Privacy Priorities - page 15

Lawful Access
Our Office understands the challenges
faced by law enforcement authorities in
fighting online crime at a time of rapidly
changing communications technologies,
and the need to modernize their tactics and
tools accordingly.
However, we have had significant concerns
with respect to the federal government’s
proposals to address the issue of lawful access.
The government’s Bill C-30 would have
enabled law enforcement to gain warrantless
access to subscriber information, such as an
IP address. The Bill’s proponents suggested
this was akin to information in a phone book.
Our Office’s technologists looked at the
degree of privacy intrusiveness in relation
to the specific information that the Bill had
proposed to make readily accessible to police.
In a technical analysis research paper
published on our website, we showed how
an IP address can, in fact, provide a starting
point to compile a picture of an individual’s
online activities including, for example,
online services for which an individual
has registered, personal interests based on
websites visited, organizational affiliations
and even physical location.
Canadians reacted strongly against Bill C-30
and expressed their concerns that it would
have a significantly negative impact on their
fundamental right to privacy.
We were pleased to see that the government
responded to those concerns, announcing in
February 2013 that Bill C-30 would not be
proceeding in Parliament.
Parliamentary Submissions
Over the years, our Office has appeared before
Parliamentary committees to share our views
on many proposed pieces of public safety
legislation and reviews, such as Canada’s Anti-
Terrorism legislation. We have also offered
our insights in testimony and submissions to
federal commissions of inquiry such as the
Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation
of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182.
What it means for you
Security and privacy are not mutually
exclusive; we can have both. In fact, we argue
they must be mutually reinforcing to protect
the democratic society in which we live.
Since designating this area as one of our
strategic priorities, we have been focusing
our efforts to bring legislators and public
safety agencies on board with this more
balanced approach.
Our work under this strategic priority has
strengthened our own insights into the issues.
It has reinforced our credibility among public
safety agencies, governments and the public.
This has enabled us to open vital channels of
communication with these stakeholders, to
ensure that privacy concerns remain front
and centre.
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