Friday, February 13, 2009

Ottawa wants to read your Emails.

As reported by Bill Curry in the Globe and Mail the government in Ottawa is trying to push through legislation that would allow them to monitor emails, phone calls and chats without a warrant. Without going into details about Marlene Jennings' 30 plus page private members bill, I just want to take a few lines and comment about this.

There are arguments on both sides that I find valid. Those for the bill will argue that law abiding Canadians have nothing to fear from this bill, as the powers it grants would be used to monitor and track criminals and gods know the internet is full of sick people that need stopping.

On the flipside, I don't like the idea that Ottawa can read the emails exchanges I have with my accountant about how to better shelter my money from taxes, or about my political stance or about anything else for that matter.

The bill would force internet service providers to acknowledge requests from law enforcement without the need for a warrant. Warrants are in place to make sure that there is probable cause, that all bases were covered and that our privacy is respected. As has already happened in Ontario.

Imagine if a cop thinks his wife is having an affair and has the ISP track her emails and chat logs to satisfy his own curiosity? This could very well happen.

Personally, I think law enforcement needs better tools to catch and track criminals online... but not to the detriment of my (and your) right to privacy.

Muchacho Enfermo

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