Canadian Conservatives are trying to push through a new network monitoring bill and anybody who opposes such a blatant attack on privacy are said to be supporters of child pornography.
The Globe and Mail reports that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is set to introduce Lawful Access legislation into the House of Commons today. Now that the Conservatives have the majority, the bill is certain to pass.
The bill will require ISPs to collect information on their customers and make all of their activity available to the government and police.
Understandably, the bill would require police to obtain a warrant to view Internet activity of anybody suspected of a crime. The bill, however, does not require a warrant for the police to view IP addresses, email addresses, mobile phone numbers and other information.
Many people in watchdog privacy groups are calling it “surveillance by design.” Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia attacked the bill for “preparing to read Canadians’ emails and track their movements through cellphone signals.”
Toew was waiting for such an accusation and used the opportunity to bring out the all powerful “We must protect the children” card:
“As technology evolves, many criminal activities, such as the distribution of child pornography, become much easier.“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.”
This is apparently not the first time the Conservative politicians have played the “child porn” card as they said former PM Paul Martin supported child pornography by not being tougher on crime. The attacks on liberals is apparently what led to a last minute victory for them in 2004. Unfortunately, there is no such election on the horizon for Toews can keep on saying whatever he wants.
I think we can all agree that protecting children is important, but equating a right to privacy to enabling child pornography is absolutely ridiculous.
We’ll keep you updated on the bill as it’s very similar to Lamar Smith’s “turd wrapped in cotton candy.”