#CyberFLASH: Lawful Access Bill Would Have Allowed NSA-Style Spying In Canada, says Geist

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controversial bill that would have given the federal government greater power to track Canadians online included a provision that would have allowed for an NSA-style surveillance system, says a prominent digital law professor.

University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist says a provision in Bill C-30 would have given carte blanche to government agencies to install whatever monitoring equipment they want on telecom service providers’ networks.

The Harper government withdrew Bill C-30 (known as the “Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act”) earlier this year, after public concerns the bill would allow the government to surveil Canadians without a warrant online, but many political observers say the government is already sowing the seeds for a similar new bill to come.

In a recent blog post, Geist noted that section 14(4) of Bill C-30 would have given the government the power to “provide [a] telecommunications service provider with any equipment … that the Minister considers the service provider needs to comply” with government requests under the new law.

Read more on HuffingtonPost.ca

Five Eyes spying alliance will survive Snowden

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Britain needed US intelligence to help thwart a major terror attack. New Zealand relied on it to send troops to Afghanistan. And Australia used it to help convict a would-be bomber.

All feats were the result of a spying alliance known as Five Eyes that groups together five English-speaking democracies, and they point to a vital lesson: American information is so valuable, experts say, that no amount of global outrage over secret US surveillance powers would cause Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to ditch the Five Eyes relationship.

The broader message is that the revelations from NSA leaker Edward Snowden are unlikely to stop or even slow the global growth of secret-hunting – an increasingly critical factor in the security and prosperity of nations.

Information is like gold,” said Bruce Ferguson, the former head of New Zealand’s foreign spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau. “If you don’t have it, you don’t survive.

Read more here

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