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Geist on Internet Surveillance

Michael Geist’s column in the paper this morning highlights how government is attempting to re-introduce internet surveillance legislation by splitting opposition from privacy advocates and civil society advocates.  His blog entry covers the same ground as the paper, so if you can’t read the Toronto Star, or Ottawa Citizen, you can read his point of view online.

He quotes from a Department of Justice Memorandum:

A Department of Justice memorandum candidly notes that “current privacy laws may not be sufficient to protect Canadians’ personal information,” acknowledging that “federal privacy legislation is not responsive to new technologies, including the Internet, biometrics, data matching and data mining, video and infrared surveillance, the decoding of the human genome, the need for protection of genetic information and the ability to store and manipulate large personal data banks.” Officials are open to reform, stating that “as the privacy and personal information of citizens and businesses is increasingly vulnerable in the online environment, substantive measures to protect personal information need to be considered.” Potential solutions apparently considered by the Department of Justice include the establishment of a new Task Force on online privacy.

His conclusion is to call for the Department of Justice to work with privacy advocates, rather than seeking to diminish their influence. 

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