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Canada's Online Surveillance Bill: Section 34 "Opens Door To Big Brother" 178

Posted by samzenpus
from the watching-you dept.
Saint Aardvark writes "Canada's proposed online surveillance bill looked bad enough when it was introduced, but it gets worse: Section 34 allows access to any telco place or equipment, and to any information contained there — with no restrictions, no warrants, and no review. From the article: 'Note that such all-encompassing searches require no warrant, and don't even have to be in the context of a criminal investigation. Ostensibly, the purpose is to ensure that the ISP is complying with the requirements of the act — but nothing in the section restricts the inspector to examining or seizing only information bearing upon that issue. It's still "any" information whatsoever.'"
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Canada's Online Surveillance Bill: Section 34 "Opens Door To Big Brother"

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  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:14PM (#39094531) Homepage Journal

    .... earthling .... since this isn't new, nor the end of it. Eventually all of us will be under this sort draconian rule.

    Freedom. It was fun while it lasted.

    • Don't worry (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:25PM (#39094583)

      Section 34 was introduced merely as negotiation fodder. It will be thrown out so that opponents will be more willing to accept the other terms of the bill, which are the ones actually desired.

      Of course, over time this practice is repeated, and the net effect is the same. Frog in the kettle and all that. Eventually it gets too hot and people revolt and murder their leaders. But we probably have a while to go yet before that happens.

      • by tqk (413719)

        Frog in the kettle and all that.

        I don't like that game; no humans like that game, and we're not amphibians. We can't play that game.

        Eventually it gets too hot and people revolt and murder their leaders.

        "Eventually" is a pretty amorphous word. It might mean milennia, centuries, decades, or nanoseconds. Are we really going to roll those dice?

        I can't believe this. Who hired these !@#$holes? :-( Sedition is the flavour of the day?

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Section 34 was introduced merely as negotiation fodder. It will be thrown out so that opponents will be more willing to accept the other terms of the bill, which are the ones actually desired.

        Don't get the reasoning on this. Most people seem to be up in arms over the exigent circumstances part. But we already have that on the books, covering entry to a home, phone taps, mail, fire arms, etc. There's rules governing it if you do it. Serious penalties if you fail to follow the rules including long jail times. There's a reason why there's an exigent circumstances clause, the FLQ. [wikipedia.org] Canada has a pretty good, long history of home-grown terrorists who like doing nasty shit to pretty much anyone t

    • by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:29PM (#39094617) Journal

      SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith, under the guise of protecting childred from online pornographers, has proposed a new bill [businessinsider.com] that requires every Internet Service Provider to spy on every customer, logging every thing that they do online and keeping records for an entire year. Just in case. So... yeah. It's getting pretty bad.

      And of course these records would be discoverable by his Big Media sponsors.

      • "symbolset (646467) * Friend of a Friend on 03:29 PM February 19th, 2012 (#39094617) Homepage

        SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith, under the guise of protecting childred from online pornographers, has proposed a new bill that requires every Internet Service Provider to spy on every customer, logging every thing that they do online and keeping records for an entire year. Just in case. So... yeah. It's getting pretty bad.

        And of course these records would be discoverable by his Big Media sponsors."

        THANK YOU!

        Here it is, SO

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Freedom can only be taken away from you if you allow it. In fact you can take freedom _back_ if you so choose. The question is, do you care about your freedom enough to actually bring about some change, or are you so consigned to failure and apathetic that you're just not going to bother and let things go even further down the toilet?

      Always keep this in mind, because it's what every dictator, faux-democracy elected official and Gestapo wannabe wants you to forget -- there are a hell of a lot more of you tha

      • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:37PM (#39094697) Homepage Journal

        Sure, I will be there when the time comes, but there is no sense being a martyr at this point as the act will just go unnoticed.

        Pick winnable battles, in their proper time and place.

