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Canada: Will Cyberbullying Bill Open Door to Lawful Access?
Source: itworldcanada.com
Source Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013
Country: Canada
Created: Nov 26, 2013

A bill introduced yesterday by the Conservative government to combat cyber bullying could also have the effect of making it easier for Canadian Internet service providers to permit authorities to conduct online surveillance and metadata collection.

Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act which was introduced by Minister of Justice Peter MacKay comes with provisions that take on rising concerns of many Canadians about cyberbullying.

For instance, the proposed code makes it illegal to distribute “intimate images” without the consent of the person in the image. The bill also makes it easier for authorities and affected parties to have those images scrubbed from the Internet.

However, a section of the bill dealing with voluntary disclosure appears to encourage ISPs and other online companies to disclose information about their customers without a court order.

The bill states:
- For greater certainty, no preservation demand, preservation order or production order is necessary for a peace officer or public officer to ask a person to voluntarily preserve data that the person is not prohibited by law from preserving or to voluntarily provide a document to the officer that the person is not prohibited by law from disclosing.
- A person who preserves data or provides a document in those circumstances does not incur any criminal or civil liability for doing so.

In the light of recent revelations by former United States National Security Agency security contractor Edward Snowden of the NSA’s metadata harvesting activities and subsequent reports of telecoms and ISPs willingly providing law enforcement agencies with information on their subscribers, this offer or immunity from liability to ISPs and telecom companies for “voluntarily” providing customer data is very troubling, according to privacy advocates.relationships with Canada’s IT professionals by delivering timely, incisive information that helps them succeed in their jobs. Today, more than 75,000 IT executives and professionals – representing 70 per cent of the buying power in Canada – turn to IT World Canada for the information they trust.

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