I received this from “Disgusted” who, for some reason, isn’t able get a comment to take at Isaac Brock:
…Bill C-13 is the child of C-30, which was abandoned by the government after previous public safety minister Vic Toews said his Liberal critic could “either stand with us or with the child pornographers.”
Unlike C-30, C-13 does not require service providers to hand over personal information to police without a warrant, but it allows them to do so, which, in practical terms, is the same thing.
This will provide legal cover for what they are already doing. Last month the privacy commissioner reported that in 2011, government agencies requested data from telecoms and social media companies more than a million times.
What kind of data? The government won’t say. Conservative MPs recently voted down an NDP motion to make public the number of warrantless disclosures from telecom firms. When asked about this in the House, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and Justice Minister Peter MacKay give misleading answers, blathering on about warrants when none are required and giving assurances that contradict the legislation. This week, Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay joined with them in disingenuity when she responded to a question in the House about a clause buried in C-31, a massive budget omnibus bill.
The bill will allow Canada Revenue Agency officials to give taxpayer information to police if officials have “reasonable grounds to believe” that certain offences have been committed.
Blacklock’s Reporter, an Ottawa-based website that covers the federal government, reported that, according to lawyers and police, this would allow any clerk at the CRA to hand confidential information to any police officer on a fishing expedition with no paper trail.
Currently, tax information can only be released by a judge. If the Tories pass this clause unamended, it will no longer be judges making that call, but CRA officials, which is scary.
When NDP MP Murray Rankin asked Findlay about this in the House, though, she scoffed.
“Let me be clear,” she said. “Information cannot be shared on the mere suspicion of criminal activity or based on a request initiated by law enforcement authorities.”
That’s not what the bill says.
When the Chronicle Herald sought an explanation, the Finance Department pointed to the threat of child porn, which just doesn’t make sense.
The government is stealthily expanding its legal authority to secretly invade Canadians’ privacy on a massive scale. When called on to explain, it is disingenuous. When cornered, it points to child pornography.
The potential for abuse is shocking. The only thing preventing dirty tricks is the good character of our police, spies and politicians.
Your computer and phone are open to secret warrantless intrusion without oversight or accountability.