10/30/2012 03:10 EDT | Updated 12/29/2012 05:12 EST

Canadian Law Enforcement Renews Demand for Internet Surveillance Legislation

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police renewed its call for Internet surveillance legislation on Friday, urging the government to move forward with Bill C-30. The CACP release included a new video and backgrounder. Law enforcement officials now admit that parts of the bill require amendment, yet as David Fraser points out in this detailed post, the reality is that "lawful access" is irretrievably broken (I've posted in the past on the many changes that are needed to restore balance to Bill C-30). As Fraser argues with respect to mandatory disclosure of personal information:

To put it very simply, if the police cannot convince a judge that the connection should be made, they should not be able to obtain it. If you can't convince a judge that it will lead to evidence of a crime, the cops should go back to the drawing board.

While the CACP insists that "Canadians need to understand what lawful access is truly about", it unfortunately resorts to headline grabbing claims that have little to do with the bill. Much like the government's initial focus on child pornography, the CACP jumps on the recent focus on cyber-bullying, stating:

"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. The Bill makes it an offence to use telecommunications, including social media and the Internet, to injure, alarm, and harass others."

It is striking that the government never mentioned cyber-bullying when it introduced Bill C-30 - not in the press release, the backgrounder, or the myths document. That is because the bill has little to do with cyber-bullying. The attempt to raise it as a justification for Internet surveillance demonstrates yet again how proponents of the bill have failed to muster compelling evidence to support the bill and instead rely on headline-grabbing claims that have minimal connection to the actual proposed legislation.