In the House of Commons Monday, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said this, in response to allegations that his about-to-tabled legislation, would allow police to obtain information about the online activities of Canadians without a warrant:
Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that any outrageous claims that private communications will be intercepted without a warrant is a complete fabrication. Our proposed approach will not allow police officers to access private communications without a warrant. That being said, our message is clear. If people use technology to commit crimes such as distributing child pornography, the police will apprehend them and they will be punished to the full extent of the law.
I’m having a little difficult squaring that statement with Section 16 of C-30 as tabled in the House this morning:
16. (1) On written request by a person designated
under subsection (3) that includes prescribed identifying information, every telecommunications service provider must provide the person with identifying information in the service provider’s possession or control respecting the name, address, telephone number and electronic mail address of any subscriber to any of the service provider’s telecommunications services and the Internet protocol address and local service provider identifier that are associated with the subscriber’s service and equipment.
Who are these persons “designated under subsection (3)” that simply need to show up with a request in writing rather than a order in the form of a warrant from a judge? Mostly police officers and CSIS security agents but also the Commissioner of Competition. In other words: bureaucrats can have at your online info too:
(3) The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Commissioner of Competition and the chief or head of a police service constituted under the laws of a province may designate for the purposes of this section any employee of his or her agency, or a class of such employees, whose duties are related to protecting national security or to law enforcement.