December 1, 2005

Police in Canada May Soon Be Allowed to Read Emails Without a Warrant

Sunday August 21st 2005, 5:13 am
Filed under: Free Speech, Government

From “Bill would let police monitor your e-mail: Judge’s permission would not be needed,” Tim Naumetz,
CanWest News Service, August 19, 2005:

OTTAWA - The federal cabinet will review new legislation this fall that would give police and security agencies vast powers to begin surveillance of the Internet without court authority.

The new measures would allow law-enforcement agents to intercept personal e-mails, text messages and possibly even password-secure websites used for purchasing and financial transactions.

University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist, a law and privacy expert involved in consultations over the bill, said a draft version of the legislation circulated earlier this year did not require court authority for police to intercept communications or demand information from Internet servers.

“I think it’s the kind of legislation that is literally going to shock millions of Canadians,” said Geist.

…Geist said the version of the legislation that was circulated by the government failed to protect the privacy and legal rights of citizens. It also placed a severe requirement on Internet service providers to hold data and records of Internet and e-mail use by their clients.

If a government is going to get involved in whether ISPs save a list of websites all of their customers visit, then it should to be a bill to ban ISPs from collecting that data, not a bill requiring them to.

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