The Canadian government has announced that it has no intention to resurrect the unpopular Internet surveillance bill and won’t implement any new snooping legislation that was initially thought likely come to pass.
Officially known as Bill C-30, it contained such disliked legal allowances, as giving the government the ability for warrantless mandatory disclosure of basic subscriber information and would have required ISPs to build systems that would allow for the interception and monitoring of their customer’s traffic. Fortunately none of this is now coming to pass, as was announced by justice minister Rob Nicholson, who said that his party had listened to the concerns of all Canadians.
However, one caveat to this announcement was that a very small part of the bill will be preserved in a new form, allowing for warrantless wiretapping of telephones in instances where an “emergency,” is taking place.
“We are immensely relieved,” said Chantal Bernier, the federal assistant privacy commissioner, when discussing the shutdown of the original bill. She described it as, “the result of the recognition of the fundamental right to privacy of Canadians, and also of their attachment to it.”
Initially announced in early 2012, the C-30 bill led to a huge backlash by average Canadian citizens, many of whom felt the legislation was too sweeping in its language and potentially allowed for the justified spying on innocent civilians – much in the same way as the more international SOPA and PIPA bills that were shot down in 2011/2012.
At the time, the government said that they would reassess the bill and make modifications before going ahead with it. However after a year of languishing, it appears that the C-30 will be scrapped for good, with only a minute element of its lawmaking powers retained.
“This is a great day,” said Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian (via TheGlobeandMail) “This is a victory for privacy and for freedom.”