The Pressure’s On Harper to End Online Spying — Let’s Keep it Up

n-ONLINE-SPYING-CANADA-large570It looks like the rumble against the government’s Online Spying Bill C-13 is turning into a roar.

Leading Conservative elder statesman Stockwell Day has joined the growing chorus of Canadians speaking out about how Bill C-13 would expose law-abiding Canadians to warrantless government spying. If passed, the controversial bill would grant immunity to telecom companies who hand our private information to the government without a warrant.

In hard-hitting remarks on CBC’s Power and Politics, Stockwell Day expressed sympathy with the views of Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, who recently called for Bill C-13 to be split to remove its online spying proposals:

“There can be an overreaction in terms of how you correct it. So [Cavoukian is] raising a bit of an alarm here. Let’s be very careful in how we could protect someone in a situation like this, but let’s also be careful in going too far and limiting even things like free speech, [or using] invasive techniques that could be employed by policing.”

“I’m hoping they take another look at this and kind of curtail some of those powers,” Day added.

These remarks by such a prominent senior Conservative (Day is the former leader of the Canadian Alliance, the forerunner to today’s Conservative party) are sure to add to the growing pressure on Defence Minister Peter MacKay to split C-13.

Day’s comments come hot on the heels of passionate Parliamentary testimony by Carol Todd, the mother of cyberbullying victim Amanda Todd. Carol bravely told key MPs to stop using bullied children as an excuse to drive forward measures that undermine everybody’s privacy:

The message from all this is clear — the long-simmering rumble of discontent about reckless and out-of-control government spying is turning into an upsurge, as more and more Canadians speak out. Stockwell Day’s intervention yesterday is particularly significant. A key turning point in the successful battle against the government’s previous spying bill (C-30) was when conservatives started to speak out.

After all, there’s no doubt that Stockwell Day is speaking on behalf of countless grassroots conservative supporters across the country. A recent poll revealed that millions of Conservative voters are opposed to mass surveillance. We hope that pressure from Canadians will encourage Conservative MPs to start speaking out about the hugely unpopular blanket spying measures in Bill C-13. They should put both public and private pressure on Defence Minister MacKay to split the bill and remove the online spying provisions. continue reading »» Posted: 05/24/2014 11:37 pm by David Christopher Communications Manager for OpenMedia.ca

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