September 26, 2011

Is this okay with you?

Please take a minute and read this column from the weekend by The Star's Michael Geist.

The Conservative Party (or, as I refer to them, the Reform Party) is set to roll out an internet surveillance law. They've left it out of their first big omnibus bill that will see people imprisoned for spitting on the sidewalk (which I can almost get on board with, come to think of it; so gross), but it is coming.

So why should you care? Geist "holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law." He knows what he's talking about; his column is always informative and while it requires your full attention, it's important.

"If the Conservatives move forward with their complete lawful access package, it would feature a three-pronged approach focused on information disclosure, mandated surveillance technologies and new police powers." Geist sees no reason for them not moving forward. They've said as much.

Are you really prepared to have the government being able to covertly go through your communications? For your internet provider to be compelled to release information without court order?

The first person who says to me 'if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to be afraid of' gets slapped. You must be joking. To what degree are your prepared to give up your freedom and your privacy, even in this age of a huge diminishing of both? I get that my picture gets taken hundreds of times a day, as I walk down a street or enter a bank or store. I watch enough 48Hours. I get it.

Please read the column. This is your majority. This is your majority on steroids. We're going down the rabbit hole, Alice.

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Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Welcome to the Thought Police. I'm fed up with Stephen Harper and his fascism.He wasn't elected to spy on us. You can see how easily this info can be hijacked by hackers and used against us, let alone our own government. The people we elect to serve and protect US. Time for Harper to start growing a little 'stache and goose stepping.

September 26, 2011 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Zena said...

Y'know, when I go to the toilet or take a shower or get (un)dressed, I don't really have anything to hide. I mean, all anyone who chose to ogle through my windows would really be seeing is a bit of ambivalent middle-aged flab wobbling around my bed/bathroom.

But I still close my curtains. Because even though I don't have anything to hide, I still want to keep a little bit of myself and my life to myself.

Same reason I would never voluntarily give up my DNA for any criminal investigation. It's mine.

Yeh, I believe that police should be given reasonable access to information while gathering evidence for specific criminal cases. But nothing I've seen has convinced me that unfettered public surveillance is in any way necessary or even helpful to solving crimes.

Heyyy, wait a minute - maybe that's how the government plans on finding all those "un-reported" criminals...

September 26, 2011 1:54 PM  
Blogger DJW said...

I have a friend who is a Corrections Officer.

He says that people like us (I'm making assumptions here) are referred to as "Unconvicted Individuals Living in the Community"

We're all guilty of something, I guess the Government wants to prove it.


September 26, 2011 8:25 PM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Corrections Officer has been hanging with the choir a little too long! It's one thing to say what constitutes as normal can be placed on a ruler and stretched to infinity in both ends while society norms (and laws) fit somewhere in the middle. It's quite another to have a cabal of elected few deciding who gets to spy on who without specified just cause. Invasion of privacy, pure and simple. No amount of sophistry can erase that fact.

September 26, 2011 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Zena said...

So who gets to spy on the Government? Because if people like us are "Unconvicted Individuals Living in the Community," and, by assumption, guilty of something, then it stands to reason that government officials are likewise "Unconvicted Individuals" (ostensibly, ones Squatting in Parliament and Setting Public Policy Whilst Spying on the Unconvicted Individuals Living in the Community) and, by definition (no assumptions here), guilty of something too...

(A very B-I-G something...)

Who spies on the spies?

September 26, 2011 10:15 PM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

"who spies on the spies?"
Gee, I thought that was cleared up in January, Julian Assange of Wikileaks. ;)

September 26, 2011 11:17 PM  
Blogger David Moffat, Centre of the Universe said...

further to DJW's comments, many years ago, a friend of my parents was Chief of Detectives /Deputy Chief or something like that for Toronto. He said that if you ever came to the attention of the police, while you MAY be innocent of that crime, you are guilty of another so we will arrest you anyway.

September 27, 2011 11:41 AM  
Blogger DJW said...

To Dave

Thats my attitude should I ever get jury duty.


September 27, 2011 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Roz said...

I was on a jury once. It was fun.

Whenever I hear of Corrections Officers/Chiefs of Police etc. I automatically think of mr. High & mighty air force dude who raped and murdered and pillaged and stole women's underwear. Everyone is a little bent it seems.

September 27, 2011 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the story in 'General Motors OnStar will track you even if you cancel service' Folks, there is no more privacy. My cousin works 'intelligence' for our Royal Canadian Army and he smiled widely when I asked him about "what they know" regarding "people". He didn't say anything, he didn't have to. Want to learn more? Wiki RAF Menwith Hill for a view from the top. Locally you might enjoy ...the recruiting site for CSIS. (I want to be a Surveillant) Oh, and Mr. Geist isn't so smart. He fought hard to remove completely the longstanding, lawful copyright protection songwriters need to live and retire on.

September 28, 2011 1:53 PM  
Anonymous B1 said...

I've been howling about this Big-Brother-surveillance trend for years. Finally, someone's listening. Not that it will change anything.

Trust the right wing to phoney up a crisis when crime rates are generally decreasing (even notorious Windsor, ON, hasn't had a murder in two years).

September 29, 2011 10:21 AM  

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