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Lawful Access is an invasive and anti-Internet set of electronic surveillance laws that would turn Internet service providers against their own customers by making them state agents, obligated to assist in state investigations.
Internet service providers will be forced to take steps to counter online encryption and anonymity and implement tracking technology, and they will pass the cost of doing so onto their customers.
“Authorities” will be granted an unchecked expansion of online surveillance powers, yet the government has not demonstrated why these increased powers are needed and/or why current powers are insufficient.
These new police powers have never received proper debate in the House of Commons and have never been the subject of committee hearings. The government is hastily pushing through this legislation with little, if any, oversight or debate.
ISPs will be required to significantly redesign their networks to allow for real-time surveillance so that government can know exactly what is going on, as it happens
ISPs will be required to have detailed capability requirements -- including the power to intercept communications, isolate communications to a specific individual, and engage in multiple simultaneous intercepts
Mandate ISP assistance with testing surveillance capabilities and disclosing names of employees engaged in the interceptions
As the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, I felt compelled to write to you today regarding the federal government’s insistence on enacting a highly intrusive surveillanceregime. I do so in full support of Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Stoddart and the open letter she sent to Minister Toews on October 26th.
At the outset, please note that my mandate includes commenting on developments that affect the personal privacy of Ontarians, and overseeing law enforcement compliance with privacy legislation in Ontario. The proposed surveillanceregime will have a substantial impact on the privacy rights of Ontarians, law enforcement functions, and the role of my office.
Media reports referring to Minister Toews’ rejection of Commissioner Stoddart’s concerns and quoting his defence of the regime suggest that the government will re-introduce Bills C-50, C-51, and C-52 (“the Bills”) in essentially the same form in which they appeared in the last Parliament. In my view, that would be highly regrettable for the people of Ontario and Canada. I am writing this open letter to outline my specific concerns and concrete recommendations.