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Citizens group releases video to fight undead Bill C-30

Openmedia.ca released this video and renewed its campaign against Bill C-30 a week after the minister responsible said the bill was not dead.

Contrary to recent reports suggesting Bill C-30 has been shelved, last week Vic Toews, the minister of Public Safety, said the government is "intent on proceeding" with the bill.

"Our government has been very clear, that matter will be referred to a parliamentary committee. In fact we made it clear that legislation would proceed to committee prior to second reading," Toews told reporters last Wednesday.

Michael Geist, a Tyee columnist and law professor who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce at the University of Ottawa, also reported on his blog that Toews allocated $2.1 million to advance lawful access legislation. The allocation is in the Public Safety Report on Plans and Priorities report, according to Geist.

Bill C-30, which government calls the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act and opponents call the Online Spying Act, is a proposed amendment to the criminal code that, as Wikipedia says, "would grant authorities new powers to monitor and track the digital activities of Canadians in real-time, require service providers to log information about their customers and turn it over if requested, and make back door entrances mandatory allowing remote access of individuals' electronics, each without needing a warrant."

When the bill was first introduced, Toews accused opponents, who were concerned about privacy issues, of standing with child pornographers.

At that time, Toews also told CBC News that he wasn't aware of certain aspects of the bill, such as the warrantless access it provides police officers.

The legislation, and Toews defense and ignorance of it, spawned a number of protests, two of which took place on the social media platform, Twitter. The first, #TellVicEverything, encouraged Canadians to send Toews messages about all the mundane aspects of their lives. The second, #Vikileaks, published private information about Toews' divorce. The latter, it turned out, was the work of a Liberal party staffer.

"It's amazing that despite unprecedented public outcry," said Steve Anderson, executive director of OpenMedia.ca, in the news release that accompanied the above video, "that Toews is pushing forward with the government's costly and invasive online spying plan. Canadians will not be satisfied until the minister commits to removing warrantless access to private information or to pulling the legislation altogether."

OpenMedia.ca is a grassroots organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open and affordable Internet. The group works towards informed and participatory digital policy.


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