Bill C-30 (Historical)
Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act
An Act to enact the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act and to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts
This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2013.
Vic Toews Conservative
Second reading (House), as of Feb. 14, 2012
(This bill did not become law.)
This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.
Part 1 enacts the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act, which requires telecommunications service providers to put in place and maintain certain capabilities that facilitate the lawful interception of information transmitted by telecommunications and to provide basic information about their subscribers to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Commissioner of Competition and any police service constituted under the laws of a province.
Part 2 amends the Criminal Code in respect of authorizations to intercept private communications, warrants and orders and adds to that Act new investigative powers in relation to computer crime and the use of new technologies in the commission of crimes. Among other things, it
(a) provides that if an authorization is given under certain provisions of Part VI, the judge may at the same time issue a warrant or make an order that relates to the investigation in respect of which the authorization is given;
(b) provides that the rules respecting confidentiality that apply in respect of a request for an authorization to intercept private communications also apply in respect of a request for a related warrant or order;
(c) requires the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to report on the interceptions of private communications made without authorizations;
(d) provides that a person who has been the object of an interception made without an authorization must be notified of the interception within a specified period;
(e) permits a peace officer or a public officer, in certain circumstances, to install and make use of a number recorder without a warrant;
(f) extends to one year the maximum period of validity of a warrant for a tracking device and a number recorder if the warrant is issued in respect of a terrorism offence or an offence relating to a criminal organization;
(g) provides the power to make preservation demands and orders to compel the preservation of electronic evidence;
(h) provides new production orders to compel the production of data relating to the transmission of communications and the location of transactions, individuals or things;
(i) provides a warrant to obtain transmission data that will extend to all means of telecommunication the investigative powers that are currently restricted to data associated with telephones; and
(j) provides warrants that will enable the tracking of transactions, individuals and things and that are subject to legal thresholds appropriate to the interests at stake.
It also amends offences in the Criminal Code relating to hate propaganda and its communication over the Internet, false information, indecent communications, harassing communications, devices used to obtain telecommunication services without payment and devices used to obtain the unauthorized use of computer systems or to commit mischief.
Part 2 also amends the Competition Act to make applicable, for the purpose of enforcing certain provisions of that Act, the new provisions being added to the Criminal Code respecting demands and orders for the preservation of computer data and orders for the production of documents relating to the transmission of communications or financial data. It also modernizes the provisions of the Act relating to electronic evidence and provides for more effective enforcement in a technologically advanced environment.
Lastly, it amends the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act to make some of the new investigative powers being added to the Criminal Code available to Canadian authorities executing incoming requests for assistance and to allow the Commissioner of Competition to execute search warrants under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.
Part 3 contains coordinating amendments and coming-into-force provisions.
Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
October 10th, 2014 / 12:10 p.m.
Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE
Mr. Speaker, I recognize that I have about seventeen minutes left. I expect I will not use that, just to warn the next speaker who may be on the list, as I have spoken to this bill before.
Before question period, I was outlining that I was pleased but also troubled to speak to Bill C-13. I outlined that the Liberal Party is very supportive of the cyberbullying aspects of the bill, but troubled over the parts that are measures in the old Bill C-30 on lawful access, which so many Canadians spoke out against.
Efforts were made, and I am disappointed that the government did not accept those efforts by both opposition parties, to split the bill. It was not only the opposition members who wanted to split the bill; it was the new Privacy Commissioner and many others, including Carol Todd, who knows very well about the difficult and troubling aspect of cyberbullying.
The bill was not split. However, regardless, we do feel within the Liberal Party that cyberbullying is such a scourge on society that we are going to have to put not only a little water in our wine, but a fair bit, in fact, because we are very seriously troubled over aspects of the bill. This tends to be what the current government does. The Conservatives will put a couple of good points in the bill and add a whole lot of other material that should not be in that particular bill.
The Liberals believe that a balance must be struck between civil liberties and public safety, particularly when it comes to warrants that may be intrusive and overboard. We do not support the measures that were in Bill C-30, which the government had to withdraw because of Canadians' outrage. The problem is that some of those points are back in this bill. Some of this bill duplicates the rejected Bill C-30, such as word-for-word reproductions of the changes to subsection 487(c.1) of the Criminal Code; and all but one-word changes to subsection 492.1 and section 492 regarding warrants.
We are very concerned about efforts to reintroduce “lawful access”, which the Conservatives promised was dead.
Though the title is the “protecting Canadians from online crime act”, nobody would be protected under this act. In typical government fashion, this is all about punishment rather than prevention. Complex problems like cyberbullying require more than blunt additions to the Criminal Code. This omnibus bill touches everything from terrorism to telemarketing, and cable stealing to hate speech. It is an affront to both democracy and the legislative process in the way it was handled.
If it had been split, what could have been a bill on cyberbullying, which probably would have had the unanimous support of the House, is no longer possible. What is seen from us is reluctant support because we have to, regardless of the consequences, deal with the cyberbullying side. That is certainly why I am troubled.
I want to turn to a couple of quotes that outline the extent of the problem in terms of the way that the government has dealt with this bill.
There was an editorial in The Globe and Mail, on November 22, entitled “Not Without a Warrant”, from which I will quote:
Under current law, a wiretapping authorization will only be issued by a judge if police can show a “reasonable ground to believe that an offence has been or will be committed.” But under Bill C-13, wireless wiretaps can be authorized on the looser standards of “reasonable ground to suspect.”
The editorial goes on:
Why not make police applications for a wireless wiretap clear the same, high legal hurdle as a traditional wiretap? And why is the government burying all of this inside an unrelated piece of legislation covering the highly emotional topic of cyberbullying? Parliament should be debating and voting on each measure separately, on its merits. Once again, the Conservative government is engaging in unnecessary legislative acrobatics. Time to cease and desist.
I will read one more. This is an editorial, also on November 22, from the Ottawa Citizen, entitled “More than 'cyberbullying'”. I will just read a piece of it:
If the government wants to make cable theft a criminal offence, or increase police powers to track online communication, it is perfectly within its rights to propose those things. There is no reason to bundle it in with a bill that has an entirely different purpose. The announcement about the bill calls it “legislation to crack down on cyberbullying.” This suggests the Conservatives never learned the main lesson from the Toews' debacle, and are still trying to bundle and brand their legislation instead of simply defending it on its merits.
We are certainly not the only ones who are troubled about how the government approaches these bills, rams stuff through committee, and fails to give proper legitimate debate to each item on its own merits, so that at the end of the day this place can be proud, on all sides, of what we have passed.
However, as I said, the cyberbullying issue is of such an urgency that we cannot deep-six, if I could put it that way, that aspect of the bill that we do not like. We are forced to vote on a bill that we are troubled over, and, reluctantly, we will.
However, we will put a red flag on all areas infringing upon privacy that we are concerned about, and hopefully in a future Parliament we will see democracy break out in this place, where committees can do their job, as the founders of this country envisioned it would be done.
