Need a warrant to unmask Internet users? Not if Canada gets its way
Canada’s Conservatives have interpreted their electoral triumph as a a go-ahead to begin a major assault on digital privacy.
A key part of the omnibus bill will apparently be “lawful access” rules giving police greater access to ISP and geolocation data—often without a warrant—and privacy advocates and liberals are up in arms.
Writing yesterday in The Globe & Mail, columnist Lawrence Martin said that the bill “will compel Internet service providers to disclose customer information to authorities without a court order. In other words—blunter words—law enforcement agencies will have a freer hand in spying on the private lives of Canadians.”
He quotes former Conservative public safety minister Stockwell Day, now retired, as swearing off warrantless access. “We are not in any way, shape or form wanting extra powers for police to pursue [information online] without warrants,” Day said—but there’s a new Conservative sheriff in town, and he wants his “lawful access.”