Hi Chris and thanks for the question. I have no issue sharing my thoughts on Bill C-13 but I do think your analogy and the use of the word ‘rape’ is not appropriate. This is legislation, not a sick crime committed by monsters and the situation in East Germany is far from anything Bill C-13 can cause – unless of course we all start calling the police to turn each other in for money and political favours.
That said, I will assume, and hopefully I get it right, you oppose the Bill due to privacy concerns. Many of the people who have spoken out against it share the view that C-13 will result in a massive invasion of privacy and lead to a surveillance state much like Big Brother in 1984.
I can understand the fear, but in all seriousness that ship has sailed and every person who has ever clicked on an “I AGREE” button sent the ship off with handfuls of confetti and excited cheers. As Tech Writer and Historian Stewart Wolpin says, “We are willing collaborators in our own privacy invasion. And we know it, even if we don’t want to admit it out loud.”
Oscar Godson, a front-end engineer at Simple and formerly a software engineer at Yammer puts it a little more bluntly, “When you’re online you have no privacy, so either stop using it or shut the fuck up about it. Privacy won’t get better because tracking you is easier and easier for us engineers.”
The truth is there is no privacy online, no one ever promised you privacy online, and you’re kidding yourself if you think the government is the problem. At least as far as Canada’s government goes. In the United States the NSA watches everything every American does online which, ironically, means they watch pretty much what every Canadian is doing online. 90% of Canadian cyber traffic is routed through servers south of the border and that my friends falls under the Patriot Act.
Has that fact changed anything about how Canadians surf or what data they share online? No, not one iota.
“The vast majority of our data and activities online is being routed through our neighbours to the south and so we are subject to all their regulations anyway, regardless of what the authorities in Canada might be doing,” says cyber-security expert Keith Murphy in a CTV interview.
Most people wouldn’t know what Internet security and surveillance was if it hovered a drone in their living rooms so let’s be serious here – what exactly is it they think Bill C-13 is going to do? C-13 can’t take away something you never had. It won’t monitor your online habits any more than they are being monitored already by corporate interests – “I AGREE” – and/or greed. And those corporations aren’t hesitating for a second to sell that data, trade it, give it away, and/or store it forever. Everyone who browses the Internet should know that by now.
David Butt, a criminal lawyer based in Toronto, and counsel to the Kids Internet Safety Alliance(www.kinsa.net), writes that urban myths are clouding the debate over cyberbully bill and that I, along with Carol Todd, have “astutely asked the very question we all should ask: Precisely what pre-existing privacy rights does bill C-13 take away? And the answer is, precisely none.”
So what’s with the outrage? Why are so many people happy the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in defence of the privacy rights of a child pornographer – and don’t kid yourself, that is exactly what happened. The ruling states:
When it comes to sex crimes against children I don’t really give a damn about the privacy rights of pedophiles.
The Court’s ruling resulted in the headline: Internet users’ privacy upheld by Canada’s top court. Imagine if it read – Child pornographers privacy upheld by Canada’s top court. Would we still be applauding if the headline were a little more honest?
Let’s get back to the Stasi. You call to report your neighbour is downloading and distributing child porn. There’s no cash reward or political favours of course but you’re doing this to protect children and get that monster put away. The police understand, they know about him already and they have for weeks. They just need to wait for the warrants before they can do anything. Maybe weeks, in some cases months.
Somehow that’s better than the police acting within hours. Somehow we’ve twisted this around so bad we’re actually applauding the hampering of a police officers ability to stop child pornographers so long as our illusion of online privacy remains untouched and we can continue believing in a fairy tale.
Twenty years ago we all had our phone numbers listed in the phone book. We had it there so friends, family, and those who needed too could find us. Most people today share it freely and willingly and even put it on their business cards. Yet in 1014, if we did the very same thing with IP addresses people are outraged by the invasion of their privacy. This makes no sense.
I know your IP when you visit my site, post a comment, or send me a direct email. Truthfully so do the administrators of every single web site you visit. But you still surf dont you?
Why is the outrage so misplaced? C-13 is just a tool Canada. A tool made too late to do any harm to anyone but those with something to hide and something to be afraid of.
Agree? Disagree? Post it on Facebook along with your plans for the weekend for the world to see.