Government Provides Hollow Gesture to Quell Outrage About Online Spying Bill

OpenMedia.ca warns delay may be “a hollow gesture” designed to wait out the outcry

February 25, 2012 – Government sources revealed today that they will delay the next step toward passing their controversial online spying bill. Grassroots group OpenMedia.ca—which led the charge against the bill with their Stop Online Spying campaign—says that this appears to be an attempt by the government to quell the widespread public outcry over the invasive and costly nature of the legislation.

While the government has yet to commit to any specific changes, Bill C-30—also known as “lawful access” or “online spying” legislation—was set to go to committee early for amendments. But the government now says the bill is unlikely to be moved forward in the coming weeks.

“Delaying the legislation is likely to continue to draw the ire of Canadians,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “While this is a welcome development, it will likely be seen as a hollow gesture until the government meaningfully addresses Canadians’ well-articulated concerns.”

Anderson continues: “Canadians have been abundantly clear for many months now that the government needs, at minimum, to pull the warrantless access part of the legislation. To satisfy us, the government must commit to this, and to only add new powers that have been proven necessary, not just what the police lobby asks for.”

OpenMedia.ca continues to encourage Canadians to email their MPs about the online spying bills at http://openmedia.ca/mp.

About OpenMedia.ca

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 the Stop Online Spying Campaign

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.

To date over 114,000 Canadians have signed OpenMedia.ca’s StopSpying.ca petition, 130,000 have viewed viral PSA videos on the subject, and tens of thousands took to Twitter through the #TellVicEverything hashtag.

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Contact

Lindsey Pinto
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
778-238-7710
lindsey@openmedia.ca

More Information

The Stop Online Spying Campaign
http://StopSpying.ca
http://openmedia.ca/educate
http://openmedia.ca/mp
http://openmedia.ca/screening

Full text of the online spying bills
http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Docid=5380965&f...

Survey indicates vast majority of Canadians oppose warrantless online spying
http://www.openmedia.ca/blog/survey-indicates-vast-majority-canadians-op...

Lawful Access Legislation: Police Misusing Funds Lobbying For Spying Powers
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/01/18/lawful-access-legislation-police...

Rick Mercer rants about the online spying bill
http://youtu.be/x_3q_9_OC-o

Online surveillance bill setup costs estimated at $80M
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/02/22/pol-lawful-access-costs...

Conservative snooping bill spin fails to defuse backlash, Conservatives “entertain amendments”
http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/02/15/conservative-snooping-bill-spin...

Joint letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper from academics and public interest organizations
http://openmedia.ca/letter-prime-minister-stephen-harper-response-lawful...

Letter to Public Safety Canada from Canada's Privacy Commissioners and Ombudspersons on the current 'Lawful Access' proposals
http://www.priv.gc.ca/media/nr-c/2011/let_110309_e.cfm

More links: http://openmedia.ca/stopspying/resources#links

Topics: Online Spying

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