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50 comments

Modest changes (5, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year ago | (#42866827)

I suspect that by modest changes they mean that they are going to gut our rights. Anyone who works in government quickly learns that control of information is power. It makes them angry that they can't get more information and it makes them scared that we can get so much.

Exhibit #1: Egypt. They want to turn off Youtube for a month because of "blasphemy" what they really don't want people seeing is the growing discontent that is visibly displayed every day along with the misdeeds of the police; this will work of course because youtube is the only site on the whole Internet that hosts videos.

We don't need a new internet law we need something at the constitutional level that protects us from government spying while also enshrining our rights to force the government to expose its secrets.

Re:Modest changes (5, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#42866915)

Ah, another "government is this monolithic entity that is sooooooo scary" post. Massive upmods incoming.

Reality is, most of these bills in the West are drafted by interested parties. Most of which are no governmental but private in nature. And while many laws look (and are) quite terrible as they are drafted by people with massive vested interests in them, modern Western democracies have numerous checks and balances to thwart such legislation from becoming actual law. Which is what happened in this case.

The fact that you chose Egypt, a country that essentially survived beginning of a civil war and still hasn't worked itself through it and has never been a democracy befiore as an example of average Western government shows that you're quite pants on the head kind of special poster.

Re:Modest changes (3, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#42866995)

Yes, but that does not alter the fact that many of these bills, introduced to Western society, are totally at odds with its professed values.

Allow me to show you: "We fought a world wide war to bring democracy / freedom / etc. to people who had it stolen from them / have never had the chance to experience it themselves, against totalitarian dictators / nazis / facists / etc. Skipping ahead to item two on today's agenda, the Chiquita / Dole / etc. corporation would like to overthrow a South American government, duly elected by its people, so that we can buy our bananas for less; btw, we'll be installing a dictatorship in place of whatever they have there right now, it's going to be total hell for those unfortunate people. All in favor, say 'Aye.' *pause* The motions carries!"

Let's face it: that's f*cked up. And it's not like that kind of behavior has stopped recently -> it has only accelerated, like we're on a tight schedule to f*ck things up as much as possible before we leave this planet. Now, I am not an environmentalist, but I have to pause when I think about these kinds of actions -> they are not good according to anyone who has not had an ethicetomy. Plus I hate being lied to, as much as anyone else, especially when it's the all powerful 'lie by omission' being played.

Re:Modest changes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867853)

Allow me to show you: "We fought a world wide war to bring democracy / freedom / etc. to people who had it stolen from them / have never had the chance to experience it themselves, against totalitarian dictators / nazis / facists / etc.

You've been watching too much American TV mate. We participated in World War II to restore freedom to other countries but unlike the yanks we didn't use, and aren't using, that "democracy" BS to wreak havoc on third world nations.

Re:Modest changes (3, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#42867085)

Ah, another "government is this monolithic entity that is sooooooo scary" post. Massive upmods incoming.

Reality is, most of these bills in the West are drafted by interested parties. Most of which are no governmental but private in nature. And while many laws look (and are) quite terrible as they are drafted by people with massive vested interests in them, modern Western democracies have numerous checks and balances to thwart such legislation from becoming actual law. Which is what happened in this case.

The fact that you chose Egypt, a country that essentially survived beginning of a civil war and still hasn't worked itself through it and has never been a democracy befiore as an example of average Western government shows that you're quite pants on the head kind of special poster.

However, those checks and balances are skewed. The interested parties (military industrial complex anyone? what the US spends most of its budget on), want these things to pass. They are their bread and butter. These laws do get passed (DMCA, Patriot Act, et al), and many that don't will rise again, and again with new names attached, until either enough money has changed hands to make it feasible, or wrapped into some save us from drug/terrorists/pedos monstrosity named some stupid shit (PLBAFOWO - Protect Little Boys Anuses from Osama Wannabes Online), then they will pass and one more right will be gone. One more piece of your privacy eroded.

Meanwhile you will blithly watch your superbowl and say oh the checks and balances will get it. I can still afford my mortgage and comcast bill. Who gives a fuck?

There are are two types of people in the the western world for the most part. Those who drink the koolaid that the gov works as is and ignore it, and those who by the gov line of saving you from yourselves and the evils around you. The fact is both are false, and those who see it are in theminority, and slowly becoming more and more shut out of anything.

