Canada’s privacy commissioners will be surprised to hear it, but the Conservatives are accusing anyone who opposes their bill to give police new powers to monitor the Internet of supporting child pornography.
A similar comment might have cost Stephen Harper the 2004 election. But with the next election years away, it’s hard to know whether or when Public Safety Minister Vic Toews will change his tune.
Mr. Toews will introduce Lawful Access legislation, as it is commonly called, into the House of Commons Tuesday. Previous versions of the bill failed to make it through minority parliaments, but now that the Conservatives have a majority it is almost certain to pass.
The bill will require Internet service providers to store and to make available to the government and police forces information on the Internet activity of their customers.
Police will require a warrant to obtain that information. But the bill would also permit them to obtain IP addresses (which identifies someone on the Internet), email addresses, mobile phone numbers and other information without any warrant.
[…] But when Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia attacked the Conservatives for “preparing to read Canadians’ emails and track their movements through cellphone signals” – which does appear to be a severe distortion of the bill’s powers – Mr. Toews’s counterattack was fierce.
“As technology evolves, many criminal activities, such as the distribution of child pornography, become much easier,” he told the House. “We are proposing to bring measures to bring our laws into the 21st century and to provide police with the lawful tools that they need.
“He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.”
The Globe and Mail, John Ibbitson: “Tories on e-snooping: ‘Stand with us or with the child pornographers’”.