#CyberFLASH: New counterterrorism powers already coming in cyberbullying bill

attack-powers28nw2Police in Canada will soon have new tools to track terror suspects through online records, bank accounts and other means – powers the RCMP Commissioner called for this week but which are already moving through Parliament.

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson made the request for new powers Monday after a pair of attacks last week that killed Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo. The Commissioner said police should, in some cases, need less hard evidence to get court approval to track suspects or to monitor them online or by phone.

However, police are already getting some of those powers. Bill C-13, the government’s anti-cyberbullying law with several controversial surveillance powers, would allow police to seek court orders for information, such as online records and bank account details, with what critics and privacy advocates say is too little evidence to back up the request.

The killing of the two soldiers has spurred Canada to review what powers it gives police to investigate terror cases, setting up a showdown over privacy rights.

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