Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Briefing memos tried to connect Magnotta case and "lawful access"

The CBC has uncovered a briefing memo prepared on the day that Luka Magnotta was arrested in Europe designed to convince that the Magnotta investigation would have benefited from the police powers proposed in the government's lawful access internet surveillance bills.

Quite rightly, Michael Geist dismisses these assertions:

But Geist disputes the proposed internet surveillance legislation would have anything to do with a case like Magnotta's.

"By the time the evidence began to accumulate, he was already in Europe," Geist told CBC News. "The claim that C-30 would have made a difference is simply false — there is no evidence that law enforcement ran into problems tracking down his location to Europe and ultimately making the arrest."

Magnotta fled to Paris, then Berlin, after body parts were mailed to the Conservative and Liberal party offices in Ottawa. The torso, later confirmed to be the body of Jun Lin, was discovered earlier in a trash bin at a Montreal apartment building.

As for the specific four claims made in the documents, Geist says there is "far less than meets the eye." He notes:

  • ISPs already disclose subscriber information 94 per cent of the time without a court order. For the remainder, there is no evidence that obtaining a warrant for this kind of case poses a problem.
  • A preservation order still requires a warrant — it is not immediate as suggested in the Q&A documents.
  • There is no evidence that there are delays in obtaining warrants

It really seems that those who wrote and promote the Bill don't understand it.

See: Magnotta case and online surveillance bill linked in memos - Politics - CBC News.

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