Monday, February 21, 2011

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act

The Library of Parliament has published its Legislative summary of Bill C-51: Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act:

"The purpose of the bill is to modernize certain offences in the Criminal Code (the Code) and the Competition Act to take into account new communications technologies and to equip law enforcement agencies with new investigative tools that are adapted to computer crimes. To facilitate collaboration with foreign law enforcement agencies, the bill also amends the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act. According to the Department of Justice, the new investigative powers within the proposed legislation give law enforcement agencies the ability to address organized crime and terrorism activities online by:

  • enabling police to identify all the network nodes and jurisdictions involved in the transmission of data and trace the communications back to a suspect. Judicial authorizations would be required to obtain transmission data, which provides information on the routing but does not include the content of a private communication;
  • requiring a telecommunications service provider to temporarily keep data so that it is not lost or deleted in the time it takes law enforcement agencies to return with a search warrant or production order to obtain it;
  • making it illegal to possess a computer virus for the purposes of committing an offence of mischief; and
  • enhancing international cooperation to help in investigating and prosecuting crime that goes beyond Canada's borders."

"Bill C-51 is identical to Bill C-46, introduced in the House of Commons during the 2nd Session of the 40th Parliament on 18 June 2009, with the exception that it does not contain provisions related to offences against children. Such provisions are proposed in this parliamentary session in Bill C-54, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sexual offences against children). The proposed legislation complements Bill C-52, An Act regulating telecommunications facilities to support investigations, and Bill C-50, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (interception of private communications and related warrants and orders), as these bills address different aspects of a proposed lawful access regime ..."

"The bill aims to update Canadian criminal law. More specifically, the principal amendments in the bill:

  • provide that hate propaganda offences can be committed by any means of communication and including making hate material available (clause 5);
  • create the offence of possession of a computer virus for the purpose of committing mischief (clause 10);
  • make it possible for law enforcement agencies to make a demand or obtain a court order for the preservation of electronic evidence (clause 13);
  • creating new judicial production orders for obtaining data relating to the transmission of communications or data for tracking a thing or individual (clause 13);
  • create warrants for obtaining transmission data in real time and for the remote activation of tracking devices in certain types of technologies (clause 17);
  • modernize the deceptive marketing practices offences in the Competition Act (clauses 24 to 26); and
  • amend the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act so the new production orders can be used by Canadian authorities who receive assistance requests from other countries (clause 32)."
It is possible to follow the progress of the bill via the LEGISinfo website.

See the related Library Boy post of February 3, 2011 entitled Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Improving Access to Investigative Tools for Serious Crimes Act.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:11 pm


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