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Canada Internet Surveillance Legislation Coming Soon

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Normally, PrivacyCast focuses on U.S. based privacy stories, but in this case we’re making an exception. Our neighbors to the north are about to introduce Canadian Internet surveillance legislation tomorrow which would mandate massive new surveillance infrastructure at every Canadian ISP, and eliminate court oversight around disclosure of customer information, including email and web surfing logs.

Michael Geist posted a detailed FAQ outlining the history of the bill, as well as its contents (including the near-total lack of evidence demonstrating the need for such invasive legislation) and steps Canadians can take to make their opinions about this proposed legislation known. We hope our friends in Canada will take action.

This is very similar to the HR.1981 legislation here in the states that would compel ISPs to retain records on their customers’ activities.

  1. EXPECT MORE GOVERNMENT / POLICE CORRUPTION WITH NO-WARRANT SEARCHES

    Note: Canada will have the same loss of electronic privacy and civil liberties that the Obama Government proposed for Americans. See where Canada is headed. Canada signed with the U.S., asset forfeiture reciprocal sharing agreements that allow the U.S. and Canadian Police to share assets seized from Canadians. Canadian police want the power to search Canadian’s business and private electronic communications without a warrant—perhaps among other objective—to seize billions of dollars in property from Canadian Citizens. Isn’t it usually about money?

    Compare: U.S. Government wants the power without a warrant, to introduce as evidence in criminal prosecutions and government civil trials, any phone call record, email or Internet activity. That would open the door for Police to take out of context, any innocent—hastily written email, fax or phone call record to allege a crime or violation was committed to cause a person’s arrest, fines and or civil asset forfeiture of their property. There are more than 350 laws and violations that can subject property to government asset forfeiture. Government civil asset forfeiture requires only a civil preponderance of evidence for police to forfeit property, little more than hearsay.

    If the U.S. Justice Department has its way, any information the FBI derives from circumventing the Fourth Amendment, i.e. (no warrant searches) of Web Server Records; a Citizen’s Internet Activity, personal emails; fax / phone calls may be used by the FBI for (fishing expeditions; to issue subpoenas in hopes of finding evidence or to prosecute Citizens for any alleged crime or violation. Consider that neither Congress nor the courts—determined what Bush II NSA electronic surveillance, perhaps illegal could be used by police or introduced into court by government to prosecute Americans criminally or civilly. If U.S. Justice Department is permitted (No-Warrant) surveillance of all electronic communications, it is problematic state and local law enforcement agencies and private government contractors will want access to prior Bush II /NSA and other government illegally obtained electronic records not limited to Americans’ Internet activity; private emails, faxes and phone calls to secure evidence to arrest Americans, assess fines and or civilly forfeit their homes, businesses and other assets under Title 18USC and other laws. Of obvious concern, what happens to fair justice in America if police become dependent on “Asset Forfeiture” to help pay their salaries and budget operating costs?

    The “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000” (effectively eliminated) the “five year statue of limitations” for Government Civil Asset Forfeiture: the statute now runs five years (from the date) police allege they “learned” an asset became subject to forfeiture. It is foreseeable should (no warrant) government electronic surveillance be approved; police will relentlessly sift through Citizen and businesses’ (government retained Internet data), emails and phone communications to discover possible crimes or civil violations. A corrupt despot U.S. Government too easily can use no-warrant-(seized emails, Internet data and phone call information) to blackmail Americans, corporations and others in the same manner Hitler utilized his police state passed laws to extort support for the Nazi fascist government, including getting parliament to pass Hitler’s 1933 Discriminatory Decrees that suspended the Constitutional Freedoms of German Citizens. A Nazi Government threat of “Property Seizure” Asset Forfeiture of an individual or corporation’s assets was usually sufficient to ensure Nazi support.

    Under U.S. federal civil forfeiture laws, a person or business need not be charged with a crime for government to forfeit their property. Most U.S. Citizens, property and business owners that defend their assets against Government Civil Asset Forfeiture claim an “innocent owner defense.” This defense can become a “Catch 22” a criminal prosecution trap for both guilty and innocent property owners. Any fresh denial of guilt made to government when questioned about committing a crime “even when you did not do the crime” may (involuntarily waive) a defendant’s right to assert in their defense—the “Criminal Statute of Limitations” past for prosecution; any fresh denial of guilt even 30 years after a crime was committed may allow Government prosecutors to use old and new evidence, including information discovered during a Civil Asset Forfeiture Proceeding to launch a criminal prosecution. For that reason many innocent Americans, property and business owners are reluctant to defend their property and businesses against Government Civil Asset Forfeiture.

    Re: waiving Criminal Statute of Limitations: see USC18, Sec.1001, James Brogan V. United States. N0.96-1579. U.S. See paragraph (6) at:
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/96-1579.ZC1.html

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