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Bill C-30, Section 34: Where are all the Conservative libertarians on this?

Scary stuff found in Section 34 of Bill C-30, courtesy of Terry Milewski of CBC:

Section 33 tells us that, ‘The Minister may designate persons or classes of persons as inspectors for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Act.’..Section 34 spells out the sweeping powers of these “inspectors.” And, if they sound Orwellian, welcome to the world of Section 34.

The inspectors may “enter any place owned by, or under the control of, any telecommunications service provider in which the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe there is any document, information, transmission apparatus, telecommunications facility or any other thing to which this Act applies.”

And, once he or she is in, anything goes.

The inspector, says the bill, may “examine any document, information or thing found in the place and open or cause to be opened any container or other thing.” He or she may also “use, or cause to be used, any computer system in the place to search and examine any information contained in or available to the system.”

The inspector — remember, this is anyone the minister chooses — is also empowered to copy anything that strikes his or her fancy. The inspector may “reproduce, or cause to be reproduced, any information in the form of a printout, or other intelligible output, and remove the printout, or other output, for examination or copying.”

Oh, and he can even use the ISP’s own computers and connections to copy it or to email it to himself. He can “use, or cause to be used, any copying equipment or means of telecommunication at the place.”

In short, there’s nothing the inspector cannot see or copy. “Any” information is up for grabs.

All of this Big Brother stuff done without a warrant, if Bill C-30 passes in its original form. The Conservatives don’t want the judiciary interfering, you see.

All of the C(c)onservative libertarians came out of the woodwork decrying the “intrusive” long form census, and “Big Government” supposedly ready to confiscate all the guns of freedom loving duck hunters and gun enthusiasts due to the long-gun registry. How can they, if being consistent with their beliefs, support a bill like this in good conscience?

10 comments to Bill C-30, Section 34: Where are all the Conservative libertarians on this?

  • Stan

    Hmm, more factually challenged liberals…
    yawn

  • Fred from BC

    Beerbob says:

    So, I’m guessing here, Fred, that you think it’s a bad thing.

    Yes, as I said in a previous post.

    I happen to agree with you. Are you doing anything about it?

    Don’t need to do anything about it, since the bill is already slated to be changed (again, previous post).

    The actual bill means that your ISP is required to keep records of all of your activity, and that the authorities can go in at any time and make a copy of all of your activity on the Internet. For any reason, or no reason at all.

    Yes, IF they have a warrant. Failing that, the only information they can get is identifying information (name, address, phone, email, IP address, etc). They can NOT read your emails or track your website activity without a warrant.

    That said, it’s ironic that recent polling shows the areas of the country most opposed to this bill are largely Conservative (Alberta, for one). It’s a bad bill, but it will be changed enough to make it both palatable and effective…

    • Beerbob

      Since when does being designated by a government minister amount to a writ? You should be addressing Scott for his quotation from the text of the bill. It sounds like you’re quoting what Toews said. That turns out not to be the case. We both know that what that man says is not to be trusted. He lied or was woefully ignorant (in a suspiciously convenient way) of the bill he was putting forward. It should cost him his post, but that little bit of B.S. in Parliament was probably scripted for him. Either dishonest or incompetent. There’s no third option, because if he said what he was told to and knew it wasn’t true it fits under dishonest, if he said what he was told to and didn’t know it was false it fits under incompetence.

      Incidentally, how are you supposed to turn over records of activity with or without a warrant, unless you have kept them in the first place? The legislation requires ISPs to install the hardware and software to keep records of everything that you and everyone else does online, just in case someone “appointed by the minister” wants to have a look.

      In case you don’t quite understand how this sort of thing works, after the law is passed, all Toews has to do is order that the enacting regulations include the instruction that any federal, provincial, and municipal police officer is so designated. Not to mention that the way this is written, the minister can further designate anyone, at any time, the authority to browse through your ISP records. Anyone his little heart desires. Members of his staff, perhaps? There might be politically useful stuff, if not against the political opponent themselves, maybe their families, or friends? No writ required, in fact, they don’t even have to be cops, or even Canadians.

      The purpose behind this bill is such that any changes they make will have to be cosmetic, consisting of lots of bafflegab about rights and protections, with a provision near the end that allows these warrantless surveillance measures to be slipped in as “regulatory changes”, or some such game as that. It wouldn’t stand up to a Constitutional challenge, but it might not have to. It just has to open the door for a flood of the same kind of lawyer’s rip-off demands and spurious litigation that has been contaminating the civil courts in the U.S. for years now.

      I think that there is a distict possibility that they won’t even try. They’ll just drop it if they can’t get the provisions in that the lobbyists want.

      The big problem for them is that they don’t mind going against the will of the majority of Canadians on a particular piece of legislation. What scares the crap out of them is when a noticeable chunk of that forty percent or so that makes up their base starts to holler like a gored ox as well. If they can rewrite it so that the base will buy it, it’ll go through. Not in its present form, and maybe they’ll wait for the fall or even the spring 2013 session.

