Online spying


OCTOBER 13, 2011




OTTAWA– How far are the Conservative government planning on going with its “Lawful Access” online snooping bill? This is the question NDP Privacy Critic Charlie Angus and MP Charmaine Borg say must be answered by the Conservatives. The New Democrats are particularly concerned about plans for allowing police warrantless access to customer data on internet and cell phone use.


 In a letter written to Justice Minister Toews the New Democrat MPs challenge the government’s non-answers on lawful access:


 “Unfortunately, your answers in the House of Commons haven’t been clear on the essential issue of allowing unrestricted access to data identification without warrants. Such a move will make it possible to track…online shopping, recreational activities and even real-time locations of individuals without any need to prove cause for such snooping.”


 Angus says that the government’s decision not to include Lawful Access in its recent omnibus crime bill is a victory for privacy rights activists but the fight is far from over.


“Canadians are pushing back against this bill. And little wonder. Lawful Access would require your local cell-phone or internet service provider to be used as surveillance tools without your knowledge.”


Charmaine Borg says the New Democrats are organizing with civil society groups to push back against the Conservative agenda.


“Unless the lawful access bill is dramatically changed, this legislation will represent an unprecedented erosion of Canadian privacy rights. The New Democrats will fight hard to protect the rights of law-abiding Canadians.” 




For more information or a copy of the letter please contact:

Jesse Brady, Press Secretary, 613-720-6400 or