Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And how stupid do they think we are?

I know, I know, but look at this:
Check out the last-minute name change to the government's contentious "lawful access" bill

At 10 am, the bill to allow warrentless electronic snooping by police is titled "Lawful Access Act"; at 11:17 am, the bill is titled "Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act" (which, by the way, it apparently won't actually do).
H/T to Sarah Schmidt at Canada.Com who also quotes Anne Cavoukian, Ontario Privacy Commissioner:
“They’re calling the bill ‘Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act.’ Give me a break. The warrantless access does not just apply to cases of child pornography or child predators. It can apply to something that’s not even a criminal activity. It’s ridiculous to go to these lengths.
In the iPolitics blog, Michael Harris summarizes the basic problem with this bill, however noble-sounding its name:
The only thing that separates a democratic state from a police state is the notion of accountability. . . Warrants don’t prevent the police from doing their investigations, they protect the integrity of the system. In order to get a warrant, the police have to demonstrate reasonable and probable cause that a crime is being committed by a particular person. Remove that requirement and you end up with a system that could be driven by unprofessional hunches, misplaced zeal, idle curiosity, or malice.
Or doing political favors for the powers-that-be.

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