There was an article yesterday in the Toronto 24H News. “Feds on defence over online snooping bill” February 15, 2012 on page 8. I don’t usually care much about policing stuff because I believe they should do what they need to and keep us safe.
This time, I must say that this one makes me nervous. I haven’t met anyone who is perfect yet and we all make indiscretions in our lives. Sometimes it may well be that someone else used our equipment but there is no way to prove that. It’s common to hear of bad people using the computers of innocent people as a relay to avoid detection. I have heard of homes being raided in the middle of the night while the whole family is sleeping because there was a belief that someone was being raped online in their home.
I don’t believe this is a good bill. Why can’t we create a “beg forgiveness” clause? Often in business you hear the phrase “it’s easier to beg forgiveness than to get permission”. Wouldn’t this compare to when police enter a home because they believe some is at risk of life or limb? My understanding is that the police are allowed to prove the need after the fact and win admission of evidence. Shouldn’t it be the same for the Internet?
By all means, if there is legitimate belief that someone is at risk, go get ’em. Ask the judge to back you up after you eliminate the threat. If the threat proves unfounded, let it go. Evidence is inadmissible. That makes any other evidence gathered inadmissible as well and that’s as it should be.
Is it finally 1984?
P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for freedom of speech. I’m thankful for technology. I’m thankful for political process.
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