"Online snooping bill" still on Harper government's agenda

The controversial Bill C-30, the Lawful Access Act, which would give police access to personal online information, is still on the Conservative agenda, according to OpenMedia's Steve Anderson.

Sources have informed OpenMedia, a non-profit, advocacy group educating Canadians about communications systems, that the Conservatives are "still intent on proceeding" with the bill, according to the group's recent press release.

Dubbed the “online snooping bill” by critics, it would require that ISPs and phone companies install equipment for real-time surveillance, in addition to granting new police powers designed to get access to that surveillance data. And that’s before police get a warrant.

The bill gained notoriety when Public Safety Minister Vic Toews introduced it to parliament in February. According to the Conservatives, the bill would protect citizens from online crimes, and protect children from Internet pornography, which is how it got its unofficial name: The Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act.   

Bill C-30 would include requiring telecommunications and Internet providers to relinquish subscriber data, including name, address, mobile phone number and IP address (personal online ID).    

According to OpenMedia.ca, despite media coverage suggesting Bill-30 has been shelved, last week, Toews said the government is still “intent on proceeding” with the unpopular, warrantless online spying bill. It was revealed that Toews has quietly set aside millions in taxpayer dollars to pay for this costly online plan, according to an OpenMedia press release.

Over 135, 000 people have signed OpenMedia’s StopSpying.ca petition and tens of thousands have joined the conversation through the Twitter hashtag #TellVicEverything.

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