Library of Parliament Article on Computer Privacy and Security
The article explains the current legal environment and analyzes bills and court rulings from recent years that deal with the circumstances under which police may gain access to private computer information.
Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:
- Canadian Government Consultation on Lawful Access (September 14, 2007): "The purpose of this consultation is to provide a range of stakeholders - including police and industry representatives and groups interested in privacy and victims of crime issues - with an opportunity to identify their current views on possible approaches to updating Canada’s lawful access provisions as they relate to law enforcement and national security officials’ need to gain access to CNA [customer name and address] information in the course of their duties. The possible scope of CNA information to be obtained is later identified, but it should be noted from the outset that it would not, in any formulation, include the content of communications or the Web sites an individual visited while online."
- CIPPIC Paper on Government's Lawful Access Initiative (October 16, 2007): "This is a follow-up to the September 14, 2007 Library Boy post entitled Canadian Government Consultation on Lawful Access ... Yesterday, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) at the University of Ottawa made its submission available. In its conclusions, CIPPIC remains highly sceptical of government arguments about the need for greater access to CNA information: 'Information identifying telecommunications subscribers can be highly sensitive given the electronic trail of publicly available and otherwise accessible data that individuals now leave about themselves on the internet and other digital devices as they go about their daily lives. For this reason, we submit that CNA information raises a 'reasonable expectation of privacy' on which a Charter challenge to laws permitting warrantless access could be based' ..."
- Canadian Government Re-Introduces Internet Surveillance Bills (November 2, 2010): "The federal government has re-introduced two bills in the House of Commons that would allow police and intelligence officials to intercept online communications and get personal information from Internet service providers. The government explains that the legislation targets child sexual predators, distributors of pornography and identity thieves. The bills also go after people who use the Internet to plan terrorist acts."
- Library of Parliament Comparison of Lawful Access Laws in Canada, US, UK and Australia (December 13, 2012): "The Library of Parliament recently posted an updated version of a paper comparing Canadian legislative proposals relating to lawful access to the situation in the UK, the USA and Australia. 'Lawful access' refers to a police investigative technique that allows for the interception of electronic communications during a lawful search (...) This background paper compares Bill C-30 [introduced in the Canadian Parliament in the first session of the 41st Parliament] with similar legislation in these three countries. Major differences and similarities are highlighted, with particular reference to three aspects covered in the Canadian bill: interception capability, requests to TSPs for information about subscribers and tracking warrants. The comparison is a useful one because Bill C-30 is the latest of several significant Canadian initiatives that have dealt with lawful access and that have proposed consistently similar provisions."