POLITICS

5 Things To Know About The New Anti-Terrorism Measures

01/30/2015 04:35 EST | Updated 03/31/2015 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - The Harper government introduced a new anti-terrorism bill on Friday that will beef up the powers of the country's spy agency and give police more tools to tackle terror plots and plotters. Here are five things to know:

— The Canadian Security Intelligence Service will get new powers to actively disrupt terrorism plots, instead of just collecting information about them. CSIS would need "reasonable grounds to believe" there was a security threat before taking measures to disrupt it and would need a court warrant whenever proposed disruption measures violate the Charter of Rights or otherwise breach Canadian law.

— The spy agency will also be allowed to wage cyberwar, by disrupting radical websites and Twitter accounts aimed at impressionable young Canadians. The RCMP would be allowed seek a judge's order to remove terrorist propaganda from the Internet.

— The new law will make it easier for the RCMP to obtain a peace bond, a legal tool that could order suspects to surrender passports or report to police regularly. In the past, the Mounties had to hold a reasonable belief that someone "will commit" a terrorism offence before they could get such a bond. Now, the threshold will be a fear that someone "may commit" an offence.

— The legislation would expand the no-fly regime to cover those who seek to travel by air to take part in terrorist activities, allowing authorities to keep would-be extremists off planes. Under current law, that can only be done to counter an immediate risk to the aircraft.

— The legislation would make it a criminal offence to encourage someone to carry out a terrorism attack. It also would allow police to arrest someone without a warrant and hold them for up to seven days before a hearing. That's up from the three-day maximum under current law.

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