Lawful Access legislation

Over the past few days, even before Bill C-30 ( An Act to enact the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act and to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts) was tabled, our office began receiving letters from constituents opposed to the proposed legislation.
Bill C-30 requires telecommunications service providers to put in place and maintain certain capabilities that facilitate the lawful interception of information transmitted by telecommunications and to provide basic information about their subscribers to the RCMP, CSIS and the Competition Bureau in order to assist them in investigating crimes committed via telecommunications, especially the internet.
The most frequent assertion made against C-30 is that the lawful access legislation infringes on the privacy of Canadians because it allows the government to snoop and spy on what you are doing on your computer. Giving authorities access to basic subscriber information does not give them either the technical ability or the legal authority to monitor personal communications and activities.
The information that can be obtained under this legislation remains basic information, as is currently available to authorities. 
Basic subscriber information would be limited to a customer's name, address, telephone number, email address, Internet Protocol (IP) address, and the name of the telecommunications service provider. It absolutely does not include the content of emails, phones calls or online activities.
Another assertion made against C-30 is that the warrant system is no longer in place and that "warrantless access" to customer information will give police and government unregulated access to our personal information.
Again, authorities will only have access to basic subscriber information limited to a customer's name, address, telephone number, email address, Internet Protocol (IP) address, and the name of the telecommunications service provider. 
Accessing the actual content of communications cannot be done without a warrant and legal authorization.  This is the current law and this will not change. 
In fact, the legal threshold for judicial authorization will be raised in the Criminal Code to ensure the privacy of Canadians will continue to be protected and safeguarded especially as it relates to the content of emails, phones calls or online activities.  
I understand the concerns that my constituents have about preserving their privacy and their concerns that authorities could potentially abuse the powers given to them.
I can assure you that in any legislation it proposes, the Government of Canada is strongly committed to maintaining the rule of law through all of its legislation and has already signalled it is prepared to make amendments to ensure this commitment is respected.
I also understand the challenges that face law enforcement and how vital it is that, as technology advances, the legal frameworks and investigative processes available to law enforcement also keep pace. 
It’s about striking the right balance between public safety and the right to privacy: Bill C-30 seeks to equip police, CSIS and the Competition Bureau with the tools they need to ensure that law breakers do not exploit modern communication technologies to hide their illegal activities, while protecting the privacy rights and safety of law-abiding citizens.
Anyone wishing to read C-30 or related background information can find it at www.parl.gc.ca
Shortly, there will also be a legislative summary provided at the same site by the Library of Parliament which analyzes the bill, clause by clause, in plain language. 
Finally www.parl.gc.ca will allow you to track the debates, committee proceedings and any amendments made to the bill as it makes its way through the House of Commons and the Senate. 
If you have further concerns regarding the legislation, don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail at [email protected] .  I encourage everyone to stay informed and stay in touch. 
Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country

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About the Author

The Honourable Ron Cannan was first elected as Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country in January, 2006. He was subsequently elected in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections. He is a member of the Conservative Caucus.

On September 13th, 2012 Ron was summoned to be a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and will provide advice to the Government as a member of the Priorities and Planning Sub-Committee on Government Administration.

Ron successfully uses his experience and knowledge as a long-time Kelowna City Councillor and regional government representative to be an effective and enthusiastic champion for his riding and his constituents.

His greatest satisfaction comes from helping local organizations and citizens obtain the support they require from Ottawa. 

He is also dedicated to doing what it takes to ensure that the growing and vibrant communities in his riding continue to thrive and prosper.

He is proud of the partnership and cooperation between federal, provincial and municipal governments which have resulted in significant infrastructure projects including upgrades to Highway 97, expansion of the Kelowna International Airport, a new horticulture strategy for fruit growers, obtaining a full service passport office for Kelowna and addressing critical economic issues such as labour skills shortages.

He works closely with the local Chambers of Commerce and once a year arranges meetings for the Chamber with Cabinet Ministers and senior policy staff in Ottawa to move forward important local issues such as crime prevention and labour skills shortages.

He is also an ardent champion for important community initiatives including homelessness, mental health, women’s resources, and support of arts and culture.

On Parliament Hill, Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade since 2006 supporting initiatives which will broaden the economic opportunities for local businesses and businesses Canada-wide.

In previous parliamentary sessions Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates, Veteran’s Affairs, Human Resources and Social Development, the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee, and the Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans.

Ron is also involved in a variety of inter-parliamentary organizations: he is Vice Chair of the Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group, and a member of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship group.

As Chair of the Conservative Wine Caucus, Ron works with his colleagues across the country to promote the wine regions of Canada.  Ron tabled Motion 218(formerly Motion 601) which supports direct to consumer purchasing of Canadian wine. His motion became Bill C-311, sponsored by MP Dan Albas, seconded by Ron, which was passed into law on June 28th, 2012.

Prior to entering politics, Ron developed a diverse business background as a small business owner and had several years experience in marketing and sales management working with corporations including Coca-Cola, Costco and Corus Entertainment.

Very active in his community, Ron has been a Director for both the Central Okanagan Regional District and the Central Okanagan Hospital Board. Ron also served on the Okanagan University College Access to Training Advisory Board, the Glenmore Elementary School Parents Advisory Council, and the Kelowna Christian School Fund Raising Committee. He was co-founder of the Okanagan Volunteer Festival. Currently Ron is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna and, along with his wife Cindy, was the honorary Chair of the 2012 Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil Ball.

Ron lives a family-oriented and active lifestyle with his wife Cindy. He is the proud father of three daughters and grandfather to three grandsons. His hobbies include music and sports.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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