Justice Canada and BC FIPA held a meeting with civil society groups in the context of the government consultation on Lawful Access on March 15, 2005.
No one in the group assembled for the Vancouver consultation questioned the need for lawful access provisions in the Criminal Code and the Competition Act to address new technologies. However, there was substantial opposition to many of the proposals, and the following summarizes the key recurring comments made throughout the consultation:
The proposals went beyond what was required by the Council of Europe Convention on Cyber-crime.
The proposal of a lower threshold for obtaining legal access to transmission data was not acceptable and a higher threshold should be mandated. The analogy put forth by the government that transmission data is akin to DNR data, and that it does not attract a higher reasonable expectation of privacy, is false.
It will be very difficult to isolate certain traffic data (e.g. header information) from content, as suggested by the federal government.
E-mail, whether in storage or in transit should be protected at the higher threshold.
As in the 2002 consultation, there is a lack of empirical evidence to prove what difficulties, if any, the federal government is encountering with the current lawful access provisions and which would justify some of the proposals.
The March 31, 2005 deadline for submissions does not provide enough time for adequate consultation and preparation of submissions. The deadline should be extended.