Canadians: The police want to read your email

I just read the most horrifying thing in the news. The federal government is looking at reviewing its laws so that police will have access, without a warrant, to your personal account information at your ISP (name, address, email addresses, IP address, etc.). Furthermore, they want to require ISPs to build-in the technical capacity for the police to monitor the electronic transmissions of whoever they are investigating. Whether that will require a warrant remains to be seen. Ironically, this set of laws and policies is being called “Lawful Access.” I guess if they are in charge of the laws they can make anything “lawful”!

Here’s the 411:

News story at CBC

Customer Name and Address Information Consultation
(this is the ISP account information part)

Lawful Access Consultation
(this is the reading-your-email part)

The minister responsible is Stockwell “Personal Watercraft” Day, and he can be contacted here. Explain to him, since he obviously doesn’t know, why the police should never be able to invade our privacy without a judge’s permission.

UPDATE: This is amusing. My email to the Customer Name and Address Information Consultation people was bounced. I used the email link, so it wasn’t my typo. The address on the website has changed since then, so I guess they have fixed the problem. I’m sure it wasn’t a deliberate attempt to make it more difficult for people to make themselves heard…


17 comments on “Canadians: The police want to read your email

  1. Kailana says:

    That's terrible! I liked that we had the privacy that other places did not have. I am not super surprised to hear it is the wonderful Stockwell Day in charge of the idea. He won't been a politician forever, or so we can only hope, does he really want people to be able to read his emails?

  2. Sylvia says:

    You bring up a good point, Kailana. This sort of law cuts both ways, and I'm sure there are more than a few politicians who wouldn't like to have their email monitored!

  3. Stefanie says:

    Wow, is like the Patriot Act somehow bleeding across the border and infecting you up there now too? I'm so sorry.

  4. Sylvia says:

    Oh, it's worse than that. We have a Prime Minister who is a big Bush wannabe. Everything he proposes is to make us more like the US (in a bad way). It's really quite pathetic, like he has an inferiority complex. He thinks he can make Canada more important by making us more like the US. Someone needs to tell him about Bush's approval rating, not to mention the fact that US courts are overturning the parts of the Patriot act that allow this sort of extra-judicial surveillance. I guess to be complete he has to imitate Bush's obliviousness to reality as well.

  5. Kailana says:

    Yay! Someone that thinks like me. I know there are a lot, but all my immedidate friends don't follow politics so they look at me like I am crazy when I talk to the tv politicans (yes, I do that, so sue me) and tell them to… um… go away… I thought for sure we were a smart country. We get rid of Paul Martin, deal with the Conservatives for a year, and then a new election is called. Instead, people actually like the guy and he is staying in power… There is a reason the Conservatives have not been in power in like 20 years or so… we seem to have just forgotten Mulroney so easily. *end rant*
    Stockwell Day has an inferiority complex, too. He led a party, he did not win, so now he is out to bring attention to himself.

  6. Sylvia says:

    It's true, Canadians have no idea what Harper et al. are all about. Mainly that's because he keeps his mouth shut and gags his ministers too. But anyone who is familiar with Alberta sensibilities and can read the signs of a neo-con knows exactly what he's up to. Here's hoping the demise of Bush will bring down Harper too.
    (And for the Americans out there, I will personally come down and shoot any of you who votes for Nader this time. Of course I will use rubber bands, but you get my point.)

  7. Christopher says:

    I'm so sorry that civil liberties are becoming a thing of the past in the Western world. However, as I work at Kafoury & McDougal (, I must protest the idea that Ralph Nader is to blame for the problems of United States today.
    Having personally met Mr. Nader in February, working for Gregory Kafoury, who helped launch Nader's 2000 campaign, and looking at the dictatorship of the two party system in my country I must protest that Mr. Nader is to blame. The so-called “liberal left” of the Democratic party is just as hawkish as the neo-conservatives. Both parties cave to special interests and will not balk at the military-industrial complex. A good documentary to see is The Corporation and Why We Fight. Ralph Nader and other third party candidates are all we have left to truly not vote for corporate sponsored legislatures.

  8. Sylvia says:

    I think that deserves two rubber bands… Come on, you really think nothing would be different if Al Gore had been president for the last 7 years? Puh-lease. It's heartbreaking to think of what might have been.

  9. Michelle says:

    Oh, are you from Portland too, Christopher? Yay!
    And being another crazy liberal from Portland, I have to say I'm pretty sympathetic to Christopher's position. Moderate liberals keep thinking that everything was wonderful when Clinton was in office but he's the one who laid the foundation for a lot of what Bush — and then Bush wannabes like Harper, Day, and Blair — are doing today. And I have a hard time believing that if the Democrats get into office then all of this will go away. Hillary Clinton voted for the Patriot Act TWICE.
    But, ew, like Stephanie, I'm so so so sorry our fascism-lite is seeping north of the border. 😦 I mean, Vancouver is supposed to be my refuge when it all goes bad here, ya know?

