Despite how pro-privacy the Harper government has claimed to be, with the destruction of the long gun registry out of privacy concerns, it is absolutely no surprise to me that they’re total hypocrites when it comes to actual privacy concerns, like warrantless information-gathering from ISPs.
Suppose you read an online article – not this one, hopefully – that makes you so angry you post a comment under your online pseudonym, “Irate Canuck,” saying that someone ought to shoot the author. The police notice.
Under legislation that the Conservatives will soon be introducing, the police could order your Internet service provider to hand over your personal information so that they could have a talk with you.
If they are sufficiently concerned, they could get a warrant and begin tracking your every move. You really should have turned off the GPS on your smart phone.
The Conservatives insist that the only digital information that police could require Internet service providers to obtain without a warrant is the sort any good investigator (or reporter) can find through online trolling.
But Jennifer Stoddart, the federal Privacy Commissioner, reads the legislation very differently. Based on the previous versions of the bills, she wrote to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews recently, “there is not even a requirement for the commission of a crime to justify access to personal information – real names, home address, unlisted numbers, e-mail addresses, IP addresses and much more – without a warrant.”
Another step in the long march toward the kind of totalitarian fascism that Conservatives usually only have in their wet dreams. To those of you who couldn’t be bothered to vote and stop the Tories from getting a majority government — of 39% of voters, which is a tiny slice of the country considering the voter turnout for this last election was something like 61% — this is your fault for not voting. And if you’re happy about this hypocrisy, about this slow erosion of rights, about building mega-prisons and eliminating the long-gun registry and ignoring global warming and creating “faith-based initiatives” and making it so the government can spy on everything you do on the internet without a warrant… well, congratulations. I hope you enjoy all the wonderful little perks this will give you. Please feel free to enumerate those perks below.