Let me close by saying that on the cyberbullying aspect, the Criminal Code is not the only instrument that needs to be embellished, if I could put it that way, in order to deal with the problem of cyberbullying. We believe that these legislative measures alone are insufficient to combat cyberbullying, and we urge the government to commit to a broader, more holistic strategy to deal with cyberbullying.
It would also include public awareness resources for parents and kids. In other words, there has to be an education campaign, a publicity campaign, whether it is police forces, or community leaders, or whatever, who go into our school system to talk about the problem of cyberbullying and how this new technological world that we live in can haunt us, and, in fact, is used to haunt certain individuals in society.
In order to save time, I will close my remarks. I appreciate having had the opportunity to speak at third reading of this bill.
Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
October 10th, 2014 / 10:55 a.m.
Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE
Mr. Speaker, much like at second reading, I am pleased but also troubled to speak to Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.
I am pleased that Parliament and the government are moving forward with measures to combat cyberbullying. It is, as many others have said, a scourge on our society and is especially troublesome, creating stress, strain and in some cases a loss of self-worth, among our youth.
As my colleagues, the critic for justice and the critic for rights and freedoms, have stated, we support very strongly that aspect of the bill. Support measures that would provide law enforcement with additional tools to combat cyberbullying is an area where the Criminal Code needs to be updated to reflect the realities of modern technologies and these times. Bill C-13 would do a reasonable job in bringing the Criminal Code up to date.
I will speak a little further on other measures we believe, beyond the Criminal Code, that must happen to really deal effectively with cyberbullying. The Criminal Code can only be one aspect. We need to take many more measures in prevention and awareness, et cetera, beyond the Criminal Code.
However, at the beginning I said I am pleased, but I am also troubled. I am troubled because tagged onto the bill were measures of the old Bill C-30 on lawful access that so many Canadians spoke out against. Efforts were made to split the bill at committee and yet, despite the urging of the new Privacy Commissioner and many other witnesses, including Carol Todd, the bill was not split.
I will complete my remarks after question period.
Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
October 1st, 2014 / 5:25 p.m.
Mike Wallace Burlington, ON
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to speak to Bill C-13.
I will put my speech aside, because I want to respond to the accusations just made by the member opposite. I am actually the chair of the justice committee, and as chair, part of my responsibility is to make sure that everyone gets a fair opportunity to be heard. I think members of the committee work very well together, to be perfectly honest.
The way it has worked and will continue to work at committee is that each party is able to submit the names of witnesses they would like to hear from. Based on the numbers we get, we ask members to prioritize who they would like to hear from, because time may run out.
If I recall correctly, there was no set time for this particular bill. If the committee did not hear from certain segments, it was because those witnesses were not recommended or brought forward. The committee did not call those witnesses not because the government was trying to do something inappropriate but because the witnesses were not asked for. The government cannot be blamed for not calling witnesses who were not asked for.
Conservatives had an opportunity to ask for witnesses. New Democrats asked for witnesses and the Liberals asked for witnesses. I take some offence that the member said this was not done appropriately. It was absolutely done appropriately. It was done in this committee in dealing with Bill C-13 and is done for all other legislation that comes to the committee.
I think the committee is operating well, and everyone has an opportunity to have their say. If parties, including my own, want to hear from witnesses, they can put them on the list. There will be a discussion as to how many meetings there will be on it, and then we will hear from those witnesses. That is how it has worked and will continue to work as long as I am in the chair. We will see if that continues.
I also want to respond to the issue of splitting this omnibus bill. I have the bill in front of me. It is in French and English, as all bills are. It is 53 pages long, plus 12 pages of explanatory notes. It is not a very big bill. If members can read it in both languages, that is great, but let us assume that most read in one language or the other. That would make it about 25 or 26 pages long. It did not need to be split, in my view. I think there is lots of opportunity to talk about all the issues. It is not a very difficult bill to grasp. I think someone could read it in a few hours.
There are a number of issues in the bill, but the process at committee did not limit members to talking about just certain parts of the bill. Members could have brought forward witnesses and we could have had a discussion, which we did, on all parts of that bill. I have to take some offence on the issue of what happened.
As we know, as the minister and the previous speaker on this side have pointed out, the bill would do a number of things, but in general, it would create a new offence for the distribution of non-consensual pictures on the Internet.
I did not know how big a problem it was, to be perfectly honest. I had not really experienced it in my office or had anyone come to see me. I took the opportunity to ask my daughters, who just graduated and are in university now. They were able to illustrate to me a number of actual cases, in their own high school, of young women who had had photos taken of them that were then posted on different people's sites as revenge or cyberbullying. This was a surprise to me.
That does not make the news. What makes the news is when it goes too far and the bullying is so egregious that someone, unfortunately, takes his or her life. Then it makes big news. This is a problem that is happening every day in every community across this country, so we needed to act.
There was mention of the previous legislation that was brought forward in Bill C-30, and appropriately so. The government recognized that there were some issues that needed to be dealt with, so we brought it back, took it off the table, and redid the bill.
We made changes based on the public and the response in this House in terms of the changes that needed to be made. I believe that those were made. Do we get credit as a government for making those changes? No, and the previous speaker criticized us, saying that we did not do it right in the first place.
I am sure that opposition members believe that they are perfect, and maybe even some of us think we are perfect on this side, but let us be honest. We had a bill in front of us, we recognized that there were some issues, we took it back, and we made changes and improvements. We addressed those problems and brought something back that we could all pass.
I am not sure what the NDP are doing. I heard from the last speaker that the Liberals are supporting the bill going forward, and I appreciate that.
I do not think as a government that we should be criticized for hearing the concerns and then making changes. I will agree that there were a number of amendments put forward, 30-some amendments, and one, on a review period, did pass, which I personally supported. I do not vote on the committee as the chair, but I do support that.
As we all know, it takes some time for legislation, especially with the Criminal Code, to get through the system, get in place, and get tested in practice. I think it will take some time before this piece of legislation is tested, and that length of time for the review is appropriate.
The other issue we heard a lot about was that the bill would give the police a lot more power than they already have. I think the issue on Bill C-30 was that it looked like the police could do things without a warrant. Well, this bill would clearly resolve that issue, in my view.
Bill C-13 clearly indicates that for preservation orders and for the police to be able to do their jobs in terms of attacking the problem of cyberbullying in particular cases, they need judicial support to move forward.
I think it is important to give the police those tools. In this electronic environment of the Internet, things move so fast, on or off, we need to be able to do that.
We experience that around here all the time. If a member of Parliament makes a mistake or does something on the Internet, and somebody catches it, a few hours later, if not less, it is gone. We have all experienced that in this House with members of Parliament doing things on electronic systems.
When it is a criminal activity, we need to have the police able to go after it quickly. We need to give them those tools to make that happen. I am very supportive of the opportunity for the police to be able to do their work.
We have been asked as a government to do something about the cyberbullying problem. This is not an easy area to legislate. We cannot legislate cyberbullying to stop. It is not that easy. I appreciate that we have looked at opportunities and issues in terms of addressing cyberbullying through our legal system, which is what this bill would do.
