Jun 172009
 June 17, 2009  Posted by  Featured News, Govt, Non-U.S., Online, Surveillance

Police will be given new powers to eavesdrop on Internet-based communications as part of a contentious government bill, to be announced Thursday, which Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan has said is needed to modernize surveillance laws crafted during “the era of the rotary phone.”

The proposed legislation would force Internet service providers to allow law enforcement to tap into their systems to obtain information about users and their digital conversations.


Van Loan’s bill has been posted on a notice paper of pending government legislation and it is expected to be tabled in the House of Commons before MPs break for their summer recess on Friday. He has scheduled a news conference for Thursday with Justice Minister Rob Nicholson.

Read more in The Windsor Star.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., a new study (pdf) by the the London School of Economics (LSE) on government plans to intercept internet traffic found that monitoring could be overly intrusive and impose an unfair burden on ISPs:

We question whether the Home Office fully understands the extent to which they are recommending changes in the ways in which surveillance activities are authorised, were its wishes granted. This would lead to a tipping of the balance in favour of state power and away from communications privacy rights for the individual. In fact, the current policy environment already has incredibly weak privacy safeguards, and the
Home Office is going some way to worsening the situation rather than improving it.

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