Government myths on on-line spying debunked

December 1, 2011

 In a guest blog on the site, the technical lawyer for the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) debunks the following government rationalizations for the "lawful access" legislation:

  • that the need to respect a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy, as protected under the Charter, always guides law reform.
  • that such authority will continue to be exercised bearing in mind privacy rights under other legislation, such as the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
  • that police will still be required to obtain judicial authorizations in order to obtain information under our legislation.
  • that law enforcement agencies cannot intercept private communications or obtain transmission data without being authorized to do so by law.
  • that none of the lawful access tools in this legislation will reduce existing privacy safeguards such as warrants, court orders, and other judicial authorizations...
  • that the investigative tools created in this legislation preserve existing safeguards, such as requirements for warrants, court authorizations or other lawful authority to target specified communications. 
  • that these investigative tools are time-limited, and nothing put forward in the proposed legislation would reduce the existing safeguards.