Bill C-13 would give the police better tools to track and trace telecommunications. It would streamline the process of obtaining multiple warrants so that the police could execute their jobs.
The witnesses we saw whose families were affected by cyberbullying were fully supportive of what we were doing. I want every member of this House to think about that. If it was their son or daughter whose photo was online and who was being bullied, would they want the police to be able to act to resolve the issue and have a penalty for cyberbullying? I believe the answer is yes, and it is yes for the vast majority of Canadians. That is why we need to support Bill C-13.
Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
October 1st, 2014 / 5:10 p.m.
Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to this bill, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act, and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.
The title is cited as “protecting Canadians from online crime act”, and I have to say at the beginning that I am constantly bothered by the way the government names its bills.
The naming of the bill goes to the heart of the way the government operates in titling its various legislation. There is a lot of spin and a certain amount of deception, because this bill would not actually protect Canadians from online crime in any discernible way. It would provide investigative tools to police and new offences, but all this assumed conduct would be in progress or would have already occurred; it would not be prevented by this legislation.
It has to be said, in fairness to the government, there is some preventive aspect in the fear of the penalties among people who would do these kinds of things. However, as is so often the case with the Conservatives, the title is exaggerated and, I would say, deceptive. Members have heard me say a number of times in this House that we have now had eight years of deception from the current government.
The principal incentive behind this legislation has been the growing problem of cyberbullying, which has led to some tragic consequences. There is no question cyberbullying is a scourge on our society and that cyberbullying is a particular strain on our young people. We could go through all kinds of cases of that, and other speakers have. The Liberals are supportive in principle of legislative measures that would provide law enforcement with additional tools to combat cyberbullying. This is an area where the Criminal Code urgently needs to be updated to reflect the realities of modern technologies.
We believe, however, that legislative measures alone, while helpful, are insufficient to combat cyberbullying, and we urge the government to commit to a broader, more holistic strategy to deal with cyberbullying that also includes public awareness resources for parents, kids, and the general public.
The Liberals introduced cyberbullying legislation in the last session that would have modified some Criminal Code offences to cover modern technology, as is done in Bill C-13. The Conservative members and the New Democrats voted against that legislative measure in the last session.
The Liberals, while in government, also introduced legislation that would have addressed new technologies back in 2005. The current government is only now figuring out that police need these tools to keep up with technologies that are increasingly a part of today's crime.
We believe that a balance must be struck between civil liberties and public safety, particularly when it comes to warrants that may be intrusive and overly broad. We do not support the measures that were in Bill C-30, the previous bill, which even the Conservatives had to withdraw because of Canadian outrage. Sadly, some of this bill duplicates the rejected Bill C-30, such as word-for-word reproductions of the change to subsection 487.3(1) of the Criminal Code and, except for one word, the changes to sections 492.1 and 492.2 regarding warrants.
We are very concerned about efforts to reintroduce “lawful access”, which the Conservatives promised was dead. Why the current government continues to tag on measures that push the envelope, so to speak, on privacy issues makes no sense to me. The immediate issue is important and cannot be lost, so we feel we have to support it, but why do the Conservatives play politics with everything, using cyberbullying to get what they wanted in the old Bill C-30?
My colleague, the member for Charlottetown, raised a question in the House in which he asked the minister to split the bill, but that was refused. That would have made a lot of sense, in that both aspects of the bill could have been studied in their own right and the cyberbullying aspect of the bill could have been dealt with very rapidly.
This omnibus bill touches upon everything from terrorism to telemarketing to cable stealing to hate speech, and in some parts is an affront to both democracy and the legislative process.
In particular, the bill resurrects elements of the old Bill C-30, Vic Toews' famous “either stand with us or with the child pornographers” bill when he was the previous justice minister. Many in this House will remember that.
We will not be proceeding with Bill C-30 and any attempts that we will continue to have to modernize the Criminal Code will not contain the measures contained in C-30, including the warrantless mandatory disclosure of basic subscriber information or the requirement for telecommunications service providers to build intercept capability within their systems.
He went on to say:
We've listened to the concerns of Canadians who have been very clear on this and responding to that.
I heard what the previous speaker said, and he dealt with this issue somewhat. However, there is a real question in this legislation as to whether the minister's words hold true or not. Again, it goes to the heart of why the bill was not split so that both aspects could be dealt with appropriately.
We must ensure that adequate protections are included in the bill to protect the civil liberties and privacy interests of ordinary Canadians. We are very concerned that with this omnibus bill, under the guise of cyberbullying prevention, the government is slipping things through the back door.
Ultimately, while we agree the Criminal Code must be updated to keep pace with technology, the hodgepodge bundling of bills is highly problematic. Some of it, such as the changes to the hate speech provisions and the introduction of the cable stealing offence, has been presented without any explanation of why the modifications are being made and without making any rational connection to cyberbullying.
We agree with the need to address cyberbullying and support the creation of a new offence for the unwanted distribution of intimate images. We also agree that some of the Criminal Code sections being modified are woefully out of date and must be amended to better reflect modern technology.
We strongly disagree, however, with the use of omnibus legislation that precludes nuanced discussion and debate on disparate issues. Moreover, we strongly disagree with the reintroduction of the universally panned legislation on lawful access from the old Bill C-30.
In short, we believe the provisions of the bill would unnecessarily infringe the civil liberties and privacy interests of Canadians. While we support this legislation, we want to place on the record that, as has happened in the past with the government's so-called crime agenda, the courts could ultimately find that many of the provisions of Bill C-13 would be illegal.
It would have served the government and Canadians well had the government accepted some of the concerns that were raised, allowed some amendments at committee, and, most notably, accepted the demand by my colleague, the member for Charlottetown, to split the bill, with the cyberbullying elements contained in a stand-alone bill rather than in what we are now debating.
Motions in Amendment
Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
September 22nd, 2014 / 5:15 p.m.
Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to some extent to participate in the debate at this particular time, at the report stage.
I want to start by commending my colleagues, our justice critic and other members of the justice and human rights committee, who have worked so hard on Bill C-13 and introduced 37 amendments at the committee stage to try to take away some of the more onerous portions of this particular bill so that it would not, for example, spend the rest of its life in court being challenged constitutionally. It has taken a fair bit of effort and energy, I know, and patience on their part to do what they have done. I want them to know how much I appreciate it.
I want to, also, remind members that back on October 17, 11 months ago almost, I rose on a point of order to say that I was concerned about the issue that had been raised in my private member's bill, Bill C-540, making it a criminal offence to distribute non-consensual intimate images. While I had heard from the government in the throne speech and from utterances of the then minister of justice that he supported this in principle, I was concerned that the issue would get bundled up in a major piece of legislation, a controversial piece of legislation, and that it may get delayed or lost.
I sought unanimous consent at that particular time to consider Bill C-540 deemed read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. I did so because everyone in the House, of all parties, to a person, said that they supported the idea of holding people to account, changing the Criminal Code to ensure that the non-consensual distribution of intimate images was a crime and that people were going to be held accountable. I then moved a motion to say, let us move this to committee right now. This is a serious situation. It's affecting families. It is affecting lives across the country. Let us deal with it now. There is a will here. Let us find the way.
