Bill C-30 is a pending Canadian bill that gives police and other appointed special investigators to get information from “internet companies” (the bill’s a bit vague on the definition) to give them information about you – name, IP address and other identifying information – without a warrant. On its own, its terms don’t give “The Man” free access to who you are and what you do online, but the resulting law will require Canadian ISPs to build in facilities to allow for “eavesdropping” that’s not unlike what they do in China. Once that capability is built in, the genie will be out of the bottle; or more accurately, the governmental genie will be in all our bottles. As Ivor Tossell puts it in the Globe and Mail, “You can’t bring oil barrels full of honey to the forest and then act surprised when bears show up.”
The video above is from the Canadian television show Rick Mercer Report. One of the regular features of the show is “Rick’s Rant”, in which he does a short polemic on something topical as he walks through Toronto’s “Graffiti Alley” just off Queen Street West. This one does a great job of explaining why Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who introduced the bill, is wrong when he said that critics of the bill could “either stand with us or with the child pornographers” (which will someday be used as a classic example of that old high school debating trick, association fallacy).