Remember when you were bullied as a kid with the old ‘hey why are you punching yourself?’ gag? Yeah it was sort of funny because you weren’t actually hitting yourself even if your own hands were getting sore slapping your own face.
Yet here we are years later (well for most of us) and we are watching our Government pass legislation that will allow us to pay extra taxes for a black’end eye?
Without a shred of evidence to prove a need or direct correlation between monitoring and prevention, next week Canada will be facing a new law that not only requires ISPs to track subscribers, but also removes court involvement from the process giving police direct authority to seize information from ISPs.
The new Lawful Access legislation even goes further, allowing the Police to enable and monitor the tracking mechanisms built into modern cell phones for up to a year, without court involvement.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m an SEO and not a politician or a lawyer. This is my take from reading a few news articles on the pending law and the variety of details is a bit staggering, I just about spat my coffee on the screen reading this clip from the Montreal Gazette:
if the so-called Lawful Access law is passed, it would give police access to webbrowsing history and sensitive personal information, and would grant greater permission to track the cellular phones of suspects
“Webbrowsing history” seems a bit far fetched, but it’s not impossible to track this info at an ISP level and since the move itself seems a bit nuts, I can see why reporters might be going a bit overboard reacting to the details.
I know that my browsing history, especially when I am working on back-links/research for clients, is a confidential business asset. I cannot fathom how a court of law would suggest it’s fine for a police officer to have access to such info without warrant. Even if the officer obtaining the information is above suspect, are the people working with the officers above reproach to the point where court involvement is moot?
Obviously, with a week to go people are getting anxious about the possibility of this passing, so I urge folks to take some time to look it over. I know that if I was more skilled with law I’d be giving it a serious review as the prospects seem frightening and the motivation is questionable/lacking.
SEO news blog post by Ryan Morben @ 11:31 am on February 13, 2012