Re:Modest changes (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867719)

The interested parties (military industrial complex anyone? what the US spends most of its budget on)

Actually, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) - together accounted for 21 percent of the budget. Defense and international security assistance was 20 percent... tied with Social Security. A fair breakdown can be had here. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1258 [cbpp.org]

Re:Modest changes (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#42873551)

That "fair" breakdown, from a legal perspective, is, in fact, an outright lie. It claims that Medicare and Social Security trust fund payments to individuals are part of the federal budget. According to 42 USC section 911 paragraph (a) [cornell.edu], payments from those trust funds are NOT considered part of the federal budget. There's simply no grey area or ambiguity here. They aren't part of the federal budget, and anyone who says otherwise is lying to push a political agenda.

Calling Medicare and Social Security part of the federal budget is as misleading as calling sales taxes part of a retailer's budget, or calling customer withdrawals part of a bank's budget. The money does flow through the federal government, but it was never theirs to begin with.

Medicare and Social Security are paid for by separate taxes that cover those programs explicitly. In each case, those taxes go into a separate fund that is used to pay for the ongoing operations of the appropriate administration. Each administration is run as a separate financial entity that operates pretty much independently from the federal government's budgeted spending. This makes them highly unique as taxes go; they are not part of the government's general fund, and short of changing the laws in question (42 USC section 911 [cornell.edu]), the government has no legal authority to redirect those funds towards any use other than Social Security and Medicare. And that is why payouts by those trust funds are not considered part of the federal budget. The law is very clear on that point.

A closer (but still not quite accurate) picture of the federal budget comes from looking at federal discretionary spending. That covers the money that the federal government chooses to spend. Note that only 5% of that money in 2013 is expected to be spent on health care in total, whereas 58% is expected to be spent on the military. Those numbers are both slightly inflated, however, because they ignore of the interest on loans that the federal government has to pay.

The amount of the actual federal budget that goes towards Medicare and Social Security (apart from paying back loans with interest) is remarkably close to zero. (If memory serves, salaries for the relevant administrative organizations do come out of the general fund, but those expenses are basically lost in the noise compared with the military's budget.)

Re:Modest changes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867123)

Cuntrag.

Re:Modest changes (4, Informative)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year ago | (#42867229)

"Ah, another "government is this monolithic entity that is sooooooo scary" post. Massive upmods incoming."

If you knew anything about the history of the current conservative party (reform party take over) you would not be saying such things. Most people commenting in this thread know nothing about canadian politics and how the canadian parliamentary system works. Right now Conservatives have a majority, what that means is they essentially get to shove any legislation they want through with impunity.

Whether they 'slightly soften' totally bankrupt laws is a non issue since the opposition has no power at all given the majority.

Re:Modest changes (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#42867445)

Right now Conservatives have a majority, what that means is they essentially get to shove any legislation they want through with impunity.

If that was true, the free speech bill(C-304) [brianstorseth.ca] wouldn't be stalled in the senate. And this is a bill that has strong support from all sides of the political spectrum. A majority means squat in politics in Canada being that the senate has it's own whims and can stall and kill something as it wants.

Re:Modest changes (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year ago | (#42867605)

"If that was true, the free speech bill(C-304) [brianstorseth.ca] wouldn't be stalled in the senate."

You've missed the point COMPLETELY who has control of the senate asshole? Oh yeah conservatives. CONSERVATIVES Stalling bills means nothing when they'll just keep waiting out public scrutiny on many issues. You know nothing of how the government works obviously.

http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2011/12/06/Draconian-Crime-Bill-Passed-Conservative-Majority-House-Commons [cannabisculture.com]

Re:Modest changes (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#42868669)

Oh hey there kid. Apparently you don't understand how the unelected senate works in Canada let alone the government, but takes the face value of pot weekly magazine at face value.

Re:Modest changes (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year ago | (#42874603)

Thanks for letting your ignorance shine through you hack.

The Senate (that house of sober second thought) can not kill a bill. It can send it back to the commons but it can not kill it. If the commons wants it, it will eventually receive Royal Assent and become law. The Senate, at best, can only delay.

Re:Modest changes (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a year ago | (#42867939)

When was the last time that the Senate actually killed a bill that a majority government wanted? Remember NAFTA? The GST? Mulroney appointing a bunch of new senators to shove his laws through? The electorate wiping out the PCs?
Harper is a smart politician so pretends the Senate has more power then it does.

