Canada Dashboard Digest

Rioters' Smartphone Use Spotlights Lawful Access Laws

DATA PROTECTION

August 12, 2011

Rioters in the UK are using BlackBerry's secure Messenger service to organize, prompting privacy concerns surrounding government access to communications. In Canada, some privacy advocates are concerned that the situation will promote the passage of the Conservative government's proposed "lawful access" legislation that would give authorities warrantless access to certain communications data, reports The Vancouver Sun. One surveillance expert says politicians use political unrest to push through laws that, in this case, allow for "a generalized collection of private information to deal with very specific crimes by a small number of people." He called the law "dangerous for privacy, and it removes the element of judicial oversight from the system."
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