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Government Canada Privacy

Canada Introduces Privacy Reforms That Encourage Warrantless Disclosure of Info 99

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-do-you-want-to-know? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this week, the government introduced the Digital Privacy Act (Bill S-4), the latest attempt to update Canada's private sector privacy law. Michael Geist reports that the bill includes a provision that could massively expand warrantless disclosure of personal information. Organizations will be permitted to disclose personal information without consent (and without a court order) to any organization that is investigating a contractual breach or possible violation of any law. This applies both past breaches or violations as well as potential future violations. Moreover, the disclosure occurs in secret without the knowledge of the affected person (who therefore cannot challenge the disclosure since they are not aware it is happening). Consider it a gift to copyright trolls, who won't need the courts to obtain information on thousands of Internet users."
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Canada Introduces Privacy Reforms That Encourage Warrantless Disclosure of Info

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  • Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 11, 2014 @05:48AM (#46723345)
    You get what you vote for,
    • Re:Eh? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chrisq (894406) on Friday April 11, 2014 @05:58AM (#46723385)

      You get what you vote for,

      If you call a choice of 2 with the same policies a choice ... and if you live somewhere your vote will make a difference (i.e. the result isn't a foregone conclusion)

      • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Informative)

        by davecb (6526) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Friday April 11, 2014 @08:17AM (#46723931) Homepage Journal

        We used to have four parties,
        Left Left-Center Right-center Right
        NDP Liberal Conservative Reform
        plus a Quebec party, plus some oddballs.

        We used to get lots of debate, and some very different suggestions from the NDP and Reform, which tended to keep the debate healthy.

        Now we have Reform, renamed as the "Conservatives", a rump of the Liberals, and a invigorated NDP. The latter two split the left-center vote, the Reform party wins, and the policies look remarkably homogenized.

        Bummer!

        • Democracy is far from a perfect system, but it beats the hell out of whatever's in second place.

          At worst, the illusion of choice is still a galvanizing force if the politicos need to be reassigned.

          • by davecb (6526)
            Even if you had no parties, individuals need to get thrown out of office, if only to keep them from getting in a rut.
          • by mlts (1038732)

            Democracy is showing its cracks here in the US. I've wondered about moving to a different system so we don't keep the same people in office for decades:

            I'd propose it be done like jury duty: Come every four years, every citizen's name is tossed in a hat, names are drawn, and those people are sworn into office. No, this isn't perfect, and statistically, there is a chance of getting some real crazies... but is that worse than politicians bought and paid for by campaign donations? Statistically, it will gi

            • by dryeo (100693)

              I've often thought about a similar idea here in Canada, except it being the Senate (appointed in Canada) that is made up of random people. Elected part of government still proposes laws and budgets but the Senate can shoot them down or force changes.
              Problem is a lot of people just can't afford to take a few years away from home and work and they'd still be vulnerable to bribery such as the promise of a good easy job after their term was finished.

              • Yes, it's been the senate that has blocked some really horrible laws, [unfortunately, not because they were bad, but just passed by the 'other' party]. This Harper gov't has been doing it's best to reduce/eliminate the ability for people to do anything about the laws they pass, by just lumping them in one big omnibus bill, introducing it, then ramming it through parliament as fast as possible. "Oh, we have to lump everything together, because everything is linked together by the fact that they are in the

                • by dryeo (100693)

                  Considering one of Harpers (and Reforms) original platforms was Senate reform, he sure has taken advantage of the status quo. I like the idea of the Senate, just not the implementation. One quick improvement would be letting the Provinces appoint Senators however they want, elected, appointed or whatever. Meanwhile Harper won't even appoint the one that Alberta voted for.

            • by quantaman (517394)

              I've thought of that before, you might end up with rule by bureaucrats but otherwise I think it works pretty well, other than the fact that no legislative body would ever implement it.

              Given modern constraints I think constitutional monarchies are the way to go, not because the monarch is useful, but because the monarch takes the "executive" role and all the power ends up in parliament where voters can pay attention.

              The problem with the US is power is too distributed. 538 congress critters each with their ow

              • by dryeo (100693)

                Ideally the Constitutional Monarch should have just slightly more power. Currently in Canada the Governor General does whatever the PM tells him to do, right or wrong. This has resulted in Harper proroguing Parliament when the shit was about to hit the fan a couple of times including once when he's government was going to lose a vote of confidence the next day, then he went on about how it wasn't democratic if the opposition parties ganged up on him and formed a coalition government like the UK and Australi

                • by quantaman (517394)

                  Ideally the Constitutional Monarch should have just slightly more power. Currently in Canada the Governor General does whatever the PM tells him to do, right or wrong. This has resulted in Harper proroguing Parliament when the shit was about to hit the fan a couple of times including once when he's government was going to lose a vote of confidence the next day, then he went on about how it wasn't democratic if the opposition parties ganged up on him and formed a coalition government like the UK and Australia currently have. A government consists of which ever part[y][ies] can pass a budget and if none can then Parliament is dissolved and there are elections. The voters get pissed off if this happens too often.