Re:Modest changes (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#42867951)

SOPA comes to mind as a good example. Thing is, it doesn't have to be legislative body to kill it. Citizen action, lobbying and so on are very effective to take legislative packages off the table because of fear of consequences.

In EU, same thing happened to patent directive for example.

Re:Modest changes (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#42868697)

When was the last time that the Senate actually killed a bill that a majority government wanted?

The first round of the gun registry. Useful tip it was stacked with liberals at the time. Second thing, every PM shoves in new senators. Though the liberals have been in power the majority of the time in Canada in turn they've have a disproportionate number of senators in power. Third thing, Harper has been attempting to get the senate reformed for his last three mandates, and the liberals and quebec have been throwing a hissy fit over the entire thing. Because he wants an elected senate--you know just like MP's.

Re:Modest changes (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about a year ago | (#42871133)

Really? When I asked one of his staff about this policy in writing I was called a 'dipper' communist. I'd share but privacy, you know.

Re:Modest changes (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#42872843)

Third thing, Harper has been attempting to get the senate reformed for his last three mandates, and the liberals and quebec have been throwing a hissy fit over the entire thing. Because he wants an elected senate--you know just like MP's.

Funny thing that. Harper's been in power for 7 years now, and he's done didly, except appoint more senators. Yes, Harper, the one true person who wanted to usher in elected senators, has become the PM to appoint the most senators. Heck, he even ignored Alberta's (his home province, at that) elected results!

He's just as crooked as the rest of 'em.

Now, I think having two houses is a great idea - you have Parliament with representatives based on population, and you have a Senate with fixed number of representatives from every province and territoty. The first lets you figure out what the majority want, the second lets the minority actually have a say. Because representation can take either form, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Proportional based presentation is great because it represents what the population wants in a majority. However, they can tend to shove aside minority concerns. Fixed representation allows minority concerns to be heard, but it under-rereposents majority concerns. You'd want both to balance things out because it's one of democracy's bad sides - the minority tend to get shoved aside.

Re:Modest changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868579)

The Senate (that house of sober second thought) can not kill a bill. It can send it back to the commons but it can not kill it. If the commons wants it, it will eventually receive Royal Assent and become law. The Senate, at best, can only delay. But delay is the deadliest form of denial.

Re:Modest changes (1)

Argilo (602972) | about a year ago | (#42871669)

The Canadian Senate has very little power and influence. And in any case, the Conservative Party currently holds a majority in the senate, making it very unlikely that the Senate would attempt to block a bill passed by the House.

Re:Modest changes (1)

J Story (30227) | about a year ago | (#42868631)

"Ah, another "government is this monolithic entity that is sooooooo scary" post. Massive upmods incoming."

If you knew anything about the history of the current conservative party (reform party take over) you would not be saying such things. Most people commenting in this thread know nothing about canadian politics and how the canadian parliamentary system works. Right now Conservatives have a majority, what that means is they essentially get to shove any legislation they want through with impunity.

Whether they 'slightly soften' totally bankrupt laws is a non issue since the opposition has no power at all given the majority.

The poster has apparently not seen the memo where it is explained that the Conservatives scary "Hidden Agenda" doesn't actually exist. The fact is that the Conservatives have had a majority for a couple years, and yet, incredibly, the sky has not fallen and the black helicopters have failed to appear. What's more, the retreat from the bill in question shows that the Conservatives do pay attention when people shout loud enough.

All in all, the Conservatives have been handling their mandate with an astounding lack of drama -- for politics, that is. Prime Minister Harper is so boring that he has spent 15 minutes of each day writing a book on the history of hockey. As for the rest of the day, he seems to be handling the running of government like a CEO, where the shareholders are Canadian voters. Compared to the histrionics of previous PMs, I find his low-key approach to be comforting.

Re:Modest changes (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about a year ago | (#42869323)

"the sky has not fallen and the black helicopters have failed to appear"

Somebody missed the G20.

Harper doesn't give a rat's ass about civil liberties, the environment, or even the long term well being of the country. The "Secret agenda" is no secret at all.

He's an intelligent man with a morally reprehensible, narrow and ruthless ideology. Despite majority government, his power is not unlimited... he has to act within the constitution and the interests of the political future of his party members.

Re:Modest changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42869427)

The G20 police romp had nothing to do with Harper, dude. It was an over-reaction of the Premier of Ontario. Try to keep straight who it is you're trashing, man.

Re:Modest changes (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about a year ago | (#42870537)

McGuinty bent Harper's arm and got him to cough up $1B for "security"?

