access issues and options for change by obtaining a consultation paper, which is available at www.canada.justice.gc.ca/en/cons/la_al. Those wishing to respond may send their submissions to la-al@justice.gc.ca before November 15, 2002."

Whether you're Canadian or not, if you've got something to say about this, email me here.

Media Relations Office
Department of Justice
(613) 957-4207

Suzanne Thébarge
Director of Communications
Minister's Office
(613) 992-4621
Communications
Solicitor General Canada
(613) 991-2800

Media Relations
Industry Canada
(613) 947-1970

Selena Beattie
Press Secretary
Minister Rock's Office
(613) 995-9001

Jon Newton is the editor of p2pnet.net and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge to to explore it.

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