                  That prorogue situation was a bit of a mess, the Conservatives had just won the election (as a minority) and introduced a controversial election funding bill they hadn't discussed during the campaign. But the voters understand that the minority party forms government, giving the voters a coalition government they didn't expect isn't really Democratic. I think the proper thing would have been to say withdraw the the bill or we'll defeat it and force another election and let the voters decide whose fault it i

                  • by dryeo (100693)

                    Yes the whole thing was a mess but the Conservatives, who ran on a platform of transparency, did introduce a bill designed to fuck the opposition and pushed it through. That's the problem with this government, it takes a lot of screaming before they listen, generally they sneak the worst shit in using omnibus bills so people have too many options about what to scream about. So far it seems only the Supreme Court has really been able to reign them in. I wish we still had our minority governments as majoritie

                    • by quantaman (517394)

                      I think the lack of party discipline is the worst feature of the American system. In the Canadian system Michelle Bachmann, Ted Cruize, and Jim Inhofe would just be random backbenchers no one listens to. But in the US because there's no discipline each of them has a voice on the national stage.

                      MPs with lots of independence means political power goes local, instead of debating things on the national stage with everyone it's debated by hyper-partisans because those are the only people obsessive enough to get

          • Demo-cracy indicates the result, not the method.
            Some methods are named after the result, like the extremely secure server I want to sell you is extremely secure.

            You know it is a democracy when you ask yourself "is this government decision what I want" and the answer is a statistically significant Yes. Besides, when you have governments making decision, you have already a problem since it's not their duty to make new laws unless it's an absolute emergency.

          • "Democracy is far from a perfect system, but it beats the hell out of whatever's in second place."

            http://www.princeton.edu/~mgil... [princeton.edu]

        • by Udom (978789)
          One major problem is our weak laws about lobbying. Lobbyists can wine and dine MPs constantly with little oversight. Even worse, if an MP votes the right way they can get a great job with the PR company when they leave office. So... vote for the spy bill, retire before the next election and immediately start work as Vice President for SFA at a salary of half a million a year. Canadian News media are being corrupted in the same way.
          • by davecb (6526)
            Indeed: I notice a number of ex-reporters were caught up in the Senate scandal...
          • by davecb (6526)
            While it didn't address the lobbying, Jean Chretien's effort to shift party funding to $x per vote cast in the previous election was an excellent first step toward taking the power to influence out of the hands of the people who also hire lobbyists. It's contraintuitive that it was the ex-Reform party members who shut it down and took the election-spending power out of the hands of their own "grass roots".
      • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dryeo (100693) on Friday April 11, 2014 @10:37AM (#46725049)

        62% of the Canadians who bothered to vote, voted against this government, so we have the tyranny of the minority. Luckily with the Fair Elections Act they're trying to make sure that many of those 62% won't be able to vote next election.

        • by Tailhook (98486)

          62% of the Canadians who bothered to vote, voted against this government, so we have the tyranny of the minority

          Remember the days before Harper when Canada's electoral system was incessantly lauded as the obviously superior system? Since conservatives took power that view has not been offered as frequently around here.

          All those proud anti-Harper Canadians must be languishing is some NWT gulag where they can't post that stuff anymore... it couldn't be that they forgot how wonderful their system is when it fails to produce their preferred outcome.

          No way!

          • by dryeo (100693)

            The Conservatives got training from the American Republican Party. They have been caught cheating, there is lots of other evidence of other cheating and now they're changing the rules so that our formally excellent system is no more. Elections Canada isn't even going to be allowed to tell people where to vote, little well investigate polling irregularities, campaign irregularities and so on.
            While Canada's electoral system was very good, our Parliamentary system not so much as if a party gets a majority they

            • by Mashiki (184564)

              The Conservatives got training from the American Republican Party. They have been caught cheating, there is lots of other evidence of other cheating and now they're changing the rules so that our formally excellent system is no more.

              Oh please. The liberals got exactly the same training, and were caught cheating in the elections during the 90's but I sure don't hear you bitching and moaning about that.

