A government that tore up the long-form census and the long-gun registry, on privacy grounds, suddenly found themselves arguing that police should be able to compel Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to turn over subscriber information — name, address, phone number, etc. — for any given ISP account on demand and without a warrant. They also wanted those same ISPs to maintain (at their own expense) records of Internet activity, that government “inspectors” could audit at any time under the banner of “ensuring compliance.
- Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ appalling conduct while trying to get the bill passed. Not only was he seemingly unaware of some of the content of his own bill, he also displayed some of the worst kind of behaviour Conservative critics accuse the government of when he haughtily declared in the House of Commons that Canadians could either stand with the government and its bill, or stand with the child pornographers.
- The government’s retreat on this file is now seemingly complete. Writing in Tuesday’s Globe and Mail, columnist John Ibbitson cites sources within the government who indicate that the Tories’ decision to refer the bill to commitee for review and revision was, in effect, a ploy to kill it.