I think you overestimate McGuinty.

Re:Modest changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42871835)

I'm a Canadian, and you are a loon. I get it you don't like the CPC, but your hyperbole isn't helpful.

Re:Modest changes (1)

LongSpleen (1040158) | about a year ago | (#42868093)

shows that you're quite pants on the head kind of special poster.

I don't understand this at all but I'm guessing it's a hilarious burn.

Re:Modest changes (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year ago | (#42870691)

Actually I am not not referring to government as a big scary conspiracy. The knee jerk reaction to controlling information goes right down to the individual. One of the worst nightmares of any manager is that their underling is a golfing partner with that manager's boss. Quite simply they have lost information control. The manager has a project where things aren't going perfectly and they worry that the underling might say something like "That project is a disaster. Why just the other week we fell even farther behind." and in the other direction they might worry about the boss telling the underling things that they would rather withhold from their team. Also information is power in a boring sort of way. If a company knows their clients better sales will become easier.

But the big difference with government is that they are backed by the force of law. Just like a sales department the police find their job much easier if they have more information. If they can read everyone's email then they think they will solve more crimes. And like the manager with bad news they would prefer that the public not know that the financing for some project like a bridge has gone to hell.

About the only two places that I see conspiracies solved by opening up government information and closing our information are the dark places where lobbyists cajole the government into doing wasteful things and when media lobbyists try to cajole the government into taking our private information to make their lawsuits easier.

So instead of a smokey room with a bunch of guys conspiring I see a bunch of desperate officials thinking up ways to make their narrow jobs easier.

Re:Modest changes (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#42870937)

The problem with your line of thinking is that you're thinking it's a one way street when it's a two way one. Government is also massively limited by laws, at least in the Western democracy model (not Egypt for example). Private interests are far, FAR less limited, such as not having to honor free speech or transparency to anywhere near the levels of government.

As a result, governmental mistakes come to light far more often then private ones, in spite of the fact that most of the new legislation is driven by private rather then public interests. Essentially, you're focusing on the fly on the wall while ignoring the elephant in the room.

Re:Modest changes (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year ago | (#42873325)

I would love to see limits to what data companies can collect, store, and share. I would also love to see greater disclosure laws for companies, especially as they get larger. The best parts of big lawsuits like those against big tobacco were when many of their dirty little secrets came out. But with lobbying as it is now that's never going to happen.

As a public good I can't think of many situations where forcing large companies to disclose much of what they do would be harmful. If a company has to disclose how and where it makes money then other companies will discover opportunities from that and drive down prices. If one client can negotiate a better deal than other clients would see that and negotiate accordingly. Corporate profits would drop along with gouging. I don't see any magical reason that corporations have a special right to huge profits.

Re:Modest changes (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#42874821)

You're not going to, and this is in large part because of attitude of people like you. You view government as a bigger threat to yourself then corporate interests. This in spite of the fact that governments across Western countries are far more regulated, far more people-oriented, have a legal and moral requirement (usually echoed by most of the government employees) to help their citizens.

"Well I see a hunter with a gun and an angry bear on my right and left sides. I'd better run to the bear for safety because I saw hunter being an angry drunk once". Reality is you have to choose, because to control corporations' destructive tendencies you'd have to have a power structure that controls them. Take a guess what the name of this power structure is?

Re:Modest changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42872105)

Egypt WAS a democracy, then Israel assassinated the Egyptian leader, and it's been dictatorship ever since.

Re:Modest changes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42866985)

Never underestimate laziness. Laziness leading to malice.

The original internet surveillance bill was brought in because "police want tools to fight X,Y,Z". What it really means is that people are lazy and they don't want to explain to a judge why they need something. They just want to flip a switch, CSI style, and don't give a damn. And if they can't flip a switch, they'll just say they are overworked, etc. etc.

Of course these people that have this capability can use it for both good and evil. And police can do both, as it is composed of same people society is composed of. Therefore, the initial laziness that prompted these laws allows the evil (and/or scared?) people with access to do malice unchecked.

Moral of the story - do not allow for lazy power grabs, ever.

As for Egypt, why try to explain that people of other faiths, cults or atheists do not give a damn, when you can just shut something down and say you are doing something? Laziness as prime example.

So never underestimate laziness. People without scruples then use loopholes created by this apathy for their own purposes.

Re:Modest changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867005)

What you mean to say is that liberals win and the internet will be full of predators, right?

