#CyberFLASH: Govt tries to shut down debate on Online Spying Bill

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The government looks likely to shut down debate on its controversial Online Spying Bill C-13, which MPs are scheduled to discuss later today. The move comes after tens of thousands have spoken out on a pro-privacy petition organized by OpenMedia.ca and a huge nationwide 50 organization Protect our Privacy coalition. If the government succeeds, this could be the last day of 2nd Reading debate on the bill, which is being driven forward by Justice Minister Peter MacKay.

Bill C-13 sparked immediate controversy after experts revealed how over 60 pages of the bill were lifted from Vic Toews’ failed online spying Bill C-30, which the government was forced to withdraw after Canadians spoke out against it. Experts say that Bill C-13 would give a wide range of authorities access to the private lives of law-abiding Canadians. The bill grants legal immunity to telecom providers who hand over Canadians’ private information without a warrant, as has already happenedover 18,000 times in the case of just a single government agency last year.

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