  • Fred from BC

    The inspector, says the bill, may “examine any document, information or thing found in the place and open or cause to be opened any container or other thing.” He or she may also “use, or cause to be used, any computer system in the place to search and examine any information contained in or available to the system.”

    I say again: that bill is almost WORD FOR WORD identical to the ill-advised Bill C-68 gun control bill foisted on us by the Liberals in an effort to use the deaths of 14 young women to buy more votes in Toronto and Quebec. The only part missing seems to be the the directive that the accused person “must assist” in the search (just one of the constitutional violations in the bill…must have been written by the same civil servants). The police, or *anyone* the government designates, can enter your home without a warrant, search anything they like (even your computer!),etc, etc. Pretty scary stuff, isn’t it?

    • Beerbob

      So, I’m guessing here, Fred, that you think it’s a bad thing. I happen to agree with you. Are you doing anything about it? I’ve gone on record with letters to my MP, Mr. Toews, and Mr. Harper, for what that’s worth. I had no love for the gun registry myself, but I asked my coworkers who hunt about how it was a pain to deal with, and they said it was no big deal. As far as the registry law goes, evidence found without a warrant would wind up eventually in the Supreme Court, where I think it would probably be rendered inadmissible. Didn’t think much of that Constitution thing when it came out, but I’m liking it better all the time.

      This bit of legislation is more vague, and much more dangerous. If you give someone a fishing rod, they’ll go fishing. You never know what you’ll catch. And the neat thing about it is that the authorities don’t have to muster a search party and kick down your door. Somebody will be able to sit in a warm office with a computer, and browse what you’ve been doing on the Web.

      And this piece of legislation is only half of the story. Combine it with the criminalization of the circumvention of digital locks (remember that first season of Gilligan’s Island you Torrented – or maybe your kid did? Or maybe just watching Youtube. You know what I mean. It will also be a crime to convert your own personal property – like a DVD of Monsters vs. Aliens for your kid to watch on his Playstation Vita. And if you send it to the cottage over the Internet, and somebody is fishing in your ISP’s records, you are open to criminal prosecution – followed by civil prosecution from the copyright holder.

      So, if you roundly object to the Liberals crawling up your ass to find out what guns you own, shouldn’t you also find offensive the Conservatives crawling up your ass to see the Web pages about guns that you look at, in addition to the very real threat of prosecution for doing something with your legal property that will be a new crime that doesn’t even exist right now?

      The actual reading of the bill here shows Toews’ comments in Parliament to be somewhat… inaccurate. It’s one thing to acquire an street address from an ISP using an IP address. That’s going too far, they can already do that with a writ. What the writ does, is that it creates a record if some overzealous cop starts a fishing expedition, and he can wind up getting his wrist slapped. It’s another to have open season.

      The actual bill means that your ISP is required to keep records of all of your activity, and that the authorities can go in at any time and make a copy of all of your activity on the Internet. For any reason, or no reason at all.

      A great many people, mostly but not all young, possibly even a majority of Internet users have either deliberately or inadvertently (in many cases, both) broken the provisions of the proposed law. Of course, it would be ridiculous to go after them all. What this law will do is give the police the ability to find a criminal act committed by almost anyone, and then they can use that as a lever, or a way to pad out a charge sheet. Combine that with a few more mandatory minimums, and we’re talking serious prison-industrial complex here.

      “They did it too!” is not a defense. The Liberals were out of line, particularly adding the criminal sanction to the registry enforcement. The Conservatives are no better here, in some ways worse. Because it takes a lot more resources to search a house, that would limit the fishing expeditions at least to places where they at least suspect criminal behaviour. This can be almost completely automated, and result in a significant portion of the population of Canada being liable for criminal prosecutuon.

  • Al

    “The Conservatives don’t want the judiciary interfering, you see.”
    Hell,the CONs don’t even want Parliament to interfere with their dismantling of our Democracy !

  • kwittet

    This bill is almost the same as the one the liberals introduced under martin. i bet scott would have never said a word if this was a liberal bill.

  • Paul Martin had a bill that caught pedophiles on the internet..is that all it did? …because I never heard anything about it at the time..and why are the Cons changing it, or are they?

  • They’re waking up to the fact they’ve been duped by a freedom-intrusive, socially conservative government – one that favours more, not less, government.

  • fhg1893

    We ARE opposed to this bill, it seems that you just either haven’t noticed, or are being deliberately ignorant. Here’s what Brian Lilley said: http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/search/all/surveillance-society/1456836051001/page/17

    Here are three images I created in opposition to C-30, and Vic Toews’ inflamatory rhetoric.

    http://imgur.com/VoPMQ
    http://imgur.com/6ww8P
    http://imgur.com/ilbZS

    And several Conservative donors have pulled, or threatened to pull their support from the Conservatives if C-30 isn’t scrapped.

    Just because Scott Tribe doesn’t know about, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!

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