Unfortunately, that was turned down by the government.
It is interesting. The government then brought in Bill C-13, the initial portions of which dealt with the same issue that my private member's bill did, a little more thoroughly, of course, but it dealt with it. However, then the government did exactly what I and many of us were afraid of. It tacked on a great deal of what was in the former bill, Bill C-30, which it had to yank off the table two years ago because it was so soundly repudiated by privacy experts and others from across the country. The government attached it to the back of the cyberbullying bill.
When it introduced the bill, it did so in the company of the parents of people who had committed suicide, who had taken their lives as a result of cyberbullying, and it said, “We're here to deal with this”. It did not talk about the other parts of it.
Of course, there was great hope in those families and by advocates across the country that the government was going to move forward on this. Lo and behold, as is too often the case with the Conservatives, we got involved in a very controversial debate. We began to learn more about what was really in the bill, and advocates and privacy experts from across the country began to raise concerns.
Even one of the parents, who stood with the minister when the bill was introduced, said at committee that even though she wanted the Criminal Code to be changed to make the non-consensual distribution of intimate images a crime and that there should be consequences, she could not abide what else was in the bill, the outrageous and invasive parts of the bills that would allow for information on the Internet to be more accessible to authorities.
As was talked about in the recent Spencer case, the Supreme Court said it was about barring Internet service providers from disclosing names and addresses. It said that Canadians have the right to be anonymous on the Internet.
Here we have a bill that has been cloaked as an attempt to deal with the heartbreak and anguish experienced by families across the country as a result of their loved ones being bullied mercilessly through the Internet. It is a bill that has been identified as being meant to deal with that, yet in fact it is much more.
I had the opportunity to talk today with another parent. I explained to that parent what had happened, how things have progressed, the concerns that we have with the bill. I explained that the NDP would not be supporting this legislation.
He knew this anyway, because of work we had done in the past, the support I have provided, and the things we were doing together with other people to build awareness and to try to deal with this scourge of teen suicide. He understands my commitment. He, too, is shaken by the infringement on privacy provisions that are part of this bill. I am not going to tell the House that he gave me a pass, but he understands my concerns. He appreciates that I have tried to work, and will continue to work, with him and others to deal with this problem.
The point is that we are here. It has been a year and a half since I introduced the private member's bill, and it is another year and a half into this serious problem. We have still not dealt with it.
I get discouraged sometimes in this House when it seems that we cannot get from one point to the other without creating all kinds of controversy and hard feelings, bitterness and division.
Right now, as we speak, there are people in communities who are helping to build awareness of why cyberbullying is wrong. They are coming up with strategies to identify when teenagers and others are beginning to experience feelings of depression and suicide.
One of the parents I spoke to said that the most gratifying thing that happens as he goes across the country talking to junior and high school students is when the 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds come up to him. They are saying there is a problem and that this is what they are doing about it. The students are telling him what they are doing because they recognize it.
This is what is happening in communities across the country. People are recognizing that they have to step up and do something, because unfortunately governments are not up to the task.
Motions in Amendment
Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
September 22nd, 2014 / 5 p.m.
Pierre-Luc Dusseault Sherbrooke, QC
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-13, which has already been debated for three hours today and has just come back from the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
A lot of hard work has been done on this bill. I am thinking, in particular, of the many witnesses who appeared before the committee. I am happy to hear that good work was done in committee.
However, the results of that work are perhaps not quite what we on this side of the House expected. Unfortunately, the amendments that were made to this bill were not sufficient for us to be able to support it at report stage.
I must first say that this bill may be a rather sensitive subject for some people. It may hit close to home and be a sensitive subject for some people because it involves bullying and there is often mention of the unfortunate incidents that were reported in the media. It is vital that we remember the importance of the work we are doing as parliamentarians to try to address this issue, which sometimes has tragic consequences. Bullying is a problem in our society that has evolved over the past few decades. Obviously, the Internet is one of the elements that has changed the problem of bullying. It is becoming easier to bully someone online today because we can easily access the Internet with our cell phones and computers.
This problem has evolved and has become quite a significant issue for our youth and also for adults. As parliamentarians, we must discuss this problem and try to solve it, even though there is no magic solution. We have to consider the underlying causes. My colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île often talks about the underlying causes. Furthermore, we must not believe that the solution to the problem is to create a Criminal Code offence and that all of a sudden there will be no more bullying. It is never that simple. It is therefore important to discuss this problem and other ways of dealing with it.
We were also somewhat disappointed with the process that led to the drafting of this bill. Members will remember that Bill C-30 was also introduced in the first session of the 41st Parliament and that there was significant opposition to that bill from civil society and the different political parties. It is unfortunate that Bill C-13 contains some of what was widely rejected in Bill C-30. I am talking about the provisions concerning the electronic surveillance of Canadians.
My impression is that the government is taking Bill C-13 and the issue of bullying—which is a very important and sensitive issue—and integrating certain parts of Bill C-30, which was very controversial, as I said. It was abandoned by the Conservatives after the uproar that followed its introduction. It is sad that they are using this tactic and are trying to do indirectly what they said they would not do. It was abandoned. It is disappointing to see that it is now being included in Bill C-13.
This issue could have been settled quickly, or at least more quickly. I do not think that we are going to solve the problem of bullying overnight. However, we could have at least moved in the right direction.
The hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour introduced a worthwhile bill. Unfortunately, it did not receive the Conservatives' support. However, one part of his bill did find its way into the Conservatives' current bill. I find that somewhat curious.
If I understand correctly, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice seems to have an explanation. He says that it is all well and good to add an offence to the Criminal Code, but it is also important to grant investigative powers to the police.
I do not remember when exactly during the process of studying the bill this happened—it may have been the day after it was introduced—but the Spencer decision provided some clarification. Unfortunately, the bill did not change, even in light of the decision, which defined the limits that can be placed on electronic surveillance and the amount of personal information Internet service providers can share about Canadians.
I believe that the government should have complied with the Spencer decision, but that is not the case, unfortunately. That is the main reason we are opposing this bill.
I would like to clarify the court's decision in Spencer, which had to do with providers sharing information. The decision clearly established that Canadians had the right to online anonymity and that the police had to get a warrant to find out Internet users' identity.
However, Bill C-13 creates a new policy that allows access to personal information with or without a warrant. This opens the door to obtaining personal information without a warrant even though the Spencer decision said the opposite. It said that a warrant was absolutely necessary to get personal information about a Canadian citizen on the Internet.
Internet service providers have access to that information. They can find that information and share it with law enforcement to investigate bullying cases, for example. The Spencer decision set boundaries for getting information by requiring a warrant. However, Bill C-13 opens the door to getting personal information without a warrant.
