February 15, 2012 – The government is in hot water with 93,000 Canadians after introducing a bill that would allow warrantless online spying. Known as Lawful Access, this legislation was introduced in Parliament on Tuesday as Bill C-30.
Public interest group OpenMedia.ca says that if passed unchanged, this bill will create a giant, unsecure, expensive data registry that collects the personal information of any Canadian at any time without a warrant.
Over 90,000 people to-date have signed a petition at http://www.StopSpying.ca  to protest the online spying bill—a growth of 10,000 since Tuesday morning—and a survey from Canada’s Privacy Commissioner show that 83 percent of Canadians oppose warrantless surveillance measures.
Though the government has focused on "you're with us or you're with the criminals"-style spin this week, small changes have been made to the bill in the face of growing outcry.
Further changes may come when the bill goes to committee—Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has agreed to consider proposed amendments.
OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson says: “Canadians want a clear statement from the government that they will not attempt to pass any legislation that would provide warrantless access to law-abiding Canadians’ private information.”
The group is asking for the legislation to include comprehensive internal controls, clear oversight, meaningful deterrents, and a system of enforcement.
OpenMedia.ca is a grassroots organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open and affordable Internet. The group works towards informed & participatory digital policy.
About Stop Online Spying
The Stop Online Spying campaign is supported by a group of public interest organizations, civil liberties groups, businesses, and concerned academics that have come together to encourage the government to reconsider "Lawful Access" legislation. The group points out that this type of legislation enables warrantless surveillance that is invasive, excessive and costly.
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca