Canadian Tories’ campaign pledge: We will spy on the Internet
Michael Geist has timely analysis of the Canadian Conservative party’s campaign promise to pass a massive “crime and justice” bill within 100 days, if re-elected. The bill — which has never been debated or had hearings or public consultation — includes massive, extrajudicial bulk surveillance over Canadians’ use of the Internet.
More important than process is the substance of the proposals that have the potential to fundamentally reshape the Internet in Canada. The bills contain a three-pronged approach focused on information disclosure, mandated surveillance technologies, and new police powers.
The first prong mandates the disclosure of Internet provider customer information without court oversight.
The second prong requires Internet providers to dramatically re-work their networks to allow for real-time surveillance. The bill sets out detailed capability requirements that will eventually apply to all Canadian Internet providers. These include the power to intercept communications, to isolate the communications to a particular individual, and to engage in multiple simultaneous interceptions.
Having obtained customer information without court oversight and mandated Internet surveillance capabilities, the third prong creates a several new police powers designed to obtain access to the surveillance data.