Parliament is back up and running, and so, of course, issues around lawful access, telco disclosures, Bill C-13, IP addresses and metadata are all hot and back at the forefront. Among the related news we saw this week: According to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada doesn't even use metadata for domestic surveillance of homegrown terrorists. Then, there were reports that, according to a June poll, less than one-fourth of Canadians support the idea of expanding police powers to access information about Canadians' Internet usage. And finally, it looks like Bill C-13, the cyberbullying bill with the controversial lawful access provisions, is moving full steam ahead—despite the Spencer decision confirming legal authorization is required for those disclosures. Lots going on with this issue. If you thought it would go away in the fall, think again.
It makes me wonder if Parliament and organizations in both the public and private sectors are paying less attention to regulators and their concerns in general. If what has been happening with the lively discussions between Netflix and the CRTC lately are any indication—or even if you listen to what Google's Eric Schmidt said this week regarding the CRTC, essentially that Canadians should be the ones to decide the future of television and not the CRTC—will more organizations be telling our regulators to simply take a hike?
Lastly, I think it's only fitting in this space to take a moment to recognize the passing of former Privacy Commissioner George Radwanski. He was a controversial figure, there's no doubt about that, and he made some very big mistakes. But I do hope that people will also remember that he was also passionate and dedicated to the cause—some might say, to a fault. If you have a few moments, I would urge you to read the obituary that appeared in The Globe and Mail, which celebrates that side of him. And our condolences to his family and those who cared for him.
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