    • If you hate the laws you can leave the country. But when all countries have implemented the same shitty laws, there's nowhere to turn to. Same as trying to boycott a company by shopping elsewhere, only to find out both stores are owned by the same parent company. I thought about this years ago but figured it was me being cynical.. yet we seem to be on that very path.
  • by Brucelet (1857158) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:21PM (#39094571)
    There must be Big Brother porn somewhere...
  • Canada.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:28PM (#39094601)

    As an American, I honestly thought we lost our title of "Land of the Free" to you. Now we are watching you turn down the same dark road we fell down. Hopefully your people have more balls than the majority of the American people so they actually fight for it since you at least have us as an example to point to where that road leads.

    If not, I guess the next Civil War just might end up turning into something beyond just civil. I honestly foresee an American civil war within my lifetime with how things are going. If our neighbors to the north are going the same route we do, they might actually use that opportunity to take back theirs as well if they fall like we have.

    Now, time to mod me as troll or flamebait. Have at it.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      No civil war in our life time.

      My reasoning is that the majority of the population doesn't understand/care/know about stuff like this. Just because WE ( 10% perhaps ) do, that isn't enough to do anything about it other than wave our flag as our rights and freedoms get flushed down the drain.

      By the time the general pubic get to the point of wanting to take action, it will be too late.

      • Re:Canada.... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by youngone (975102) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:03PM (#39094821)
        I suspect it's really because the majority of the public are well fed and sheltered. Sure they're being milked financially by the corporate elite, but the situation isn't quite bad enough to provoke actual violence yet. Maybe if people are going hungry they'll start shooting. I wonder if there are parallels with the revolutions of 1848 here?
      • Re:Canada.... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:43PM (#39095057) Journal

        10% is enough to get things started, though. The American revolution was fought with fewer than 30% supporters at its peak, and most really didn't care.

        Which suggests that the real number is far, far less than 10%. Indeed, when you talk to people about, say, the freedom-of-travel impediments (of, say, TSA et al), most will actually get upset that you're upset about it.

        • by dryeo (100693)

          There was a lot of money to be made by revolting and the media was on the side of that money.
          It's the opposite now. The important thing now is the media is on the governments side.

    • Prediction of USA future: In ten years the USA will be bankrupt (can't pay bills), massive riots and such. The army (mostly recruited from the poor) will side with the poor and you'll have a the army overthrow the gov. Based on how that works in the third world, you'll have a succession of army dictators with the occasional short lived "elected" president. I can't see the fine details, but I'm pretty sure the 1% will be getting lined up against the wall.
      • by will_die (586523)
        If you look at numbers released for the US Government in 2006-2007 that is not the case. Recruits from the poorest quintile of neighborhoods make up less than 11% while those in the richest make up over 25%.
        So don't sweat the fine details.
    • by kyrio (1091003)
      We've already killed this entire proposal three times in the last 10 or 14 years. It's been under a different name every time. You can easily find it by searching and it's even on Wikipedia.
  • by Nadaka (224565) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:32PM (#39094653)

    The list of countries I can go to that are neither 3rd world shit holes, police states, or both is becoming vanishingly small.

    • by ctishman (545856)

      That's because a great country is what you make of it.

      You want your freedoms? You can pay for them in the sweat of your brow or the passion in your heart or the cash in your pocket like your ancestors did or you can settle for what you've got.

      Now, I'm not saying this in a 'USA love it leave it' sense - Some countries are more ripe for the fostering of democratic progress than others - but moving to a place and looking to live off the benefits of its preÃstablished press and lifestyle freedoms is closin

  • by seyyah (986027) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:32PM (#39094659)

    That's the CBC headline after interviewing Toews about his own bill: Toews surprised by content of online surveillance [www.cbc.ca].

    It's worth listening to the interview that was aired on The House yesterday.

    • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:02PM (#39094817)

      The real question, the one the CBC didn't hammer on, was:

      "Then who wrote the bill, Minister? Who put that in there?"