All of this is unfolding in an era when people have growing concerns about electronic surveillance because the government is monitoring our actions more and more. Not long ago, groups met peacefully to talk about issues or met in the streets to demonstrate. We know that the government, which has thousands of employees who monitor Canadians, would watch what such groups were doing during those completely peaceful meetings and demonstrations that could not have given anyone any reason to believe there was a threat to Canada's security.
This is unfolding in an era when people feel that the government is collecting more and more information about Canadians. We also have to set clearer boundaries about how this information is obtained and about Canadians' right to privacy.
I would be pleased to answer my colleagues' questions.
Motions in Amendment
Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
September 22nd, 2014 / 4:45 p.m.
Ève Péclet La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House for the second time to speak to Bill C-13, which addresses cyberbullying.
When the government announced Bill C-13 to combat cyberbullying, everyone thought it was a good idea. Perhaps the government had finally come up with a good idea. Everyone here knows that cyberbullying is taking a heavy toll on our youth. The people who work on the front lines—psychoeducators who work in high schools, street outreach workers and everyone else who works with youth—know how bullying can destroy lives, individuals and families. Some cases have made headlines, including the case of young Rehtaeh Parsons. Unfortunately, we know just how far cyberbullying can go. It can lead to suicide. No one in the House would say that we can remain indifferent about an issue as important as cyberbullying.
In the first speech I gave on Bill C-13, I emphasized the need to take action on the ground. I could even draw a parallel with the speech I just gave this morning on Bill C-36. The Conservatives often think they can use justice to solve all the problems inherent in a given situation. In the case of prostitution, for instance, inherent problems include poverty, exclusion and mental illness. The same is true when it comes to bullying. Some of the factors involved in bullying cannot be addressed through criminalization.
The provisions of Bill C-13, which makes it an offence to distribute intimate images, are a good start. In fact, the bill fits in with the bill introduced by my colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, which aims to prevent the kinds of situations that unfortunately led to the suicides of several young Canadians over the past few years.
Upon closer examination of the bill, one can see that it refers to various subjects ranging from cyberbullying to terrorism, banking information, telemarketing and theft of a telecommunication service.
Most of the provisions have very little if anything to do with cyberbullying. This bill is similar to the Conservatives' previous Bill C-30, which allowed access to Canadians' personal information.
The parliamentary secretary said that it was debated extensively and thoroughly examined in committee. That is all wonderful, except that all the experts agree that the study should have been even more thorough when it comes to the provisions regarding access to information. That is why we asked that the bill be split. Unfortunately, because we ran out of time, the provisions on cyberbullying were not examined much, if at all. We focused on the access to information provisions.
This issue is very important for our young people, and I find it extremely unfortunate that the debate is centred around access to information. That has nothing to do with our young students or the young girl who is being bullied by her classmates or receiving hateful messages on Facebook.
Access to information will have no impact on this girl, or perhaps it will, unfortunately, if the government wants access to her private information, which would be too bad. This is not going to help young people who need their government to work for them and do something about this.
I also asked a number of questions about an oversight mechanism. I would like to point out that the Conservatives refused to adopt such a mechanism. My colleague from Gatineau proposed an amendment requiring the department to report to Parliament on the use of this type of power. I would like to note that section 184.4 of the Criminal Code has already been struck down by the Supreme Court, not because the mechanism allowed information obtained without a warrant to be shared, but because application of that section did not include any oversight mechanism or notification mechanism. According to the Supreme Court, the rights of people being wiretapped were intrinsically violated because they did not know they were being tapped. At the end of the day, without an oversight mechanism, we are giving the police and the government power without accountability. We can agree that we are giving nearly absolute power to the minister and police officers to access Canadians' information.
The Supreme Court was clear. I have not even touched on the Supreme Court's recent decision in Spencer, which reiterates that telecommunications companies do not have the right to turn Canadians' private information over without a warrant. It is a violation and it is unconstitutional because there is no oversight mechanism.
I made a comparison with section 188, which was not struck down by the Supreme Court. That section allows for warrantless wiretaps, but it includes an oversight mechanism. The department is therefore obliged to report to Parliament on warrantless wiretapping.
According to the Supreme Court, this is clearly unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the Conservatives refused to adopt our amendments on creating such a reporting mechanism, which is too bad. We can already see that part of the bill will likely be challenged in court or even deemed unconstitutional.
Who will be the main victims of that challenge? My colleague from Gatineau told us several times. The main victims of the Conservatives' incompetence at drafting bills and studying issues thoroughly are the victims of bullying. The main victims will not be parliamentarians, lawyers or judges. No, the main victims will be victims of bullying, who unfortunately will have to wait for a legal challenge—which could take years and could go all the way to the Supreme Court—before justice is served.
I would like to underline the fact that when the Minister of Justice held his press conference, he said that Bill C-13 only legislated on a specific issue, namely cyberbullying. I know of several articles that quoted him as saying that this was not an omnibus bill and that its only purpose was to legislate on cyberbullying.
However, this bill contains a clause that gives not only peace officers, but also public officers access to these powers. Several experts wondered who would have access to these powers. Who would have access to Canadians' information? Would it be only the police, and only in specific situations, or would it be public officers from Revenue Canada in other situations?
This bill is so badly written that, unfortunately, the main victims who will be denied justice will be victims of bullying. Is that really what the Conservative government wants?
Motions in Amendment
Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
September 22nd, 2014 / 4:45 p.m.
Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, a hard-working member, whom I know is stellar in his service to his constituents. He does amazing work here in the House as well.
This bill is all about politics. It is about playing politics. We have parts of a bill that the current government said would never come forward again, and elements of that bill in Bill C-13 right now that are from Bill C-30. This bill, or kernels of it, originated with the NDP, as I said, by my hard-working colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour.If this bill were separated, we could have passed it months ago. That concerns me. However, once again, the Conservatives would rather bury things that get into invasion of privacy.
Even the mother, in one of our most tragic deaths, says that this bill goes too far.
Motions in Amendment
Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
September 22nd, 2014 / 4:30 p.m.
Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to rise and speak on a motion that I believe to be critical, so it saddens me that I will have to speak against it. It is Bill C-13, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.
Let me give a bit of perspective. In that regard, I want to congratulate my colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, who introduced Bill C-540 in 2013, following the tragic death of Amanda Todd and other victims of cyberbullying, including Rehtaeh Parsons. These deaths moved the nation. I would say that the feelings across the country were palpable. It did not matter whether one lived on the west coast, on the Prairies, or on the east coast; families right across Canada lived the pain that those families went through.
The bill put forward by my colleague was a fairly reasonable one. As members know, at that time the Conservatives introduced legislation as well, Bill C-30. Bill C-30 was from the minister of the day, who is no longer in the House. There was a huge, almost unprecedented reaction to that bill, especially through social media. Just to remind us all, Bill C-30 was called the “protecting children from Internet predators act”. That bill was rejected not only by the NDP, based on what was included in it, but also by privacy advocates and the public. That reaction forced the Conservative Party to back away from it.
I can remember some of the rhetoric from that time when it backed away from that legislation, which was ill thought out and an absolute invasion of privacy. At that time, I can remember hearing commitment from the government side that any attempts to modernize the Criminal Code would not contain the measures contained in Bill C-30. Now here we are on Bill C-13.
