12 fixes for Canada’s proposed lawful access bill

Over the last couple of weeks we have posted several stories and blogs concerning Bill C-30 also known as the Lawful Access Bill.

We’ve reported about how the proposed online surveillance legislation would be a burden to large and small Internet service providers and businesses, we’ve commented on the controversial comments of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, the excesses and faults of online surveillance in other countries and more recently reported the projected $80 million tab associated with implementation of the bill.

There has been massive pushback against the bill and calls for scrapping it. But what could be done to fix Bill C-30?

University of Ottawa Internet law professor Michael Geist on Friday proposed several possible amendments to Bill C-30 in his recent blog.

“The starting point for discussion on C-30 should not be the problem of child pornography or online crime,” said Geist.

“The starting point must be to shift the onus to law enforcement to provide compelling evidence that its current investigative powers are insufficient (that is not the same as saying access to subscriber data is valuable),” he said.

Below is Geist’s 12 step to-do-list for the Bill C-30 fix. For his complete blog, click here.

  1. Evidence, Evidence, Evidence

  2. No Mandatory Warrantless Access to Subscriber Information

  3. Reporting Warrantless Disclosure of Subscriber Information

  4. Remove the Disclosure Gag Order

  5. “Voluntary” Warrantless Data Preservation and Production

  6. Government Installation of Surveillance Equipment

  7. Reconsider the Internet Provider Regulatory Framework

  8. Improve Lawful Access Oversight

  9. Limit the Law to Serious Crimes

  10. Come Clean on Costs

  11. The Missing Regulations

  12. Deal With The Failure of Privacy Laws To Keep Pace


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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