The Conservative government has abandoned its controversial and much-maligned Internet surveillance bill, legislation it once claimed was crucial to stopping child pornographers.It's back.
Less than a year ago support for Bill C-30, the so-called Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, was presented to Canadians by the government as a binary choice.
"He can either stand with us or stand with the child pornographers," Public Safety Minister Vic Toews scolded a Liberal critic in the House of Commons last February.
The comment set off a public fire storm concerning the Internet and personal privacy — a nasty fight that resulted in unsavoury details of Toews' divorce being splashed across the web by a Liberal party operative.
Toews, who introduced the legislation, did not attend Monday's news conference where Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Bill C-30 is dead.
When Justice Minister Peter MacKay unveiled the federal government's proposed cyberbullying law on Wednesday, he touted it as a necessary tool to combat the often hurtful spread of intimate images. To emphasize the underlying point, he made the announcement during national Bullying Awareness Week.Like its predecessor, it is deceptively named. They're calling it "Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act'.
But legal experts were left wondering why a piece of legislation that is meant to rein in online tormentors is also taking on terror suspects and people who steal cable TV signals.
"There is a much larger agenda at play here," says Rob Currie, director of the Law and Technology Institute at Dalhousie University.
Under the banner of anti-cyberbullying measures, the government is "trying to push through a number of things that have to do with law enforcement but nothing to do with cyberbullying."
It is simply and literally ghoulish, feasting on the corpses of dead girls.
Or as Canadian Cynic put it:
I sincerely, sincerely, sincerely expect the Harper Govt to say, "You're either with us, or you're glad Rehtaeh Parsons is dead."— CC (@canadiancynic) November 22, 2013
Go read Michael Geist on the details. He winds up with this:
Law enforcement have been asking for some of these provisions for many years and there could be a good debate on the merits of many of the proposed reforms. As this post suggests, some of the provisions raise some serious concerns. Yet the government is signalling that it would prefer to avoid such debates, wrapping up the provisions in the cyber-bullying flag and backtracking on a commitment made earlier this year to not bring forward Criminal Code amendments that were contained in Bill C-30.
We need to put on another protest like #TellVicEverything.
Stephen Lautens has come up with the hashtag #PeterPeeper and a poster.
Let's get to it.