      • by seyyah (986027) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:30PM (#39094971)

        The real question, the one the CBC didn't hammer on, was:

        "Then who wrote the bill, Minister? Who put that in there?"

        Good point. I hope that the NDP will be raising that question in the House of Commons this week.

        On the CBC, I sometimes wonder if they are a little hesitant to go after the Conservatives too much for fear of appearing partisan in the eyes of the government. I can remember the supporters' shouts of "Shut down the CBC!" during the election when CBC reporters asked Harper tough questions. My guess is that the CBC knows it is treading a thin line under the current government.

        • by jpmorgan (517966)

          The Liberals wrote the bill, back in 2002. They called it Lawful Access, and then Modernization of Investigative Techniques.

          • The Liberals may have started the ball rolling, but you can't tell me the Conservatives haven't made changes to it.

            Otherwise, Vic Toews, the sponsoring Member of Parliament, has had TEN YEARS to read and understand this bill and still admits to not knowing what every single part of it contains.

            • You have to understand that to the PCs, every bad thing was the Liberals' fault. I know it's been ten years since they were in power, but everything bad in the country was because of the Liberal Party.

              • There are no more Progressive Conservatives, of course. I actually could have voted for them against the Liberals. But the PCs sold their souls for short-sighted political gain and got assimilated by the Reform/Canadian Alliance party. Otherwise I agree with your post.

                Where previous governments were able to pass laws and do stuff with actual consequences, the current government and their supporters at least has some justification for claiming "we're cleaning up the mess" even if I don't agree with what they

        • by Xest (935314)

          It's the same here in the UK with the BBC. The BBC has taken quite some hits this last few years in terms of reduced funding and artificial limitations placed on it's ability to compete.

          The reason is that the Tories want the favour of Murdoch and Sky, who were all set to take 100% of Sky over until the phone hacking scandal upended the deal. By weakening the BBC, strengthening Sky, and strengthening Murdoch's grasp of Sky they were trying to ensure that TV became their own personal propaganda channel.

    • They are lobbyist porn. All they are looking for is a name to stick on it, the politicians are just puppets dancing in front of the crowd.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:35PM (#39094691) Journal

    The warrant system works pretty well. It is not perfect but it was never meant to be. There are abuses and innocent people get affected but the justice system was designed like this. Only the naive think you can have a legal system that can at least be somewhat effective without ever inconveniencing anyone. You might get your entire house torn up because of a wrongly issued warrant and that bloody sucks and compensation may be way to low but it is the price for the legal system we got. Better hope that like most, you never notice how it is to be subject of a police investigation.

    BUT why chance this? The warrant system WORKS. It is effective enough and has proven checks and balances. The only reason to change this is if you want to chance the way the legal system works. Now there are two reasons to do it. To make it better or to make it worse. Somehow I can't see how removing warrants and oversight and review from searches is going to make the legal system any better. More effective?

    The legal system works because most of us have no real reason not to make it work. In holland a recent news story was that of a man in a car trying to abuct several kids and succeeding with one. The police investigate and during their investigation they encountered two men, one who refused to let the police into his house (had a hennep farm inside) and one who refused to show ID... this wasted police time if nothing else. Cops had to check out why these two men were refusing to cooperate rather then simply going on to the next house/person to search for the abductor.

    It is safe to assume to police didn't just question these two men. The rest of the people investigated were innocent and had nothing to fear from the law, so could be easily eliminated.

    If anything can be searched any time by anyone, encryption will become the norm, so even if the police get a warrant, they can't eliminate the innocent in a search and will have to spend a lot more time investigating. Make everyone a criminal and finding the serious criminal will become a lot harder.

    I am not a privacy nutter, I think that the justice system having special powers is the correct way to go about them, but there must be check and balances and the process open to outside review to make sure abuses do not happen. This is not new, this is the current situation. I am VERY suspicious of anyone who claims this has to change. Extra ordinary powers require extra ordinary reasons. So far I have not heard any.