There are parts of this legislation that the official opposition heartily and happily supports. On more than one occasion we have suggested to the government that if it is serious about taking action on cyberbullying, it should separate the bill. We offered to expedite it through the House. It would have been law already.
However, once again I find the party sitting across from this side playing games with a very sensitive issue, producing a bill that has some good parts to it that we want to support but then throwing in parts that it knows will make it difficult for us to support the bill.
The NDP is never scared of hard work, whether it comes to standing up to speak on issues in the House and taking up allocated time spots, and normally filling in even for the government side because it does not take up all its speaking slots, or when it comes to committee work. In order to make this bill palatable and make it go through the House, the opposition put forward 37 amendments. They were all reasonable amendments that would have added some balance to the bill.
What is shocking is that the government did the same as it has done on bill after bill. It was its way or no way. It rejected every single one of those amendments.
The Canadian Bar Association came to present as well. I am not talking about a radical group here. I am talking about lawyers. The Canadian Bar Association expressed the same concerns as the NDP and other witnesses. It put forward 19 possible amendments to the bill, but not one of those amendments was taken into consideration.
Once again, the Conservatives are trying to bury things in a bill so they can get their agenda through, but at the same time they are trying to bury some legislation that is absolutely needed.
I have been a teacher all of my life. I am also a mother and a grandmother. The world has changed for our children. They are spending more time on the Internet or attached to their cell phones, although many of us are guilty of that too. They are socializing differently as well.
We have to look at modernizing the way we see bullying. It is no longer just about bullying in the playground, where a child is bullied physically or verbally, face-to-face. Cyberbullying allows for a certain amount of anonymity. We have seen the tragic results of that kind of bullying. We have seen its impact on young people.
It is upsetting for me today to speak against a bill that contains a component that I support. I would urge my colleagues across the way to take a second and consider that we could have the cyberbullying component in the bill turned into legislation quickly. We need to get off the ideological idea that we cannot have a simple bill that deals with one issue. We have to get off the ideological idea that other stuff has to be thrown in to get the ideological agenda done. It also gives those members an opportunity to stand up later and say that the NDP voted against this.
June 3rd, 2014 / 11:40 a.m.
Nominee for the position of Privacy Commissioner of Canada, As an Individual
June 3rd, 2014 / 11:40 a.m.
June 3rd, 2014 / 11:40 a.m.
Mathieu Ravignat Pontiac, QC
Thank you very much. You answered my question.
You were the Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Public Safety, Defence and Immigration Portfolio. Those three departments are trying to obtain personal data and information on Canadians.
In your capacity as Assistant Deputy Attorney General, were you asked to provide your opinion and advice regarding Bill C-30 introduced by Minister Toews?
June 3rd, 2014 / 11:25 a.m.
Stephen Anderson Executive Director, OpenMedia.ca
Thanks for having me, and thank you for this opportunity to speak before the committee regarding Bill C-13.
I'm Steve Anderson, the executive director of OpenMedia.ca. We're a community-based organization working to safeguard the open Internet.
As you may know, OpenMedia.ca works with many other groups to lead the Stop Online Spying campaign, which successfully convinced the government to shelve the lawful access legislation, Bill C-30. Nearly 150,000 Canadians took part in that campaign.
Last year we started the Protect Our Privacy coalition, which is the largest pro-privacy coalition in Canadian history, with over 50 organizations from across Canada.
You know you've hit on a common Canadian value when you have groups ranging from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Council of Canadians, to small businesses, to labour unions, all joining forces on this issue of privacy. As it stands, we have a privacy deficit in Canada, and I'm afraid that Bill C-13 will only deepen that deficit.
I believe this privacy deficit is the result of a democratic deficit. If the government, including members of this committee, were listening to the concerns of Canadians, there is no way you would be paving the way for a range of authorities to have increased warrantless access to our sensitive private information.
To help bring the concerns of Canadians to this committee, I have crowd-sourced this presentation for you today. I asked Canadians online what they thought I should say, and I have done my best to incorporate their input into my presentation. I'll reference them from time to time.
I'll confine my presentation to the lawful access portion, as that is where Canadians have expressed the most concern and I think where I personally also have the most concern.
The Canadians I spoke to had three main concerns: first, immunity for activities that victimize innocent Canadians; second, accountability and oversight; and third, data security.
On immunity, which I'll talk about first, Bill C-13 in its current form provides communications companies that hand over sensitive information about innocent Canadians with absolute immunity from criminal and civil liability.
Recent revelations show that the government agencies made 1.2 million requests for customer data from telecom companies in only one year and that companies apparently complied with those voluntary requests most of the time. After learning of this, Canadians have been looking for more safeguards rather than weakening privacy safeguards.
At the moment, an unlimited swath of information can be accessed by a simple phone call to an Internet service provider. Government agencies don't even need to provide a written request, and we are told that some agencies even refuse to put their requests in writing to avoid a paper trail. This extrajudicial practice works, because there is a loophole that allows authorities to obtain voluntary warrantless access to law-abiding Canadians' sensitive information.
The disclosure immunity provided in Bill C-13 will make the privacy loophole even bigger by removing one of the few incentives for telecom companies to safeguard our data from warrantless disclosures.
Canadian citizen, Gord Tomlin, had this to say on the matter via Facebook:
If 'authorities' need information, they can get a warrant. It's not onerous, it's one of the checks and balances that is supposed to protect our system from abuse.
Danielle had this to say on the OpenMedia.ca website:
If accessing an individual's private information is not arbitrary but is justifiable, then a warrant can be obtained. Otherwise, it is expected that the law [will] protect us from privacy violations...
There were many more like that.
Providing telecom companies who engage in extrajudicial disclosure of Canadians' sensitive information is encouraging moral hazard. It's encouraging reckless and irresponsible behaviour.
I'll now move on to accountability and oversight.
Canadians find it troubling that Bill C-13 makes little effort to keep government agencies transparent and accountable. Most shockingly, there is no requirement that officials notify those innocent Canadians who have had their data stored in government databases. The lack of knowledge and consent by those victimized through surveillance and warrantless disclosure is frustrating to many Canadians.
As one Canadian put it:
I would like to see a requirement that persons whose data has been accessed, be informed of this fact and that there be a major penalty...if there is a failure to comply with this requirement.
The proposed lowering of the “reason to suspect” threshold for transition data warrants is also of concern to Canadians. We're talking about the collection of data—and let's be clear about this—that can reveal political and religious affiliations, medical conditions, the types of activities we engage in online and offline, and whom we socialize with. This is incredibly invasive stuff.
On the topic of accountability, several people also highlighted the costs associated with these data transfers and that they would have to pay for them, and that it would limit our digital economy.
On data security concerns, many Canadians are concerned with how secure data will be once authorities expand their collection through the measures in Bill C-13.
Given recent breaches at federal offices—the CRA and student loans, for example—many Canadians question if we can trust government authorities to properly protect their data from cybercriminals and identity thieves.
