Canada: Privacy commissioner denies Internet surveillance compromise with police

Jesse Brown writes for Macleans.ca that Jim Bronskill, of The Canadian Press, has reported a weird story. He filed an access to information request and obtained an internal memo from the privacy commissioner’s office. In his words, it reveals this:

“The federal privacy watchdog is trying to help the Conservative government find a compromise in its contentious bid to bolster Internet surveillance powers.”

How strange. Strange for the Privacy Commissioner to be helping the state “bolster surveillance,” and strange for her to be doing so in the spirit of compromise. Why compromise with Bill C-30? “Lawful Access,”  which was rebranded the “Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act,” but is known widely as the ”Internet Spying Bill,” was pronounced dead the prior spring, in a seeming victory for privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, who opposed it from the start.

So, why cut a deal with a dead foe? Perhaps she didn’t.

“I reject the characterization of this as a compromise outright,” assistant privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier said in a phone interview with me yesterday. “Privacy is a fundamental right. You don’t compromise on fundamental rights.”

Read the rest of the story HERE.

 

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