Oct 292014
 October 29, 2014  Posted by  Non-U.S.

Privacy and Information Commissioners of Canada attending their annual meeting noted with sadness last week’s events in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, and in Ottawa, Ontario. We join our voices to the thousands of Canadians in expressing our condolences to the grieving families and friends of the fallen whose duty it was to defend our rights and freedoms.

The following days, weeks and months will be critical in determining the future course of action to ensure not only that Canada remains a safe country, but also that our fundamental rights and freedoms are upheld. Legislative changes being contemplated may alter the powers of intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

We acknowledge that security is essential to maintaining our democratic rights. At the same time, the response to such events must be measured and proportionate, and crafted so as to preserve our democratic values.

To that end, the Privacy and Information Commissioners of Canada call on the federal Government:

  • To adopt an evidence-based approach as to the need for any new legislative proposal granting additional powers for intelligence and law enforcement agencies;
  • To engage Canadians in an open and transparent dialogue on whether new measures are required, and if so, on their nature, scope, and impact on rights and freedoms;
  • To ensure that effective oversight be included in any legislation establishing additional powers for intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Canadians both expect and are entitled to equal protection for their privacy and access rights and for their security. We must uphold these fundamental rights that lie at the heart of Canada’s democracy.

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The statement is available on the website of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada.

  4 Responses to “Statement of the Privacy and Information Commissioners of Canada on National Security and Law Enforcement Measures”

  1. I found their statement (press release) hollow. Lacking. Empty.

    Maybe they need coffee?

    They sound beaten into acceptance and this is the best they can come up with. Doesn’t sound encouraging. :/

    Almost makes me want to ask for a refund on the portion of my tax money that goes to them.

  2. Curious. I found it a very strong and deliberate message about not rushing to enact new security or surveillance measures that might be only security theatre. That “evidence-based” in there is gorgeous.

  3. I agree with what they stated, and the words they chose.

    But, the security theater is already happening (I got to see it), and this is the opportune time to rush things out. And it is going to happen.

    They (Privacy and Information Commissioners) have a strong voice, and one that can get peoples attention. This didn’t get much attention or media play that I saw.

    Some of the bills are circulating, some are on 3rd reading, some are likely being drafted (or the dust blown off of them). They could have brought a whole lot more attention to things.

  4. From today

    Privacy Commissioner’s latest annual report highlights a review which identified shortcomings in how the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) monitors and reports on its collection of subscriber data from telecommunications companies without a warrant.

    I wasn’t expecting them to give more news releases. OK, so maybe I’m 100% wrong about the emptiness. More is coming out now.

    They also made available today a “Metadata Analysis”.

    Metadata and Privacy
    A Technical and Legal Overview

    They state that this years breaches are at a “record high”.

    Going to have to read all this over lots of coffees….

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