Yesterday I had a conversation with a very good friend of mine about the new set of Internet laws that the Canadian government is poised to set into reading this Fall in Ottawa, (Investigative Powers for the 21st Century (IP21C) Act). I think for the average Canadian, most would react the same way as my friend did, in outrage that Big brother is about to be given another set of tools that will erode our privacy even further, but not really giving thought as to what the actual ramifications would be. But I like to think that both sides of the coin should be represented, but that can be hard to do when only one side does not want to listen. So, I’m going to post about.
Today I watched an online presentation that was offered by the department of Criminology from Boston University, the centre of North American Criminology, where I saw some opinions of the many governments who are finding the World Wide Web a network of security issues that they would like to control. The web has become a huge security issue for most countries. Among most criminal violations, crimes committed on the Internet are almost never caught. Police are powerless with this new technology, and rightfully so as most countries’ laws have not caught up to it. Especially when the net knows no borders.
Talking about my friend’s ideas. This is what I like to call the American contradiction, when the same person claims that they want privacy, and want to be protected from the boogie man at the some time. It is like paying no taxes, and having one of the largest military budgets on Earth: There is give and take, but you can’t talk from both sides of your mouth. Like my friend, he says that no one should have the right to peek into what people are doing on the Internet without common legal tools such as warrants and seizures of equipment, done through a court order, issued by a judge. The problem for police is the speed and stealth of which criminals work at when committing internet crimes. A clever computer geek can reasonably hide their tracks over the internet, but if police could tap into all ISPs and monitor all networks, then catching criminals would be several times easer.
Am I supporting the new piece of legislation that is about to be read in Parliament? In some respects, yes. I see a need by government to adopt a more realistic set of tools to deal with Internet crimes. Sure, But this with where me and my friend agree on—should this be a blanket law that would allow the police to truly become big brother, and through monitoring, watch every move that its citizens are doing every second of every day? Then I have to draw the line and say not 100 percent of the time. I still believe that “just cause” should be a major of the equation. So I’m going to do some more research on this topic and see what I can come up with. In the mean time, here are some links to read:
The Western Standard – Government of Canada moves to monitor Internet users.