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Dec 26 2011

Canada about to lose any vestige of internet privacy

Despite how pro-privacy the Harper government has claimed to be, with the destruction of the long gun registry out of privacy concerns, it is absolutely no surprise to me that they’re total hypocrites when it comes to actual privacy concerns, like warrantless information-gathering from ISPs.

Suppose you read an online article – not this one, hopefully – that makes you so angry you post a comment under your online pseudonym, “Irate Canuck,” saying that someone ought to shoot the author. The police notice.

Under legislation that the Conservatives will soon be introducing, the police could order your Internet service provider to hand over your personal information so that they could have a talk with you.

If they are sufficiently concerned, they could get a warrant and begin tracking your every move. You really should have turned off the GPS on your smart phone.
[...]

The Conservatives insist that the only digital information that police could require Internet service providers to obtain without a warrant is the sort any good investigator (or reporter) can find through online trolling.

But Jennifer Stoddart, the federal Privacy Commissioner, reads the legislation very differently. Based on the previous versions of the bills, she wrote to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews recently, “there is not even a requirement for the commission of a crime to justify access to personal information – real names, home address, unlisted numbers, e-mail addresses, IP addresses and much more – without a warrant.”

Another step in the long march toward the kind of totalitarian fascism that Conservatives usually only have in their wet dreams. To those of you who couldn’t be bothered to vote and stop the Tories from getting a majority government — of 39% of voters, which is a tiny slice of the country considering the voter turnout for this last election was something like 61% — this is your fault for not voting. And if you’re happy about this hypocrisy, about this slow erosion of rights, about building mega-prisons and eliminating the long-gun registry and ignoring global warming and creating “faith-based initiatives” and making it so the government can spy on everything you do on the internet without a warrant… well, congratulations. I hope you enjoy all the wonderful little perks this will give you. Please feel free to enumerate those perks below.

13 comments

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  1. 1
    kraut

    Hey bud – the first thing is to change the voting system to a proportional system.

    I.E. I voted NDP, and in a riding where 80% vote conservative that vote is simply lost, while in a proportional system that vote still would count towards the party I had chosen.
    So, blame the idiotic “first past the post” counting. Remember, the tories did not get the majority of the votes, they got the majority of the seats.

  2. 2
    Jason Thibeault

    Hells yes. FPTP in a multi-party system just doesn’t work. I’ve been rooting for instant runoff voting for a long time. Doubt it’ll happen with the current party in power though. Even getting word out is going to be tough.

  3. 3
    VeritasKnight

    One of these days I’ll have to finish my IRV projections for the 2008 and 2011 elections. Let’s just say they don’t look good for the Conservatives.

  4. 4
    karmakin

    Nope not at all.

    However, I’d just like to say yes to IRV but a big no to a proportional system. I actually don’t like the idea of all candidates coming from a big master list of party-approved candidates. Seems to fly in the face of the concept of local representation, and I see a proportional system as being a nail in that particular coffin.

    Although a hybrid system would probably be fine…say 100 extra seats given based on overall nationwide vote share.

  5. 5
    VeritasKnight

    New Zealand uses a hybrid system and it works fairly well, but I will admit that, to me, the IRV system is the preference to maintain both local flavour and getting the fucking Republicans Conservatives out of office for a good long time.

    The other option is infiltrating the NDP and Libs and convincing them to merge.

  6. 6
    Brian F

    Governments are always willing to take away your rights and it is always to “protect you”. I’d rather keep my rights and be a bit more at risk.

  7. 7
    Peter B

    I would like to see a proportional voting system work like this:

    (Assume 100 seats for some assembly. Two million votes are cast.)

    The ballot will have perhaps 1000 names. Some candidates may get the 20,000 votes needed to join the assembly. Any extra votes may be given to any other candidate or split between multiple candidates. Those with fewer than 20,000 votes may form a group and get one or more of their number seated in the assembly.

    Political parties would likely line up all their candidates in the order of votes received. Then push all the votes forward and spread them back as far as they will go.

    Same party candidates from the same or similar geographic areas should be allowed to merge their votes before the vote-order lineup.

    The fun begins when the last candidates are selected from the remaining votes. One way of speeding this process is to set the votes to be seated as (votes cast / (seats – 0.5). For the example given about 10,000 votes will be left over.

  8. 8
    AlanMac

    Loss of internet privacy and the new Office for Religious Freedom, not good! not good! If the clowns at Sun News (Fox North) are to be believed, one of the first issues to be tackled by Harper’s Inquisitioners will be …BLASPHEMY! ( I actually heard a Sun mouth piece say “Everybody knows blasphemy is wrong” ) Expect blasphemy laws in Canada very some.

  9. 9
    Benny

    Hi. No time to go into detail, but I also am not looking forward to (unl)awful access. However, should it pass, or if you’re concerned too, google “Tor” and “VPN”.

  10. 10
    Michael D.

    Yeah I voted NDP (not quite what I’d like in a program but close enough) but my stupid riding has been voting conservative for a while now. I’d love to give harper the boot and change the voting system but I don’t think we’ll get a chance for a while…

  11. 11
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    I not only voted Liberal, but volunteered for the candidate in my riding. Still, lying liar Bev Oda won. By a lot.

  12. 12
    VeritasKnight

    I live in Central Nova, also known as the riding for Peter “Free Rides In Military Helicopters” MacKay. Or Peter “I Backstabbed The PCs” MacKay. Or Peter “My Daddy Won Here So I Can Too” MacKay.

    I voted for him once, too. In 2006, when I was mad at the Liberals and hated Jack Layton more. I voted for Elizabeth May in 2008, and the NDP last year. I can pretty much assure you I’ll never make that mistake again.

  13. 13
    Dipole

    To those of you who couldn’t be bothered to vote and stop the Tories from getting a majority government — of 39% of voters, which is a tiny slice of the country considering the voter turnout for this last election was something like 61% — this is your fault for not voting.

    As someone who did vote I’d like to say that this is BS.

    The electorate was backed into a corner, and nonetheless did the nearly-impossible and booted the Liberals to third place. Michael “I am Iraq” Ignatieff’s party most certainly would have rammed through this very same measure, and while I personally like the NDP I can understand why not everyone would be eager to vote in an untested party.

    As for IRV, it’s been no better than FPTP wherever it’s been tried out in practice.

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