Government Wants to Beef Up Web Surveillance

ComputerThe Canadian government wants to look over your shoulder while you surf the Internet, that is if Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan gets his way.

Van Loan is pushing a piece of legislation through parliament that would allow increased powers to snoop on Canadians’ private online communications and listen in on cell phone calls. All of this information would be accessible at the discretion of law enforcement and without a warrant.

Under two proposed bills presented Thursday, police would be able to:

  • Get an Internet user’s name, address and email contact without a warrant
  • Charge someone for arranging sex exploitation with another person over the Net
  • Gain data about the origin and destination of an online discussion
  • Turn on tracking devices inside cell phones

The rules would also force:

  • Internet providers to keep data on their hard drives in case a user tries to delete information relevant to criminal investigations
  • Telecommunications companies to research ways in which they could intercept online conversations

And you thought “Big Brother” was only a reality TV show.

— With files from CTV News Ottawa