Privacy

You’re all being spied on

Bill C-13, which became law last year, makes it legal for law enforcement to access Canadians’ internet data without a warrant, effectively legalizing domestic surveillance. It’s no more about cyberbullying than Goodfellas was about a bunch of fellas being nice to people.

Classic Goodfellas dance number:

In fact, the mother of cyber-bullying victim Amanda Todd told a parliamentary committee that she was “concerned about some of the other unrelated provisions that have been added to the bill in the name of Amanda, Rehtaeh, and all of the children lost to cyberbullying attacks.” The government responded to her concerns by excluding her from further participation in the hearing process.

It turns out the Supreme Court isn’t a fan of this bill either. In a case last summer the government argued that revealing the user of an IP address is on par with looking someone up in the phone book . The Supreme Court rolled their eyes and said no dude, an IP address isn’t like a home address, it’s effectively the address of your thoughts. For example, here are Stephen Harper’s Google searches over a one-hour period:

Mulcair
Beard
Trudeau
Dogs
Weird?
Heuy Lewis
Twerking
Tutorial

So why should this matter to you? If you didn’t do anything wrong you have nothing to hide. Well “wrong” and “illegal” aren’t the same thing (see Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, Nelson Mandela). Also, our private lives are where we create, explore, and get sexy – the things that make life worth living. Once we open them up to mass surveillance, we’ll inevitably become less creative, less sexy and more boring. So basically more like Stephen Harper.

C-51

You better be careful what you say, because Bill C-51 criminalizes “advocating and promoting terrorism offences in general” – whatever the hell the government decides “in general” means. It also lets the spy agency CSIS “take measures to reduce threats to the security of Canada” – whatever the hell the government decides a “threat” is (Soo long environmental groups) .. And those “measures” can include breaking the law or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Because to Harper, laws and charters are like the “suggested servings” on bags of cookies, they’re just aspirational.

Harper-30-Magna-Carta

If Will Smith’s performance in “Enemy of the State” has taught us anything, it’s that we should be afraid, very afraid…and never look up.

But will a juiced up CSIS abuse its new superpowers? The honest answer is we will probably never know, because the Harper government, who supported more oversight when they were in opposition, now thinks more oversight would be “needless red tape.” We might need a word beyond hypocritical to describe the Harper government. How about “hyperhypocriticalastic?” Or “The Worst?”

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