Monday, August 22, 2005

National Post editorial against Lawful Access

Today's editorial in the National Post has come out against aspects of Canada's proposed lawful access rules:

National Post

"...There will be a temptation for some to forgive this excess in light of enhanced concerns for security after 9/11. But this incorrectly assumes that the new laws would be reserved for extreme cases such as threats to national security. Think again: The Privacy Commissioner reveals that the initiative to reform Canada's lawful access laws predates the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In any case, our judiciary is not insensible to the terrorist threat. And so in cases where tapping an e-mail account or cell phone truly is warranted, the police should have no problem convincing a judge that a warrant should be issued. Removing the robed gatekeeper does little to enhance safety, but merely increases the chance of a rogue officer invading someone's privacy for no valid reason.

We share the Privacy Commissioner's skepticism "about the need for these potentially intrusive and far-reaching measures." We agree that the government should be able to get just about any information it needs to protect national security. But that information should be protected from invasive fishing expeditions by the usual safeguard we have come to expect in a free society: a vigilant judge."

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