Bill C30: Jim Chu, Vancouver Police Chief, Supports Online Surveillance

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Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu is giving renewed support to Bill C-30, controversial legislation that would allow police to monitor online activity. (Darryl Dyck, CP)
Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu is giving renewed support to Bill C-30, controversial legislation that would allow police to monitor online activity. (Darryl Dyck, CP)

A controversial proposal to regulate Canadians' online activities is getting renewed support from Vancouver's top cop.

Vancouver Police Department (VPD) Chief Jim Chu, who is also president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), launched a "renewed effort" on Friday to support Bill C-30, federal legislation that would allow police to obtain users' names, addresses, phone numbers and IP addresses from internet providers without a warrant.

The VPD supports the association's position.

"If we don't take a strong stance on this issue, Canadians will not appreciate the limitations that constrain law enforcement in the cyber world," Chu said in a news release.

"Criminal bullying is extremely concerning to all Canadians, especially the parents of young children, and Bill C-30 also provides new legislation to help police intervene and investigate cyber bullying in their early stages to prevent needless tragedy."

Bill C-30 would require internet service providers (ISPs) to put technology in place allowing police to monitor people's online activity. It would also introduce a series of amendments to the Criminal Code that, among other things, would permit police to use online surveillance equipment without a warrant.

The bill was shelved earlier this year after Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said those opposed to the bill stood with child pornographers, sparking public outcry.

A video produced in support of the legislation states police can already obtain basic subscriber information from ISPs without having to prove the request is legally legitimate.

David Eby, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, said police "don't get it" when it comes to online spying legislation.

"The public doesn't support their ability to spy on their private internet browsing activities," he told The Huffington Post B.C.

"We just wish they would figure that out and move on."

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