#CyberFLASH: Conservatives urged to explain position on Internet privacy


image-1OTTAWA – Canada’s privacy watchdog is urging the Conservative government to explain their position on police access to Internet users’ personal data.

Appearing before the Senate committee, Daniel Therrien said he’s concerned the government is taking too narrow a reading of a landmark Supreme Court decision that limited warrantless access to Canadians’ personal information.

“Several months after (the Spencer decision), Canadians are still in the dark about what may happen to their personal information. There appears to be wide variation in how the Spencer decision is being interpreted,” Therrien said. “I would therefore urge Parliament to put an end to this state of ambiguity, and clarify what, if anything, should remain of the common law policing powers to obtain information with a warrant, post-Spencer.”

Therrien was speaking to Bill C-13, legislation introduced by the Conservatives in the name of cyberbullying victims.

Therrien, a former Justice Department lawyer and recent Conservative appointee, said provisions in the bill would greatly increase authorities’ ability to obtain Canadians’ personal information without a warrant.

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