Lawful Access Legislation: Online Spying Critics Siding With Child Pornographers, Vic Toews Says

Posted: Updated:
LAWFUL ACCESS ONLINE SURVEILLANCE BILL CANADA TOWE
The government says anyone who opposes federal plans to make electronic surveillance easier for police and spies is siding with child pornographers. (CP, Shutterstock Photos) | CP/Shutterstock

UPDATE - The Opposition has come out swinging against legislation that would make electronic surveillance easier for police and spies.

New Democrat MP Charlie Angus says his party will vigorously fight the bill tabled today.

The NDP says the legislation gives authorities easy access to too much personal information about Internet users.

Angus says the measures would open the process to police fishing expeditions.

Asked Monday about the coming bill, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told a Liberal MP he could either stand with the government or with child pornographers prowling online.

Opposition MPs have denounced his comments as an insult to those who care about civil liberties.

OTTAWA - The government says anyone who opposes federal plans to make electronic surveillance easier for police and spies is siding with child pornographers.

It's the first salvo in a battle that will resume Tuesday when the government reintroduces legislation that would expand online monitoring powers.

The issue pits the desire of intelligence and law-enforcement officials to have easier access to information about Internet users against the individual's right to privacy.

Asked Monday in the House of Commons about the coming bill, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told a Liberal MP he could either stand with the government or "with the child pornographers" prowling online.

Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart has warned against simply resurrecting a trio of previous federal bills to expand surveillance powers, citing several shortcomings.

Of particular concern to the privacy commissioner are provisions that would allow authorities access to Internet subscriber information without first getting a court's go-ahead.

Toews office has said the government will strike an appropriate balance between necessary investigative powers and the protection of privacy.

Still, opposition MPs were alarmed by his comments Monday.

"Apparently if you care about civil liberties in this country you obviously side with child pornographers, murderers," said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

"You're the worst form of scum if you believe the charter's an important instrument for the rule of law in this country. I'm horrified by this kind of rhetoric. It demeans us all."

New Democrat MP Peter Julian accused the government of asking people to make "absurd choices."

"They simply do not have any credibility when it comes to putting in place a justice system that actually protects Canadians."

-

LAWFUL ACCESS
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Lawful Access | Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic ...

Tories stand firm on 'online spying' legislation

Tories say 'lawful access' Internet legislation needed

A licence to snoop

Re-Introduction of lawful access legislation 'serious concern,' says Ontario ...

Govt set to gain 'back-door' access to corporate email