Target: The Right Honorable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada
Goal: Commend landmark cellular and internet subscriber data protection ruling
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled that tracking Canadian citizens without warrants is unconstitutional. This not only applies to the telecoms that hand customer data to law enforcement, but also to provisions of online surveillance bill C-13. The ruling will effectively ban the use of many online and cellular data gathering operations without warrants.
The unanimous decision ruled that internet and cellular customers do have a right to keep their personal information private, and that government and law enforcement officials can no longer request basic subscriber information from service providers without a warrant. It will nullify sections of Conservative Bill c-13 which allows warrantless access to internet account information, as well as Bill S-4 which allows the same information to be shared with other communications firms. The move will protect hundreds of thousands of Canadians annually whose private data is accessed without reasonable cause or approval from a judge.
The ruling will set the stage for examination of the constitutionality of other surveillance laws, and will make it harder for the government to pass future laws abridging the right to privacy guaranteed by Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Now, internet and wireless communications enjoy the same protection as mail and telephone communications thanks to this ruling and to the efforts made by many to make this change, including those who signed this ForceChange petition. Your signature will commend the ruling, which is a huge step for internet privacy in Canada.
Dear Honorable Beverley McLachlin,
The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled that accessing customer data from internet or cellular providers is a breach of the right to privacy guaranteed by Section 8 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Now, government and law enforcement officials will be unable to request information from service providers without a warrant, and these same providers will be unable to share the information with other communications firms. The landmark decision will protect the personal information of hundreds of thousands of Canadians annually, as well as set the stage for further examination of online surveillance laws.
With the dawning of the online age, it is imperative that Canada’s legal system move to protect cellular and online communications as it protects telephone and mail from surveillance without reasonable reason or approval from a judge. I applaud the Supreme Court’s effort to uphold the Canadian Charter’s privacy protection provisions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jonathunder via Flickr Creative Commons