#CyberFLASH: Amendments To US Criminal Procedure May Threaten The Privacy Of Canadians

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The explosion of modern communications technology is increasingly connecting Canadians to the world abroad. Geographical boundaries and distances are no longer as significant as they once were. Today, our phones, the device most of us carry in our pockets, enables us to access our private and confidential information from anywhere in the world, at any time. This same digital interconnectedness, however, makes our information vulnerable to hackers and other criminal enterprises. Indeed, for all its miraculous connectivity and convenience, this brave new world presents unprecedented challenges.

Like never before, lawmakers are having to grapple with the tension between safeguarding our privacy on the one hand, and maintaining our security on the other. Canadians entrust lawmakers, as part of our democratic society, to seek a delicate balance – allowing law enforcement to do its job while preventing undue intrusion into our private affairs. Crucially, if we disagree with their approach, we are free to voice our objections at the ballot box.

Canadian law, however, applies only within Canadian borders. And as cybersecurity becomes more of concern, hackers may not be the only parties interested in Canadians’ private information. If foreign governments enact laws effectively granting their agents access to this information, even in limited circumstances, Canadians have little say in the matter.

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