  10. Sylvia says:

    Well, let's see… If Gore was president, the US would have ratified Kyoto (and Canada would have followed suit). There would have been no story about WMDs in Iraq, and therefore no Iraq war, and no bombings in Madrid, London, not to mention the daily bombings in Baghdad, the mass exodus of Christians from Iraq, and the rampant kidnapping and torture. Oh, and no looting of Iraqi antiquities. Plus you might have actually caught Osama Bin Laden.
    Gore no doubt would have appointed someone competent to FEMA, and Katrina wouldn't be a stain on your country's reputation. There would have been no gutting of EPA regulations, no oil company CEOs in charge of energy policy, and so on.
    No, you're right. The Democrats are exactly the same as the Republicans. No point in voting for them this time either.

  11. Michelle says:

    Oh, you're absolutely right about Kyoto. And that is definitely where the Democrats distinguish themselves from the Republicans. Considering that the US consumes 25% of the world's resources, that alone is worth strongly considering a vote for the Democrats (though Clinton was great at agreeing to do something and not following through, but on this issue I do think Gore would have taken it much more seriously).
    Iraq is a bit more complicated. While *our* soldiers wouldn't be dying there (and my sister would still have a husband), Iraqis – including Iraqi Christians – would still be dying in large numbers unless Gore would have significantly changed course from Clinton's policies of monthly air bombing and sanctions which UNICEF claims killed between 1 and 1.5 million people — the majority of whom were children. And I didn't see a lot in the Gore campaign that suggested a marked shift.
    With regard to Katrina, well, an untrained monkey would have managed better than ol' Brownie. But a lot of the problems — both emergency management and preparedness — were more complicated than just a problem with FEMA (whose problems dated back to the first Bush [Hurricanes Hugo and Andrew] and should have been fixed during the Clinton years). I do think Gore would have taken more of a lead in saving and restoring wetlands along the Gulf Coast…but probably only after a similar level of destruction due to lack of wetlands and adequate levees.
    Sorry to ramble so much. Thinking about this has been a nice distraction during a very bad pain day. If it makes you feel better, evaluating a theoretical Gore presidency even helped me at the doctor's office this afternoon. 🙂

  12. Stefanie says:

    Oh Sylvia, I'm afraid you are going to have to shoot rubberbands at me because I not only voted for Nader in 2000, I did so proudly. I have to agree with Christopher and Michelle. Gore did not lose because of Nader, Gore lost because of Gore. Clinton was not a horrible president but he wasn't the demi-god so many Democrats make him out to be. Gore would have continued along a similar path which for me was not good enough. I voted for Nader because he was the candidate that offered genuine change in a directioin I wanted to see this country go in. I am also very tired of voting for Democratic Party candidates regardless of their vision or lack there of simply because they are not as bad as Republicans. I don't know who I am going to vote for in 2008. But I do know I won't vote for Hilary just because I want a woman to be president, or Obama just because I want an African American to be president.
    As for the Bush-like laws and politics in Canada, I always like to think of all of you up there as being smart and engaged, what I wish the majority of Americans were. Or maybe I am only wishful thinking? I hope Canadians figure out faster than Americans did that the Bush way is not a good way.

  13. Sylvia says:

    Glad to help, Michelle. For your next assigment, imagine the US under President Giuliani…
    Stefanie, I wish I could say Canadians are smarter than Americans, but I'm not so sure. Certaily we like our free health care, but if we didn't have it I doubt we would vote for it today. Basically, we will sell out anything or anybody to get a tax cut. I'm talking about the voting majority here. It's shocking how people with tons of money to spend talk as though they are poverty-stricken. There really is no end to human greed and insensitivity to those in need.
    I think I'm going to run out of rubber bands. Certainly stretegic voting isn't very satisfying, but when there is such a gulf between the greater evil and lesser evil, in terms of human misery, then I think it has to be done.

  14. Stefanie says:

    I'm totally disillusioned about Canada now. Thanks for ruining my escape plan.
    Heh, maybe you need to make a visit to Chevy Chase, Maryland 😉

  15. Sylvia says:

    Sorry. Canada has been lurching decidedly rightward recently, with the possible exception of Quebec (which is implementing Kyoto on its own and has a fabulous public daycare program). Poverty in this country is growing by leaps and bounds at the same time that the economy is going gangbusters (thanks in part to you guys buying our oil). We're the wealthiest we've ever been and can't spare a dime for our fellow citizens in distress. It's disgusting.

  16. Sylvia says:

    By the way, thanks for the link. I guess I'll have to pass through there on my way to shoot all you Bush-electors. 😛

  17. Christopher says:

    Thanks Michelle, always good to see another Portlander!
    The problems with voting for a Democrat today (under the philosophy that it is the lesser of two evils) is that they are, for the most part, exactly the same as the Republican party – controlled by the corporations. It takes over 1 million bucks to get elected to the US House. We no longer have an All The King's Men situation. 30 second attack ads are what we get.
    The attention span of my fellow Americans is about 20 seconds and whatever their favorite pundit tells them. It is disgusting.

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