One person online said: The federal government, and indeed the vague category of 'public officials,' has a poor track record of protecting private information already. It's common occurrence in the Canadian news environment to hear about some government agency or officials losing the confidential information of Canadians such as last March's revelation the government had lost the student loan information of nearly 600,000 Canadians. Broadening the powers of officials to access this information only increases the danger that confidential information will end up in the wrong hands.
Bill C-13 also problematically expands the bureaucrats and agencies that can access our private information, including CSEC and CSIS, which are currently facing their own crisis of accountability, given the recent Snowden disclosures. I fail to see how that is connected to cyberbullying at all.
Bill C-13 does not, in its current form, provide effective measures to increase transparency, accountability, or reporting on warrantless access to private data.
In sum, I recommend that this committee remove the telecom immunity and weakening warrant standards, while adding new reporting and accountability measures to this bill.
I also want to join the growing numbers calling for you to split the bill up so that we can move on the cyberbullying portion, which I think there is growing consensus around, minus some reforms, and have a proper debate on lawful access.
As one person put it, “Any expansion of government powers needs to be linked to a compelling societal need.”
The lawful access section is not connected to cyberbullying. I don't think that connection has been made for Canadians in nearly enough detail.
I also think it's worth repeating what Carol Todd, the mother of cyberbullying victim Amanda Todd, told this committee. She said:
I don't want to see our children victimized again by losing privacy rights. I am troubled by some of these provisions condoning the sharing of the privacy information of Canadians without proper legal process.
I think both those on the front lines of law enforcement and Canadians want authorities to have the tools tailored to bringing a variety of criminals to justice. What this bill does at the moment is unnecessarily combine some of those tools with unpopular mechanisms that encourage mass disclosure of sensitive information.
I implore the committee to consider that just one database, the RCMP's Canadian Police Information Centre, has sensitive data on more than 420,000 Canadians. These people have no criminal record of any kind. Many have their information stored due to simply having suffered a mental health issue.
I'd also consider that a Canadian named Diane is one of more than 200 Canadians who recently came forward to say that their personal or professional lives have been ruined despite never having broken the law. Why? Because information about them has been wrongfully disclosed to third parties—in Diane's case, her employer.
Now consider the fact that in recent years federal government agencies alone have seen over 3,000 breaches of highly sensitive private information of Canadians. Consider also that this has affected an estimated 750,000 people.
In Diane's case, she was the victim of a false accusation, which was withdrawn years ago, yet it continues to affect her career. Diane's response after being victimized by this privacy intrusion and having her professional life unfairly curtailed was, unsurprisingly, disbelief, shock, and anger.
Now imagine that Diane was your family member or someone you know. You don't need to put them at risk like this. You can choose to split up the bill and make the necessary reforms whilst dealing with cyberbullying.
Why should Canadian victims be re-victimized by violations to their privacy? Why should those with mental health issues need to live in fear? They don't.
Canadians, including some of the government's biggest supporters, whom I'm working with closely on this matter, are wondering why the government is deepening our privacy deficit when other countries are beginning to rein in surveillance. They're wondering why you're mismanaging our data security.
In closing, as Jesse Kline wrote in the National Post last week, “When the Canadian public, parents of victims of cyberbullying, privacy commissioners and former cabinet ministers all voice serious concerns about a bill, it is a sure sign that something is wrong, and the government should listen.”
May 27th, 2014 / 11:25 a.m.
Marian K. Brown Executive Member, Criminal Justice Section, Canadian Bar Association
Thank you, Ms. Schellenberg.
We hope that our input today will assist you in understanding how the draft provisions would function, if they're implemented, and of course in understanding what constitutional or charter issues may arise.
We are proposing numerous amendments that all have one of two main goals. Our first goal is to ensure that only truly intentional cyberbullying is prosecuted, and our second is to ensure that privacy interests are protected when data is seized.
Our written submission provides many details that we will not be able to cover today. What I will do now is give highlights of our recommendations on cyberbullying, on lawful access, and on the Competition Act.
First with respect to cyberbullying, as you know, the bill criminalizes a particular form of cyberbullying, which is the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. Distribution of sexual images of children is already prohibited by the child pornography provisions by the code, but the new section 162.1 proposed in Bill C-13 criminalizes non-consensual distribution of anyone's intimate images, not just young people's. In the CBA's view, this new offence is better suited to dealing with youth cyberbullying than using the child pornography provisions for youth conduct.
We're recommending some amendments that would more closely restrict the new offence to situations of truly intentional bullying. We echo Mr. Spratt's concern about the current wording of proposed section 162.1, which includes the alternative of recklessness. That could, in our view, criminalize conduct that is merely careless, and carelessness is an aspect of youth behaviour. Prosecuting someone who does not have the knowledge or intent required for a criminal offence would be a violation of section 7 of the charter.
In our written submission, at page 5 of the English version, we give an example of an adult distribution of images that would constitute reckless or careless conduct, but which is probably not the aim of this legislation. Because there are scenarios in which carelessness or reckless distribution under the current wording could incur criminal liability, we're recommending two specific changes to the wording.
Our recommendation 2, which appears at page 6 of the English version, is that the following phrase should be added to the offence section: “with intent to annoy, embarrass, intimidate or harass that person”. It's a much more specific formulation of intent. Our recommendation 4, at page 7 of the English version, is that the offence section be amended to remove the words “being reckless as to whether or not that person gave their consent”.
So we would take out the alternative of recklessness. In our view, those two amendments would ensure that only the distribution of images with a malicious intent would be prosecuted and would ensure that young people are not prosecuted for their merely careless or thoughtless distribution of images.
I'll turn now to our key submissions regarding lawful access. Seven of the eight main lawful access powers in this bill rest with the judiciary; that is to say that seven of those eight powers consist of judicial orders or warrants. The one exception is the preservation demand by an officer, whereby data is not seized without judicial authorization but is simply ordered to be held, so that it cannot be deleted, for a period of time.
So there is no warrantless seizure provision under this proposed regime, but the CBA recognizes that the issue of privacy in data is much broader than these particular Criminal Code seizure provisions. As we've heard from other presenters, perhaps the greatest concern is about law enforcement's obtaining data through the cooperation of service providers without the use of any of the eight powers that are covered in Bill C-13. Obtaining data outside of the Criminal Code purports to be authorized under PIPEDA, the electronic documents act, and other privacy statutes.
We feel it's important to comment that even if the lawful access provisions in Bill C-13 are made perfect, this will not eliminate arguments that PIPEDA and the other privacy acts perhaps should be more strictly applied. Even the very best drafted Criminal Code provisions will not diminish the arguments that voluntary cooperation between service providers and law enforcement should be more closely monitored.
Because of that bigger picture, two of the CBA's recommendations are quite broad. Our recommendation 8, at page 12 of our written submission, is that a single entity be created to monitor the impact of the seizure, retention, and use of personal information by Canadian law enforcement agencies.
Our recommendation 17, at page 24 of the English version of our written submission, is that the federal government conduct an independent comprehensive review of privacy interests in the context of electronic investigations.