  • by fred911 (83970) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:54PM (#39094775)

    There goes my vote for Canada for US President!

  • Core issue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperTechnoNerd (964528) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:06PM (#39094837)
    If you deconstruct this whole thing, both in US and Canada and all over the world in fact, it comes down to one thing. There are people our there that just can't stand the fact that they don't know what your doing behind closed doors. That the don't know who your screwing or in what position for that matter. That they don't know who your talking to and why. That they don't know your personal secrets. They can't stand this. They automatically think that the desire for privacy = criminal. I mean you must be a criminal if you send private love letters to your girlfriend. Thees people will stop at nothing and use any excuse to rid personal privacy. They use lame excuses like "Think of the children" and the like. And the internet makes their head spin - millions of people are using it - and we need to know why what for and what their doing.

    If your encrypt your traffic, your a criminal.
    • by dryeo (100693)

      Vic Toews, the minister responsible for this, had a seven year affair with his baby sitter (then impregnated another young woman). He obviously thinks the rest of us has his morals.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:17PM (#39094899)

    As a Canadian who's a swing voter I think not only should such an absurd bill be killed but the sanity of whichever MP backs it seriously put into question. Any MP that backs such totalitarian surveillance bill is no longer qualified to hold office and should automatically have their re-election campaign targeted.

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:59PM (#39095147)
    Harper is not right wing. Harper is a technocrat. Technocrats need to control information. This would be the ultimate control. Harper doesn't care about reading Joe Nobody's email. A good example of what this bill would be used for would be to find who leaked the information about the Minister who's career just ended.

    Where Joe Nobody will get nailed is that their communications will be run through filters and false positives will be generated. Then when you do things like board airplanes or cross borders you will be interrogated about the sales chearleading you did when you said to your team, "Go knock'em dead. Totally destroy them. Our product will be like a bomb stuck up their asses." Poof you find your computer's seized, your accounts frozen, and any attempts to clarify and correct meeting a wall of "national security".

    Can you imagine what would have happened though before the G20 in Toronto. I suspect an email with "The police suck" might have gotten you arrested.
  • by Paracelcus (151056) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @07:39PM (#39095725) Journal

    Is (if the US is a model) going to do any damn thing they want, any time they damn want, regardless of any "law"!

    Guess what, governments don't follow "laws", they make (almost) everybody else follow them!

  • Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who introduced the bill to Parliament, had absolutely no idea what was in it [www.cbc.ca] or why people would be so upset about it.

    So, you see, everything is okay. You trust the Public Safety Minister, don't you?

    It's not like he's lying through his teeth or anything. Or hopelessly incompentant.

    Well, technically he would have to be one or the other, but you can still trust him, right?

  • by jpmorgan (517966) on Monday February 20, 2012 @01:12AM (#39097295) Homepage

    This will probably end up downmoded amongst the fearmongering, but this "analysis" is based on a gross misreading. Surveillance under section 34 can't be used for legalized spying because:

    1. Section 34 doesn't authorize it. It authorizes the use of those inspection powers only to check for ISP conformance with the rest of the act, and
    2. C-30 amends, but does not derogate the Criminal Code, and section 34 powers aren't given an exemption to Section 184 of the Criminal Code. An inspector operating under section 34 is not considered to be authorized to intercept telecommunications for the purposes of 184. Doing so would be a criminal offence.

    Rule of thumb: If you read anything online about Canadian law, it's probably wrong.

  • Take a look at the astounding usefulness of social media over the past year in assisting overthrowing governments. Plain and simple: knowledge has always been the enemy of the ruling class, and an unregulated and uncontrolled internet that focuses on decentralized dissemination of knowledge is their chief threat. Do you think the Western powers are going to just roll over after such a powerful demonstration of what the internet can do? Fortunately, they have cannon fodder like Wikileaks and extremist web

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