#CyberFLASH: Taxpayers would have to foot bill for new high-tech police powers, wireless industry says

surveillance

Canada’s top telecommunications industry group says any government move to force its members to install equipment to intercept digital traffic and store data to aid police investigations would have to be covered by taxpayers.

“We have always submitted that there should be a mechanism for the government to cover the costs or possibly law enforcement,” said Kurt Eby, director of regulatory affairs and government relations for the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.

“Every time the government looks to add a layer such as this, there is going to be cost incurred.”

The federal government is holding public consultations on Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act, which includes proposals for new investigative powers for police to gather digital evidence.

Police are lobbying for laws that would require telecommunications and internet service providers to retain user data like email, text and call records, and force those same companies to build intercept capabilities into their networks to enable investigators to tap digital communications.

Data Retention

There is currently no regulation to require telecommunications companies to store data for any length of time.

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