Those sound very broad, but we're in a new world here. We're at a perfect storm of legal change and technological change, and it's no wonder that we're having difficulty with it.
Given the bill that you have to work with today, in our written submission we make several specific recommendations for amendments. We believe that three amendments in particular are key to avoiding violations of privacy interests under section 8 of the charter.
Our recommendation 9, at page 14 of the English version of our written submission, is that the officers' preservation demand, which is section 487.012—the only power without judicial authorization—should be limited to exigent circumstances, where data would otherwise be lost or destroyed before a judicial authorization can be obtained.
Our recommendation 14, at page 19 of the English version, is that the threshold for a transmission data production order—and that's section 487.017—should be raised from “reasonable grounds to suspect” to “reasonable grounds to believe” because transmission data may reveal private conduct.
Similarly, our recommendation 15, at page 20 of the English version, is that the threshold for a transmission data recorder warrant, section 492.2, also should be raised from “reasonable grounds to suspect” to “reasonable grounds to believe”, again because transmission data may reveal private conduct.
I'm going to say a few more words about transmission data. Our understanding is that it's not the same thing as metadata, which we understand to be data left by web browsing that can be located on a personal computer that is seized under a search warrant. We understand transmission data, as defined in this bill, to include not the contents of the communication, but only its origin and destination, direction, duration, time and date, size, and the protocol and type of the communication. That limited definition is very important because intercepting the contents of a private communication actually is a criminal offence under section 184 of the Criminal Code, unless a wiretap authorization is in place.
Bill C-13 cannot entail monitoring of the content of private communications.
I don't want to overlook the so-called immunity section, but unfortunately our working group did not discuss it in detail or make written recommendations about it. You've heard from other speakers about the terms of that section. All we can recommend is that you look closely and comparatively at the proposed section 487.0195, the existing section, which is old number 487.0114, combined with section 25 of the code, and you may wish for comparative purposes to also look at the immunity provision that exists for people who voluntarily assist with wiretap orders, which is section 188.2 of the Criminal Code. You'll see in that section that there is full civil immunity only for people who assist where there is either a judicial authorization or an interception in exigent circumstances. It's a more limited option for immunity.
Justice and Human Rights
Committees of the House
May 26th, 2014 / 4:05 p.m.
Scott Simms Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues for allowing me the time to do this. I also want to thank my colleague, the Liberal member of Parliament for Charlottetown, who did an extensive amount of work on this, as well as the member of Parliament for Malpeque and the member of Parliament for Mount Royal.
The enactment would amend the Criminal Code to provide most notably for a new offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images. As well, there would complementary amendments to authorize the removal of such images from the Internet and the recovery of the expenses incurred to obtain the removal of images, the forfeiture of property used in the commission of the offence, a recognizance order to be issued to prevent the distribution of such images, and restriction of the use of a computer or the Internet by a convicted offender.
We are talking about the power to make preservation demands and orders to compel the preservation of electronic evidence, new production orders to compel the production of data relating to the transmission of communications and the location of transactions, individuals or things.
A warrant that would extend the current investigative power for data associated with telephones to transmission data relating to all means of telecommunications, or warrants that would be associated with telephones and the like, as I mentioned, a streamlined process of obtaining warrants and orders related to an authorization to intercept private communications by ensuring that those warrants and orders could be issued by a judge who would issue the authorization and by specifying that all documents relating to a request for a related warrant or order would be automatically subject to the same rules respecting confidentiality as the request for authorization.
Last, it would also amend the Competition Act to make applicable for the purpose of enforcing certain provisions of the act the new provisions being added to the Criminal Code respecting demands and orders for the preservation of computer data and orders for the production of documents related to the transmission or communications of financial data.
It would also amend the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act to make some of the new investigative powers being added to the Criminal Code available to Canadian authorities executing incoming requests for assistance and to allow the Commissioner of Competition to execute search warrants under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act that I spoke of earlier.
There are some messages that we would like to put out there regarding this. This has been a long time coming. It was first introduced in the House on November 20, 2013. Cyberbullying is a scourge upon our society, as we all know, and has been evidenced certainly in the last two or three years. This is a problem not just in Canada but around the world. The party is supportive, in principle, of legislative measures that would provide law enforcement with additional tools to combat cyberbullying.
This is an area where the Criminal Code urgently needs to be updated to reflect the realities of modern technologies.
We believe, however, that legislative measures alone are insufficient to combat cyberbullying and we urge the government to commit to a broader, more holistic strategy to deal with cyberbullying that would also include public awareness resources for both parents and kids to allow them to see the signs of cyberbullying which they probably would not recognize under normal circumstances.
We introduced cyberbullying legislation last session that would have modified some Criminal Code offences to cover modern technology, as is done in C-13, which the Conservatives and the NDP voted down. The Liberals introduced legislation that would have addressed new technologies back in 2005.
The Conservative government is only figuring out now that police forces need these tools to keep up with technologies that are increasingly a part of today's crime.
We believe that a balance must be struck between civil liberties and public safety, particularly when it comes to warrants that may be intrusive and overboard. We do not support the measures that were in Bill C-30, which even the government had to withdraw because of the outrage some time ago.
Some of the bill would duplicate the rejected Bill C-30, such as word for word reproductions of the changes, subsection 487.3(1) of the Criminal Code and all but one word changes to subsection 492.1 and subsection 492 regarding warrants.
We are very concerned about efforts to reintroduce lawful access, which the Conservatives promised was dead at the time. That is not necessarily the case now.
Though the title is the protecting Canadians from online crime act, nobody is actually protected under this act. In typical fashion, this is all about punishment rather than prevention. Complex problems like cyberbullying require more than blunt editions to the Criminal Code. This omnibus bill touches everything from terrorism to telemarketing, cable stealing to hate speech, and is an affront to both democracy and the legislative process in the omnibus form that has been in going on in for quite some time.
We have seen that through the budget bills and a lot of the legislation that has passed through the House, so we can only assume that this type of pattern will continue with this legislation. Therefore, we support the motion to have the bill split and the provisions relating to cyberbullying be contained in a stand-alone bill at committee.
We are proposing two amendments.
The first is an amendment that would provide for a statutory review of elements of the bill, including the voluntary disclosure provisions. The sunset clause is a part of a law statute and we can repeal the law part over a specified time period.
The second is an amendment that would require an actual basis a report by telecoms detailing the volume of information being disclosed without a warrant.
As we mentioned earlier, we talked about the splitting of this bill, and we certainly feel this is a way to go. This would be the most responsible thing to do in light of the omnibus nature of this legislation. I believe that by doing this, we would be taking a principled and responsible approach.
Again, I go back to our original message of cyberbullying, which is a scourge on our society. What we can do in the House is reflect by looking at stand-alone legislation dealing with that. Basically, by making this a stand-alone provision, it would go a long way in enhancing the debate. Given the fact that we have had so much debate in the past, so much opposition and that there has been so much talk in the public realm about this legislation, this is something we can support.