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Tories seek to widen police access online

Matt Hartley and Omar El Akkad

From Friday's Globe and Mail, Friday, Jun. 19, 2009 01:36AM EDT

Police will have sweeping new powers to collect information about Canadian Internet users without a warrant, and activate tracking devices in their cellphones and cars under legislation proposed by the Conservative government yesterday and criticized by privacy advocates as excessive.

If the government's latest shot at introducing “lawful access” legislation – something successive governments have tried but failed to do for the past decade or so – succeeds, Internet service providers will also be forced to install monitoring technology on their servers to keep track of their users' online activities.

Edited by bjre
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The Globe and Mail article is simply wrong - this time The Star got it right, bless their soul - the police cannot gain access to the information without a warrant. The major change is that ISP's and Phone companies will now have to keep information if formally asked to do so by the authorities - then the cops have 21 days to convince a judge that they need to have access to the data. Seems like a very reasonable balance - although it will probably be expensive for ISP's and Telcos to make the system changes. Here's what the Globe wrongly said:

In 2007, public safety minister Stockwell Day said the government would not force ISPs to hand over personal information about their users to police without a warrant. Yesterday, though, the government proposed exactly that.

Here's what the Star reported (my bold):

The "lawful access" bill creates a sliding scale of powers for police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Competition Bureau. At a basic level, investigators could, without judicial authorization, serve a "preservation demand" on a telecommunications company or Internet service provider (ISP) to put all data and communications of a client into a kind of "quick freeze."

The company would have to retain the customer's information, and not delete it. The police then would have 21 days to go to court and persuade a judge they have "reasonable grounds to suspect" criminal activity – a lower legal threshold than required for a wiretap warrant – and to order the company to hand over the information under a "production order."

Or the police could seek a "preservation order" from the court to order data held for another 90 days.

The information could range from basic subscriber data like customer name, address, telephone number, and the Internet protocol address, email address, service provider identification and certain cellphone identifiers, or range up to the actual content of the communications, emails or text messages.

However, the police would still require a judicial warrant to seize the actual content of past communications or to intercept future digital conversations.

I'll leave it to your imagination as to why the Globe reported the story in the manner they did.

Link to The Star: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/653452

Edited by Keepitsimple
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KeepItSimple, it's a little more complex:

According to the Government of Canada, the new law would not provide police or the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) with additional intercept powers. Police forces and the CSIS will still require warrants for communication interception, the government says.

But they will not need a warrant when requesting a subscriber's personal information. At the news conference, Public Safety Peter Van Loan said that currently some ISPs are unwilling to provide personal info without a warrant and that this slows down investigations into crimes like child sexual exploitation or online theft.


If I understand properly, the police want ISPs to have what used to be called a "phone book" with names and addresses corresponding to an IP address. Police could consult this list without a warrant. I am not certain that that is technically possible or if there is not an easy way for a user to circumvet such a registry.

I see no harm in this but I wonder how effective it will be. I suppose that it will catch the stupid.

I'll leave it to your imagination as to why the Globe reported the story in the manner they did.
That's a different issue. Edited by August1991
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Oh god, I better be careful, most of what I say could really get me into hot water with liberal crypto communists...

I guess we're nearing the day when we'll be like the hapless russian victims of Communism... constantly cringing and afraid of being "disappeared" by the local black vans of the NKVD...

See what your liberal self righteousness and egalitarian do gooding have brought you canadians!

Enjoy your chains... clowns...

Edited by lictor616
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The internet is a publishing device - a huge one - every click of the keys is recorded - even telephone conversations - welcome to the brave new world of being part of an insect colony---You want to be connected like some bug to every other bug in the hive - then you pay the price - of mass electronic utiltitarian collective...You wanted it you have it...personally I wish this internet thing never came into being - we were better off without it - and now there is no turning back.....In time you will be like the Borg - resistance if futile... :lol:

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Even after you have passed away - some insect jerk somewhere will continue to use your identity and mimic your personality ----a few years back I was on a site called Perspectives - I did a lot of talking ...the management hated me because I caught them intentionally crashing the site of a small competator - the removed me and someone else continued on with my name - and posted signing off as me - and there is nothing I can do about it.

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