Oh I know y'all will mod me down a troll anyway, so here's something to justify it. I call another victory for man-boy love.

Re:Modest changes (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42867491)

Did you read TFA? There was not one sentence in the proposed law that could be construed to protect children from predators. The only reference to predators was in the title of the bill.

I can title a bill as "A bill to provide for Anonymous Coward in his old age"

Then, I can fill the bill with demands to have total access to all the information on Anonymous Coward, including his IP address, posting record, referral data, every single bit of data that slashdot or any other site maintains. All of the verbiage in the bill is designed to identify you, then prosecute you for posts that I don't like. But, I TITLED it as something GOOD for AC, so you would be a douchebag to oppose the bill, right?

Re:Modest changes (4, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#42867187)

I suspect that by modest changes they mean that they are going to gut our rights. Anyone who works in government quickly learns that control of information is power. It makes them angry that they can't get more information and it makes them scared that we can get so much.

Well, my first question is do you actually live in Canada? If you did you'd already know that the SCC has a history of upholding the charter of rights and freedoms against intrusive laws unless the government can justifiably demonstrate that there is a valid S.1 argument [justice.gc.ca]. And there have been very few cases where the SCC has let the S.1 argument give leeway. Probably the best case to show where the government has been given leeway under that is the RIDE Program [wikipedia.org], where warrentless stopping of a vehicle is considered a small enough violation of public rights vs the protection of society as a whole.

Remember now, that this has already been to court in terms of the warrentless wiretap, and the SCC struck it down as an overeach of power. This bill is to come into compliance to the SCC's ruling, it will end up being challenged again, and if the bill is found to be in breach or an excessive overreach the SCC will strike it down again.

MOST pedos are family and friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867287)

If your brat can't handle online insults or virtual sexual advances when YOU LET THEM ONLINE then there are bigger problems ahead; when they are older and move out of the trailer park they will do other stupid things... they'll probably do stupid things while at home because parents who want government to do their job are negligent. Unsupervised kids were a problem BEFORE the internet -> correlation is not causation! We have more lousy parents now than in the past - but nobody has the guts to say it.

Sex criminals have problems with REPEATING the crime - so when you catch them, properly handle them - label them crazy and don't them them out of the padded room until you cure them (that could be a life sentence.) Telling everybody around where the sex offenders are is not helping things a whole lot either... I've seen the secret map of the minor offenders that are not made public. Its almost ever 3rd house is flagged. Every divorce or domestic mess these days has lawyers bringing up accusations of stuff that gets the address flagged. Maybe you move into that house... it's on that map for years too!

Think of the Children (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867417)

If your brat can't handle online insults or virtual sexual advances ... telling everybody around where the sex offenders are is not helping things a whole lot either ... almost ever 3rd house is flagged.

Well the solution is obvious then, isn't it? Let's get rid of all the kids, then pedos won't be problem.

Re:Modest changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867373)

If the polyticks that voted this into existence are still alive you have failed. They will just crawl out again with something worse. Killing polyticks is just good parasite maintenance.

Re:Modest changes (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year ago | (#42870189)

We don't need a new internet law we need something at the constitutional level that protects us from government spying while also enshrining our rights to force the government to expose its secrets.

You mean something like the 4th amendment?

No victory. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42866843)

What they mean by 'they will instead make modest changes to' is 'we will change the name of this and insert it wholly unchanged into this other legislation'.

Re:No victory. (1)

green1 (322787) | about a year ago | (#42868319)

Granted I haven't read the whole thing, but so far the changes amount to somewhat reasonable ones, assuming they don't get twisted any further.
What they've put in to the other bill is that Police (but not simply "peace officers") can do warrentless wire tapping only when an imminent threat is detected, further, they must tell the party within 90 days that this happened, and they must report all incidents of such.

I don't like warrentless wiretapping at all. but there does need to be some leeway for how to approach a situation where there simply is not enough time to get a judge involved (and I'd honestly rather they do this then set up a system where a judge rubber stamps everything based on a 10 second phone call, because that sounds much closer to a slippery slope where it's likely to become all warrants issued without any real oversight) The post fact reporting in this situation is what should be used to keep law enforcement honest, but of course it's too early to say if that will actually work.

The Full article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867003)

OTTAWA - The Conservative government has abandoned its controversial and much-maligned Internet surveillance bill, legislation it once claimed was crucial to stopping child pornographers.

