Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says he is surprised to learn that a section of the government's online surveillance bill provides for "exceptional circumstances" under which "any police officer" can request customer information from a telecommunications service provider.
In an interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio's The House, Toews said his understanding of the bill is that police can only request information from the ISPs where they are conducting "a specific criminal investigation."
But Section 17 of the 'Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act' outlines "exceptional circumstances" under which "any police officer" can ask an ISP to turn over personal client information.
Safe to say, the Tories are in full backpedal mode right now. All of this serves as a valuable reminder that even in a majority position, there are limits to what a government can do.
So, you know, maybe read the bill first next time.
Labels: Vic Toews