JOINT LETTER QUESTIONS WHY GOVERNMENT IS AVOIDING DEBATE ON INTERNET SURVEILLANCE LEGISLATION
A new “Stop Online Spying” coalition of Canadian public interest organizations and academics released a joint letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper today, voicing grave concerns about pending omnibus legislation that would allow for warrantless online spying on Canadians (“Lawful Access” legislation).
The letter calls on the government to, at minimum, give the proposed legislation an appropriate hearing instead of rushing it through Parliament.
“This legislation has never been to committee and MPs haven’t heard a single witness on what the government is proposing,” said Vincent Gogolek, FIPA’s Executive Director. “Given the serious concerns expressed by the Privacy Commissioners, burying these proposals in a catch-all omnibus crime bill is reckless and irresponsible.”
“The government’s own supporters are opposed to online spying without oversight,” added Gogolek. He pointed out that former Conservative Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day — and presumably the Conservative government — were formerly opposed to online spying without warrants http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2007/09/14/tech-privacy-warrant.html:”Click Here”.
“Why did the government drop its principled position on this? That’s another reason we need a full debate on these measures.”