              • by dryeo (100693)

                I'd like a citation for that. Just spent half an hour looking and can't find anything for the Canadian Federal Liberal Party though it wouldn't surprise me too much as they were quite corrupt. I do know that I never had a problem voting in a federal election until the last election when the early voting place was 30 miles away in the wrong direction instead of the normal place, a problem for me as being self-employed I have a harder time taking Tuesday afternoon off. Not to mention the severe shortage of ch

    • No, this is a democracy - you get often what OTHER people voted for.
      As apposed to not-violent freedom where people can organize in cities or clubs and have local laws without need to convince millions of citizens even from other side of country.
      Paging doctor "but if we would be free, who will build the roads, private companies and organizations like Linux, Mozilla do grand things but I think we're too stupid to hire some construction workers without government holding gun to taxpayer's head"
      • Paging doctor "but if we would be free, who will build the roads [..]"

        Oh, I know one who fits that description:

        "You don't know what order with freedom means! You only know what revolt against oppression is! You don't know that the rod, discipline, violence, the state and government can only be sustained because of you and because of your lack of socially creative powers that develop order within liberty!"

        -- Gustav Landauer

    • Damn right, next time vote for Kodos you idiots!

      • Vote Codo! (Endziffer 1 [youtube.com])

      • by dryeo (100693)

        This is Canada, we're the mice who get a choice of cats, white, black, even multi-coloured. They all promise that they'll do the best for us mice, but the truth is they're cats.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]

        • I prefer the broken vase joke.

          Customer: I'd like to buy a vase.
          Clerk: Here we have a few. A red one, a blue one, a green one, a yellow one...
          Customer: Yeah, but ... they all have holes in the bottom! They're absolutely useless!
          Clerk: Maybe, but you have the free choice!

          • by q4Fry (1322209)

            People were meant to hold various views.
            This has been construed to mean
            That rulers should grant them the freedom to choose
            And one thing to choose between.

            Piet Hein in Grooks V

        • This is ACTA by the backdoor. Is the same thing that they are pushing here in Mexico. Next thell will push the same legislation in the USA to "armonize" the laws in all the NAFTA countries.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      You get what you vote for,

      So we got it with the Liberals who were the first runners of this type of law, we got it with the conservatives, but they listened and killed the bills when the public said no way. Following with that, the courts have struck down various sections of the law already codified that allowed exigent circumstances. Seems to me that the system is working just fine up here in Canada. And in this case, I don't expect the law to make it in it's current form. It'll hit the senate, and end up back in the house, whe

    • by MrChips (29877)

      > You get what you vote for

      No we didn't. Over 60% of us voted against the conservatives and yet here they are. Running amok. I'd be much happier if really did get what we voted for.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    more fucking civil rights down the tube...

  • So use it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 11, 2014 @06:04AM (#46723417)

    EFF can now obtain the list of directors of patent troll organizations. Publish that and the public can file thousands of lawsuits, embarrass them, etc,

    • How so? From the summary, this sounds like a voluntary action, not a mandatory one. I.e. They are now free to share user details without fear, but they are under no obligation to do so. In the case of patent trolls, there is no reason for them to share details that would incriminate themselves, so why would they voluntarily give up that information?

      No, this is simply a tool that bolsters corporations and harms users.

  • "Rights" in general is a carefully crafted illusion created and controlled by the 2% to make the other 98% believe that they are all equal in the constitution or some other similar book which itself is the part of the illusion. . Let me give an example. In the COMMUNIST world !!!, 2% of the population controls every aspect of the 98% . The same holds true in the democratic and other crapcratic world .
  • Politicians... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Knightman (142928) on Friday April 11, 2014 @06:10AM (#46723453)

    I don't get it, are politicians born stupid or have their parents dropped them on their head (repeatedly) while they where young?

    The possibility of abuse of this law if it's passed is mind-boggling. I do hope the Canadian people wakes up and take their politicians to task.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Stupid? They're power-hungry, and good at manipulating morons. They're especially good at it after some disaster strikes (e.g. after 9/11, they shoved through tons of legislation that violates the fundamental liberties of those in the US). Politicians are the same everywhere; manipulative, sociopathic assholes who take advantage of the ignorance and fear of the general public.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Never attribute to stupidity what can be attributed to malice.
      Politicians 101

    • On April 8, 2004, the European Court of Justice – the highest court in the world’s largest economy – declared Data Retention to be an excusable violation of fundamental human rights. The court invalidated the entire directive (“EU federal law”) retroactively, making it have never existed. (courtesy Ricvk Falkvinge, https://www.privateinternetacc... [privateint...access.com]

      The EU and Canadian constitutions are sort of vaguely similar, so one can likely make the point that, even if the telcos are free

      • by Teun (17872)
        Yes and then the national governments are slow to enact these changes in their own laws.

        The Dutch government did something rather strange, they said they had to 'study' this rule and would come back on it in 8 weeks.

