Canadians may soon have surveillance right in their bedrooms if the Chiefs of Police Association gets their way in parliament… No quite yet, but it would be easy to imagine….
The Chief’s of Police Association of Canada is resurrecting a Internet Surveillance bill that would allow law enforcement to intercept Internet communication of anyone in Canada without warrant, and apparently without much oversight either. The legislation introduced by the Chiefs of Police Association last February if passed would require Canadian Telecommunications companies to allow law enforcement to intercept all forms of communication and to demand subscriber information to be provided. Such a law would, similar to efforts in the United States, undermine privacy protections currently in place without judicial or public oversight, in the name of the dubious claim of protecting us from terrorism.
Protection from terrorism has been and still is the number one claim used to undermine personal privacy in general, closely followed by child pornography to get at your online activity that is. While neither is desirable, dying in a terrorist attack is a lot less likely than getting killed or seriously injured in a car crash, drowning in your pool or other spectacular (or not so spectacular) event spelling your early demise; yet nobody suggest a camera in every vehicle or a life guard watching over said pool.
Why then, do the Chiefs of Police feel law enforcement needs easy access to private citizens personal data and conversations? Protecting your life and property can’t be their number one motivation, when completely ignoring pool drownings, highway disasters, fizzy drinks or fast food. Only the Chiefs of Police know the answer, but judging by their covert attempts to get this legislation passed they don’t want the public to scrutinize their undertaking…
Another good question to ask is why RT (Russia Today no less) reports this issue while the Canadian press doesn’t mention a word about it? But that’s beside the point…
As more and more of our life finds its way online the question of privacy and the protection thereof become increasingly important. With cameras build into almost every new computer, tablet or phone purchased these days, many of which are used to read news, update social networks, and enjoy movies in living rooms and bedroom all across the country, imagining the Orwellian surveillance state isn’t that far fetched (link to video). Any attempt to gain access to this data without our knowledge, hence without our explicit consent, should immediately raise red flags. Our personal lives aren’t for sale and they sure aren’t public property no matter how safe any third party promises to keep them and us.
Keeping your personal data safe, therefore, is up to you and me, as governments and certainly corporations cannot be relied on to do so. Think of “your data” as any piece of information about you, your address, phone number, email address, bank account information, but also your buying habits, where you shop, what you read and which sites you visit online. All of this information can be used to either identify you or to compile a frighteningly accurate picture of who you are, or both. Minority Report was a movie, let’s make sure we keep it that way!
If you, or someone you know, is concerned about the privacy of personal information, please consider sharing this post!
Image Credit: laroquod