Canadian internet privacy getting another screwing by the Harper government

Over the years of the Harper Conservative government in Canada there has been a constant push to give the police more power when it comes to getting information about you from your ISP. For the most part they have failed in being able to push any legislation through the House of Commons but for the last four years or so that was because they didn’t have a majority government.

Well as of the last election that changed and now Harper is back trying to push a revamped “Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communication Act” through the Parliament; and you should be really afraid.

C-52 requires all telecommunications company to provide to law enforcement “any information in the service provider’s possession or control respecting the name, address, telephone number, and electronic mail address of any subscriber to any of the service provider’s telecommunications services and the Internet protocol address, mobile identification number, electronic serial number, local service provider identifier, international mobile equipment identity number, international mobile subscriber identity number and subscriber identity module card [SIM card] number that are associated with the subscriber’s service and equipment.”

To get that information, law enforcement won’t necessarily need a warrant. Each agency can designate up to 5 percent of its total employees as authorized to request the information, and it can ban telcos from admitting that they have provided any such information. Bill C-52 looks to be a key part of the upcoming “omnibus” bill that will include a host of other security-related material.

via Ars Technica

Even our country’s Privacy Commissioner considers this to be a bad bill saying that it is too broad and gives the police too much power.

We are concerned that clause 16 of Bill C-52 would give authorities access to a wide scope of personal information without a warrant; for example, unlisted numbers, email account data and IP addresses. The Government itself took the view that this information was sensitive enough to make trafficking in such ‘identity information’ aCriminal Code offence. Many Canadians consider this information sensitive and worthy of protection, which does not fit with the proposed self-authorized access model.

Given that Harper has a majority government now things don’t look very good at this point for Canadians when it comes to their privacy on the web.