#CyberFLASH: Canadian Telecoms Gave Environment Canada Hundreds Of Subscribers’ Information

image-1OTTAWA – Newly disclosed records show Environment Canada obtained information from telecommunications companies about hundreds of subscribers in the last five years.

Employment and Social Development Canada, the Competition Bureau, Justice Canada, the military police and the Transportation Safety Board also say they request subscriber details in the course of their work.

A legislative move by the federal government to make it easier for authorities to find out more about Internet users has heightened concerns about online privacy.

Numbers tabled in Parliament indicate Environment Canada obtained information on 750 subscribers from Jan. 1, 2010, through May 22 of this year.

Environment says the requests — aimed at helping enforcement officers investigate environmental and wildlife crime — were often for the name of a subscriber associated with a particular telephone number.

The Competition Bureau obtained information on 124 subscribers during the same period, while the Justice Department’s international assistance group — which helps foreign states — made approximately 270 requests.

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