The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.
The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.
For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.
The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.
This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Michael Geist's regular column comments upon various trends that he finds worrying, including the Lawful Access Initiative, which will require telcos to make the Canadian Internet wiretap-friendly.
What do you want the Internet to be?
".... Notwithstanding the Internet’s remarkable potential, there are dark clouds on the horizon. There are some who see a very differing Internet. Theirs is an Internet with ubiquitous surveillance featuring real-time capabilities to monitor online activities. It is an Internet that views third party applications such as Vonage’s Voice-over-IP service as parasitic. It is an Internet in which virtually all content should come at a price, even when that content has been made freely available. It is an Internet that would seek to cut off subscriber access based on mere allegations of wrongdoing, without due process or oversight from a judge or jury.This disturbing vision of the Internet is not fantasy. It is based on real policy proposals being considered by the Canadian government today.
Leading the way is the federal government’s “lawful access” initiative. While the term lawful access sounds innocuous, the program, which dates back to 2002, represents law enforcement’s desire to re-make Canada’s networks to allow for lawful interception of private communications. If lawful access becomes reality, Canada’s telecommunications service providers (TSPs) will be required to refit their networks to allow for real-time interception of communications, to have the capability of simultaneously intercepting multiple transmissions, and to provide detailed subscriber information to law enforcement authorities without a court order within 72 hours.
Moreover, Canada’s TSPs will be subject to inspections and required to provide the government with reports on the technical capabilities of their networks. All of these activities will be shrouded in secrecy with TSPs facing fines of up to $500,000 or sentences of up to five years in jail for failing to keep the data collection confidential.All of these changes come at an enormous cost – both financially (hundreds of millions of dollars in new technology) and to our personal privacy. While some changes may be needed for security purposes, the government has yet to make the case for why the current set of powers, which include cybercrime and wiretapping provisions, are insufficient. Moreover, there has been no evidence provided that this approach is the least privacy invasive alternative...."
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