Canada's Bill C-30: Get Ready for the Evidence-Free Bill to Spy on Your Online Activities

#Internet

Mon, Feb 13th, 2012 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

In his article titled Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lawful Access, But Were (Understandably) Afraid To Ask, Michael Geist -- a law professor at the University of Ottawa -- explains Bill C-30. The Internet surveillance legislation, which the Canadian government would like to introduce, would allow for a massive new surveillance infrastructure at all Canadian ISPs and remove the need for court oversight of the disclosure of customer information. Michael has "posted a detailed FAQ on the history of the bill, the likely contents, the lack of government evidence supporting the need for the invasive legislation, and what Canadians can do about it."

The first prong mandates the disclosure of Internet provider customer information without court oversight. Under current privacy laws, providers may voluntarily disclose customer information but are not required to do so. The new system would require the disclosure of customer name, address, phone number, email address, Internet protocol address, and a series of device identification numbers.

While some of that information may seem relatively harmless, the ability to link it with other data will often open the door to a detailed profile about an identifiable person. Given its potential sensitivity, the decision to require disclosure without any oversight should raise concerns within the Canadian privacy community.

The second prong requires Internet providers to dramatically re-work their networks to allow for real-time surveillance. The bill sets out detailed capability requirements that will eventually apply to all Canadian Internet providers. These include the power to intercept communications, to isolate the communications to a particular individual, and to engage in multiple simultaneous interceptions.

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