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The Supreme Court of Canada Friday issued a ruling that police officers need to get one of those warrants to gets personal information from Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which does not bode well for the Conservatives’ new anti-cyberbullying bill. Wait, what? Why is there a connection between cyberbullying being bad and hitting up ISPs for juicy customer data?

At it’s core, Bill C-13 (Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act), is an anti-online crime bill. Notably, it has anti-revenge porn provisions, meaning that under the bill, you wouldn’t be able to post nudes of your ex to get back at them, because that’s totally a dick move (sometimes literally).

The rub is the enforcement provisions. So how do you catch these revenge pornographers after identifying them? For the Justice Minister, it’s letting police officers give Bell, Shaw, and Rogers a call and asking for all those sweet IP address and names, and then throwing these perps in prison, provided, of course, “reasonable grounds for suspicion,” otherwise known as the ‘pinky-swear provision’.

 

Would this man ever lie to you?Chris Wattie

Would this man ever lie to you?
Chris Wattie

 

In Canada we seem to have this notion that if you have evidence, good hard evidence, you go to a judge, convince the judge that you need a little bit more, and get the warrant to get the extra bit of info you need. That’s real police work. Whereas what this bill proposes is that when it comes to online activities, everyone should be accountable for everything because…gathering evidence is hard? And rights are overrated.

The Supreme Court ruling would seem to help shape the bill, but given how MacKay has treated SCC rulings in the past, it’s likely it’ll be trivially considered, but mostly avoided.

Trudeau, Mulcair, and the hippy train of anti-Harperites have proposed a reasonable idea: Split the bill in two, leaving the criminalization bill to pass easily, and the enforcement bill to be the subject of further debate.

However, it’s likely that Justice Minister Peter MacKay would rather bludgeon the opposition by asking if they’re opposed to protecting victims, and asking the privacy commissioner if he would “disagree with the police?”

After all, none of us would ever want to disagree with the police, especially not when they want to make it easier to arrest us. It’s their job to rob us of our privacy, and our duty to baa like sheep.