Legislation debated by Parliament on March 26 would enable a range of government authorities access to the private lives of millions of law-abiding Canadians. It would also grant immunity to telecom providers who hand over their customers’ private information to authorities without a warrant. That’s according to legal experts consulted by OpenMedia.ca, which is leading a nationwide campaign against the proposed legislation.
Over 65 pages of Bill C-13 were lifted from the government’s failed Online Spying Bill C-30 which was introduced by Vic Toews and withdrawn amidst public uproar after over 150,000 Canadians spoke out against it. The bill also problematically includes proposals to tackle the important issue of cyberbullying. The Official Opposition has joined OpenMedia.ca in calling for Bill C-13 to be split, so that important measures tackling cyberbullying can be dealt with separately.
“Let’s be clear: This online spying bill is a dangerous piece of legislation that would open the floodgates to government spying on innocent Canadians,” says OpenMedia.ca executive director Steve Anderson. “We know the government has been spying on Canadians through their spy agency CSEC. Now it seems they’re trying to cover their tracks by granting legal immunity to telecom providers who hand over private information to authorities.”
Anderson continued: “What’s even worse is the way the government is using bullied children as an excuse to try to smuggle through this deeply unpopular online spying legislation. If Peter MacKay had any sense of decency he would split this bill so that important measures to tackle cyberbullying can be passed separately. It seems Minister MacKay is too cowardly to advance his online spying bill on its merits instead of trying to smuggle it through with this reprehensible approach.”
Canadians are already speaking up about Bill C-13, with a recent video launched by OpenMedia.ca going viral and making the top 2 posts on Reddit Canada. Over 34,000 have now joined the Protect Our Privacy Coalition which is calling for effective legal measures to protect Canadians’ privacy from government spies.
Canadians can join the Protect Our Privacy Coalition at http://OurPrivacy.ca
OpenMedia.ca is a network of people and organizations working to safeguard the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy.
About OpenMedia.ca’s privacy campaign
OpenMedia.ca led the successful StopSpying.ca campaign that forced the government to back down on its plans to introduce a costly, invasive, and warrantless online spying law (Bill C-30). Nearly 150,000 Canadians took part in the campaign. To learn more, see this infographic.
Last October, OpenMedia.ca joined with over 50 major organizations and over a dozen academic experts to form the Protect Our Privacy Coalition, which is the largest pro-privacy coalition in Canadian history. The Coalition is calling for effective legal measures to protect the privacy of every resident of Canada against intrusion by government entities.
OpenMedia.ca and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) recently announced they will work together to put a stop to illegal government surveillance against law-abiding Canadians. OpenMedia.ca has launched a national campaign encouraging Canadians to support a BCCLA legal action which aims to stop illegal spying by challenging the constitutionality of the government’s warrantless collection of data on Canadians’ everyday Internet use.