Canada's warrentless spying bill remains in limbo, but could come back: OpenMedia.ca

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This week we're talking about the not-quite-dead online spying bill, and about how Canada's cell phone service may be about to get just a little less horrible.

First, Bill C-30, better known as the warrantless online spying bill, came up in the news again this week as Justice Minister Rob Nicholson laid out his upcoming legislative priorities.

You've probably heard of this bill. It's the one that thousands of you protested through the StopSpying.ca petition, and through creative grassroots campaigns like last year's #TellVicEverything Twitter campaign. It's the one that would give authorities access to the private data of any Canadian, at any time, without a warrant, making the Internet a more closed, paranoid space. As pro-Internet community member Brian L puts it:

"Have you ever had a police car driving behind you for a while? Doesn't feel too good does it? You feel worried that you're going to forget something and make a mistake. Now say you had that police car following behind you all the time, every day. That's what Bill C-30 would be like."

Nicholson and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews tabled Bill C-30 with little regard for citizens' privacy, our interests, or our digital future.

Thankfully, though, due to the volume of dissent from Canadians, experts, privacy commissioners, and more, it hasn't reared its ugly head since its First Reading one year ago on Valentine's Day. The Justice Minister indicated this week that the bill is still in Parliamentary limbo—it could come back at any time, and there's no saying quite when.

At OpenMedia.ca, we are making some plans for the anniversary of the citizen campaign that turned heads in Parliament, so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming actions. Until we get a commitment from the government to respect our privacy, we'll need to stay vigilant.

This coming week I'll be heading to Ottawa to present to the CRTC on your behalf. I'm taking your Cell Phone Horror Stories and our public interest oriented recommendations, and alongside our tech lawyer from CIPPIC, I'll be doing my best to make sure that an upcoming National Code of Conduct, meant to protect cell phone users, does just that. I and the OpenMedia.ca Team will be reporting on the hearing all week next week, so be sure to keep your eyes on our Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and website for updates.

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