Friday, 6 May 2011

YIKES! The Internet Campaign Issue That Should Have Been

You thought User Based Billing was the Internet-related campaign issue? Well, maybe it was, but it should have been this.

Writing before the election, Michael Geist sums up the various parties' platforms related to the Internet. Then he goes on to critique the Conservatives new Tough on Internet Crime Act.

And YIKES! the issues go waaay beyond the 'speechies' concerns.

First, the process problems: the bill was never debated extensively; there were no committee hearings; and privacy commissioners have deep concerns about it.
Second, 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.

Warrantless wiretapping, real-time surveillance, data storage for police purposes.

All in the name of fighting Internet crime and, of course, those evul evul child pornographers.

'But I don't have anything to worry about. I'm not a criminal.'

That's the kind of thinking that led to the biggest mass arrest in Canadian history.

This could be a terrific issue for the Fucking Useless Opposition®.

Go read the whole thing.

Then, find your (new?) Member of Parliament and let him or her know what you think. Act fast. The Contempt Party of Canada intends to pass this in its first 100 days. Has the clock started ticking yet?

h/t Mark Francis in the comments.


Mark Francis said...

The Liberal record on these things isn't so great either. Like the Democraps in the US, they get so afraid of being framed as not tough on crime/terrorists/poor people that they acquiesce to, even propose, liberty-squashing legislation.

I hope the NDP will do better. I have my criticisms of the Party's approach, but I'm willing to overlook them for the next few years.

JJ said...

My understanding is that the template for this bill was C-74, the "Modernization of Investigative Techniques" bill, tabled by the Martin Liberals. It died when the government was dissolved.

It's still loathesome, no matter where it comes from. But it speaks to my basic distrust of all government, and why IMO they're all the same.

fern hill said...

I know. They all go weak-kneed at 'soft on crime'.

The whole UBB hubbub got a lot of people riled. Maybe a clever spinner -- cleverer than moi -- could link these issues as 'Cons Hate the Internet', 'Cons Attack Internet Freedom'. I dunno.

People do love their Intertoobz. There must be some way to get them to pay attention to this.

fern hill said...

JJ: Well, there's ^NOT trusting. Then there's active fearing. As I always say about the Libs, 'they opportunists, but at least they don't have an agenda'.

Dippers have an agenda, but don't have a clue.

Sad, innit, that that's how we think of our politicians?

JJ said...

I agree, its pretty sad.

But a life lived in fear is not much of a life at all, IMO, and "Progressives: scared shitless" isn't a very attractive political message. As you know: your ongoing work on the post-partisan approach is the most rational thing I've seen from progressives lately.

So let's not allow every piece of proposed legislation to turn us into the people we used to mock for envisioning Osama bin Laden behind every furnace. There's such a thing as pushback, we used to be good at it, and some of us even enjoyed it ;)

This could be fun! Especially with everyone all on the same side!!

fern hill said...

Oh, yeah, I'm all for pushback. (And fun!) That's why I think this issue could have legs across the political spectrum. Rookie MPs could be caught flat-footed by a deluge of emails from pissed-off constituents.

I'm thinking cost. Cost is driving the UBB issue. Well, there are going to be big costs associated with the ISP surveillance requirement. And who will pay them? Us, natch. New post in the works.

Anonymous said...

I won't be the least surprised, if the internet is monitored. Harper is a control freak. That he tried to stop, the students from Guelph University from voting, that they even tried to steal the ballot boxes. Fascism and dictatorship anyone?

Canadians just don't see Harper's evil agenda. Now it's too late.

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