New legislation that will impact online privacy to be introduced

John Ibbitson of the Globe and Mail reports here that privacy commissioners are concerned about “lawful access” legislation that the Conservatives are going to introduce in Parliament. It would allow police to access information from someone’s Internet service provider such as his or her cell phone number, IP address, and email address without a warrant. Ibbitson writes that:

The privacy commissioners believe that the federal government should not be giving police the power to acquire detailed information about who you are online without a judge’s say-so. The government says that the new powers are necessary to deter crime and terrorism.

The Conservatives argue that allowing the police to access this information is not a breach of privacy because this information just says who a person is. It is similar to what is found in a phone book. While the police could access this information without a warrant, they would need to obtain a warrant to actually monitor someone. The privacy commissioners, however, believe that the police should have to obtain a warrant to access this digital information.

3 Comments on "New legislation that will impact online privacy to be introduced"

  1. 2 Cents | 03/02/2012 at 3:29 pm |

    People on front line act differently than those behind Policy making desks.
    Police join the system to protect the public which will likely make Officers question their own morals. This causing them to supply information illegally due to legitimate feelings of assisting the public sharing protected privacy information.
    People should feel able to announce their personal feelings/opinions without it affecting their personal/business profile in public. Not as much truth will be shared amongst everyone if each person’s identity is blatently available to those who want it.
    Police are people. What if your friend knew an Officer who extracted data about you that hurt your personal relationship with them or put your business into bankruptcy?
    Is it an open market on information by any officer? Should there not be a system/policies in which an Officer can extract this information? A department within the detachment that must be consulted with before information is requested or possibly released. A way to ensure information is not available without proper need and that the officers name and purpose of that information is recorded for all reasons. An archive available to all including Officer that retrieved information, why it was retrieved, and an immediate email sent to the person about why their personal information was searched might prevent further crime by that person reducing cost to society. When it comes to personal information it should never be released without policies/legislation being followed. Permission to ensure proper release of information is the way to be, not at the individual desires of an individual officer.
    Should someone need a PI licence to stalk, monitor, take pictures of, tap into phone lines, record the daily life of someone? Should it be illegal to tap into Police communications? Should someone have their basic rights [not involved with criminal activity] respected? What is currently wrong with the warrant system? How long does it take to have a warrant issued and the information needed in the hands of those who asked for it? Do you believe that if Police want information immediately about something that it is not already available to them?

  2. Aylin Berberian | 06/02/2012 at 9:56 am |

    In my opinion, if the conservatives go thru with their plans and if the police are allowed to actually access someone’s computer or cell from their internet provider etc this will obviously be considered as a breach of privacy. There are many other ways to actually identify a person or a criminal than to access their privacy.
    I think that such an action is a breach to the “expectative de vie privée” basically every person expects that no one actually accesses their private life such as computer, cell phone etc. Privacy is also something that the Charter of Canada defends as a right so if it is a must to breach someone’s privacy, at least do it on a judge’s permission therefore get a Warrant to do so.
    I also think that this would lead to an abusive usage of private information about other people. Any police officer could actually filter your private life if they go ahead with what they are planning.

  3. If they go ahead with this proposed legislation it will be a giant step toward a police state where the government watches everything we do. This must be stopped.

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