Thursday, 19 May 2011

Big Brother may soon be watching you

The good folks over at have just launched a campaign against the Harper Government's potential Orwellian move on Canada’s Internet.

Lawful access legislation, expected to be tabled as early as June, is part of the Conservative omnibus crime bill, and may be a move to establish massive Internet surveillance, potentially at enormous costs to both personal privacy and Internet services.

Details of new legislation will remain unknown until tabled in the House of Commons, but lawful access is part of 11 previous justice and crime bills that died on the order paper when the Harper government fell on contempt of Parliament March 25. Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised a majority government would deliver a bundled omnibus crime bill within the new Parliament’s first 100 days. The bold "law-and-order" pledge was part of the Conservative "Here for Canada" package of election promises.

All of Canada’s provincial and territorial privacy commissioners recently expressed grave concern over previously tabled legislation. Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, sent William Baker, former Deputy Minister for Public Safety Canada, a letter March 9 denouncing the Conservative initiative to amend the legal regime governing the use of electronic search, seizure and surveillance.

As such, everyone is invited, indeed encouraged, to read up on what lawful access means: What it is and what it may NOT do for you. OpenMedia is also asking for input on its campaign, and assistance with getting the word out on "Internet Surveillance: How Do We Stop It?" , an extension of their "Stop the Meter campaign."

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