Less than a year ago support for Bill C-30, the so-called Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, was presented to Canadians by the government as a binary choice.

"He can either stand with us or stand with the child pornographers," Public Safety Minister Vic Toews scolded a Liberal critic in the House of Commons last February.

The comment set off a public fire storm concerning the Internet and personal privacy — a nasty fight that resulted in unsavoury details of Toews' divorce being splashed across the web by a Liberal party operative.

Toews, who introduced the legislation, did not attend Monday's news conference where Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Bill C-30 is dead.

After announcing changes to emergency warrantless wiretap laws, Nicholson let drop that C-30 was gone, in response to a reporter's question — an inquiry the minister was clearly expecting.

"We will not be proceeding with Bill C-30 and any attempts we will have to modernize the Criminal Code will not contain the measures in C-30 — including the warrantless mandatory disclosure of basic subscriber information, or the requirement for telecommunications service providers to build intercept capabilities within their systems," Nicholson said.

"Any modernization of the Criminal Code ... will not contain those."

The legislation would have forced Internet service providers to maintain systems that allowed police to intercept and track online communications.

It also would have given police, intelligence and Competition Bureau officers warrantless access to Internet subscriber information, including name, address, telephone number, email address and Internet protocol address.

Police said they needed these powers to track child pornographers, among others.

"We have inadvertently created safe havens for those who exploit technology to traffic in weapons, drugs and people," Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu, the president of the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs, wrote in an op-ed last November.

"It is a boon to pedophile networks, money launderers, extortionists, deceitful telemarketers, fraudsters and terrorists. Cyber bullies communicate their vitriol with impunity."

Chu said police were "handcuffed by legislation introduced in 1975, the days of the rotary telephone."

Dick Fadden, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said he was not aware the bill was to be shelved.

"We said all along that there were some aspects of it that would be helpful to us," Fadden told reporters on Parliament Hill following a committee appearance on another matter. "It's not absolutely critical for us to do our work."

The proposed legislation infuriated a wide cross-section of opponents, including privacy and civil liberties advocates and many conservative libertarians who opposed what they called Big Brother oversight in the legislation.

"I don't think we should underestimate the significance of a majority government backing down on a piece of its legislation," Michael Geist, the chair of Internet and E-commerce law at the University of Ottawa, said in an interview.

"This is truly unprecedented within the context of this government certainly."

Nicholson had little to say Monday when asked about police concerns over child pornography, noting the government was responding to Canadians "who have been very clear on this."

The debate over modernizing surveillance of the Net has been going on for a decade, said Geist, and police have yet to clearly demonstrate the need for some of the warrantless powers they were seeking. Examples of investigations hampered or stopped by the current legislation have not been provided.

"It was bad policy, badly marketed and the government had little choice but to kill it," said Geist.

"If all you're left with is trying to market a piece of legislation using a bunch of scare tactics, I think Canadians see through that."

Charmaine Borg, the NDP critic for digital issues, called the death of the Internet surveillance law a "great victory and a way forward for politics."

She said more than half of Albertans — "the base of the Conservative party" — opposed Bill C-30. "We saw people from across Canada speaking out," said Borg. "I think that demonstrates that if you fight hard enough and if you speak up, eventually they'll listen."

Another piece of legislation, Bill C-12, remains before Parliament. It would make it easier for Internet service providers, email hosts and social media sites to voluntarily share personal information about customers with authorities.

Nicholson also announced changes Monday that will ensure police can tap people's phones without a warrant in cases of emergency or imminent harm.

The government's proposals fall in line with recommendations from the Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously last spring that warrantless wiretaps constitute a breach of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The high court gave the government a year to come up with changes to address its concerns.

Nicholson said under the new rules, anyone whose communications have been intercepted in situations of imminent harm must be notified by police within 90 days.

There will also be an annual report compiled on the use of imminent harm wiretaps, and only police — and not other peace officers — will be able to use them.

"We are including all the safeguards that (the Supreme Court justices) required and they suggested," said Nicholson.

v for victory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867051)

It's not a victory if they are proposing these laws in the first place.

Omnibus bill (5, Insightful)

CanadianMacFan (1900244) | about a year ago | (#42867547)

Probably everything will get thrown into the next budget omnibus bill which will pass and then we'll only find out six months later what was contained in it.

Meanwhile down under (and a bit to the left)... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868601)

And by contrast in New Zealand, our Beloved Leader is bending over in the shower for his MPAA/RIAA pals, again.

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