        At virtually the same time they followed a ruling of the court banning the downloading of illegal copies on the same day.

        Up until this ruling Dutch law made uploading illegal but had no block on downloading, similar to our laws that not just protect freedom of speech but especially protect fr

    • it's not an either or proposition. some politicians are stupid (or maybe just ignorant and incurious), some are coldly calculating the strategies that allow them to gain money/power.
      It does not help that half of all potential voters have below average intelligence, or are incurious, or are ignorant, or suffer various combinations of all three.
      I pretty much had to teach myself about the genius of the Bill of Rights. I mourn the fact that all people do not embrace their importa

    • "I don't get it, are politicians born stupid or have their parents dropped them on their head (repeatedly) while they where young?"

      Elites fear awakening.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      The possibility of abuse of this law if it's passed is mind-boggling.

      And that's kind of the point. The current government here is a "law and order, pro business, we can spy too" type of conservative.

      They've been steadily trying to expand what government can do, ignoring our own national privacy laws, and generally trying to remake the laws into how they perceive how they should be (and generally ignoring anybody telling them why they can't).

      Since we've got a First Past the Post electoral system, and even t

    • The possibility of abuse of this law if it's passed is mind-boggling. I do hope the Canadian people wakes up and take their politicians to task.

      Look at Canadian and BC civil fortiture laws. They were enacted in the name of organized crime and now have shifted into a way to punish people if the cases don't go the Crowns way. Even judges are steppng in and saying the law is being abused

      http://news.nationalpost.com/2... [nationalpost.com]

  • Sorry, Canada (Score:5, Informative)

    by LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) on Friday April 11, 2014 @06:25AM (#46723513)

    * organizations could disclose subscriber or customer personal information without a court order to law enforcement with full legal immunity from liability
    * organizations could disclose subscriber or customer personal information without a court order to any other organization claiming investigation of an actual or potential contractual breach or legal violation
    * the disclosures would be kept secret from the affected individuals
    * the disclosing organizations would be under no obligation to report on their practices or past disclosures

    Wow. Good thing I live in the US where a citizens privacy is a high priority and its importance is well understood by our government.

  • They use maple syrup buckets.

  • So if I suspect the MAFIAA of widespread invasion of privacy, the ISP's will give me their home addresses?

  • I despise the MAFIAA, but if the telecom doesn't have the right to disclose reasonable information upon request then that puts the copyright holders in a situation that gives them some real ammo to demand more law enforcement involvement. Take for instance the DMCA. The thing that's broken with its takedown requirement isn't the fact that a private party can wield it liberally without law enforcement involvement, but that it can be wielded without consequence when the takedown is factually incorrect. Privat

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I despise the MAFIAA, but if the telecom doesn't have the right to disclose reasonable information upon request then that puts the copyright holders in a situation that gives them some real ammo to demand more law enforcement involvement.

      You still need a legally acceptable threshold instead of "because we say so".

      And Canada has privacy legislation [wikipedia.org] which this more or less completely ignores.

      Essentially it puts the rights of copyright holders (without requiring proof) above those of the people they claim to b

  • Phew, lucky escape for me there. I live in the UK, where we're completely immune from lawmakers who things the rights of the corporation trump the rights of the individual. Oh, no, hang on. I might have that wrong....
  • Seriously?

    Stuff like this and the "Fair" Elections Act should have people out in the streets with pitchforks and torches.

    I love how the government in Canada and the States names bills exactly the opposite of what they do and somehow keep a straight face while defending them.

  • That is, which American organization paid off the legislators? NSA? CIA? Some large company that thinks they own Canada?
  • I'll bet this does not mean that if I'm suing a corporation, that I'll have access to all their private records.

    Laws giving the elite power over ordinary people are being passed at an alarming rate, even in countries that purport to be a little more progressive like Canada. Because corporate wealth has that much power. I've been reading some of the exegesis of the financial collapse of 2008 that Yves Smith has written, and when you see the way every single move our governments have made since then have

  • Sadly, complaining and whining here won't make a difference. Start writing to your MP expressing your disapproval of this bill. I did.
  • You should fix the link in the article. Your first link is titled "Bill S4" but that link takes you to bill C-12 from 2011. Which granted is related but it makes things very confusing.confusing.
  • This is what we get when we vote and end up with a majority government. Who ever is in charge gets to ram through everything they want with no one able to actually stop them.

    We need minority governments where the ones in charges are forced to work with at least some of the other political groups. When they are forced to work together they can't ram though bills as easily and everyone is forced to look to see what they are doing.

    Now this doesn't fully stop stupid bills from getting made into laws, but it h

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