Are We About To See The Return Of Internet Snooping Legislation?

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who had this thought when I heard Stephen Harper speak about the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons yesterday. Is Harper exploiting cyberbully panic to reboot the Internet spying bill?

Here’s part of what he said.

“… one of the difficulties here is that investigative tools for our police officers have not kept pace with the Internet age. That must change.”

If that sounds like something you’ve heard before, that’s because it is. Here’s Vic Toews on why he thought we all needed a good spying on not all that long ago.

“While technology has advanced significantly over the past four decades … investigative processes available to law enforcement … have not kept pace with this evolution.”

I have no idea what laws would have been needed to protect Rehtaeh Parsons that we don’t already have. The story as I understand it goes that she was sexually assaulted, photos were taken, they were put online and she was harassed quite literally to death. There’s more than one crime there, I’m sure you would agree.

I have a horrible feeling that the Conservatives are about to take advantage of a truly unfortunate situation and a few moments of public good will to sneak something nobody wants in through the back door. It wouldn’t be the first time, and it almost certainly won’t be the last.

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3 Comments

  1. There is more than one crime there, yes. But here’s the problem. The RCMP haven’t actually charged any of the boys involved with anything, based on little to no evidence (though now they’re apparently reconsidering). So, discounting the usual idiocy that is the RCMP, somebody up there thought there wasn’t enough legally to sink these guys, so they didn’t. I never said it made sense.

    1. That’s more a failing of those using the current system, either that or there truly wasn’t enough to sink those guys. Whatever it was, it’s a pretty shitty way to put warrantless spying back on the table, as if there were a good way to do that in the first place. Old system failing doesn’t always mean that the system is broken. Sometimes the ones in charge of using the system are broken.

      1. What we have here is a thing I can’t disagree with. But, and ya see this pretty much everywhere these days, stick “cyber” in front of anything and suddenly it’s an entirely different breed of animal if you’re one of the folks what make the rules. Put it all together, and you get a US house that just passed CISPA, and a Canadian one that may take a second or third crack at passing something similar up here. And I’m not even touching what’s going on in the UK right around now.

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