Canadian police urge Parliament to pass domestic spying bill
The Conservative government’s widely criticized online surveillance legislation may be on the back burner, but another bill that would expand police access to Internet users’ data is about to resurface.
Bill C-12 would make it easier for Internet service providers, email hosts and social media sites to voluntarily share personal information about customers with authorities, possibly including private security firms.
The legislation could also effectively impose a gag on the Internet companies, preventing them from telling customers their personal details have been shared.
“It broadens the conditions under which law enforcement can resort to this voluntary sharing regime,” said Tamir Israel, staff lawyer at the University of Ottawa’s Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.
“It definitely reduces even further any accountability for it.”
Government House leader Peter Van Loan recently signalled the little-noticed bill could come up for second-reading debate as early as Wednesday.
Currently, under the federal privacy law covering businesses, Internet providers may voluntarily hand over information about subscribers without consent to assist police or intelligence officers with the enforcement of Canadian laws, as well as matters of national security, defence or international affairs