Canadian Security Magazine

Ontario’s IPC “vigiliant” on proposed lawful access bill

By Canadian Security   

News Public Sector

Ann Cavoukian, Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, says that "Ever Vigilant," is the theme for her 2011 annual report, released June 4, in an effort to raise awareness about "grave privacy concerns" over federal lawful access legislation.

Beginning in mid-2011, Cavoukian launched a campaign to increase public awareness about “lawful access” legislation advanced by the federal government. On this issue, she wrote an open letter to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, penned several op-eds and letters to the editor, organized a pivotal symposium, urged Canadians to write their members of Parliament, launched a dedicated website and developed recommendations to amend the proposed law.

Reintroduced as Bill C-30 in February 2011, this legislation was designed to provide police with greater ability to access and track information about identifiable individuals via everyday communications technologies.

“This so-called ‘lawful access’ legislation represented one of the most invasive threats to our privacy and freedom that I have ever encountered in my 25 years. The broad powers proposed represent much more — they represent a looming system of what I am calling, ‘Surveillance by Design,'” says Cavoukian. “Although the Prime Minister has signalled his openness to amend the bill, we must not let our guard down — we must remain ever vigilant to safeguard our privacy, the underpinning of freedom and liberty.”


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