Lawyers ask feds to take action against nosy Internet suppliers

The 36,000-strong association representing Canada’s lawyers is calling on the federal government to take action against a “trend” of cyber spying by Internet service providers.

The Canadian Bar Association crafted a letter to three federal cabinet ministers after Bell Sympatico, Canada’s largest ISP, amended its service agreement with customers three weeks ago to reserve the right to “monitor or investigate” activity for possible reporting to government.

“We urge you to ensure that Canadians’ private information remains appropriately protected,” wrote Brian Tabor, president of the 36,000-member Canadian Bar Association.

The Bell clause, which took effect June 15, advised subscribers that the company retains the right to “monitor or investigate content or your use of your service provider’s networks and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy any laws, regulations or other governmental request.”

For more details, see:

Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun, July 10, 2006, “Bell’s move to monitor us an ominous portent

Ottawa Citizen, Friday, July 07, 2006, “Rein in nosy Internet suppliers, lawyers tell government

Canadian Bar Association Homepage, July 5, 2006, “CBA Says Monitoring By ISPs Could Erode Lawyer-Client Confidentiality

Prof. Michael Geist, Jul. 3, 2006, “Bell Controversy Puts Spotlight on Net Surveillance