He's shocked, shocked!
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.
"I'd certainly like to see an explanation of that," Toews told host Evan Solomon after a week of public backlash against Bill C-30, which would require internet service providers to turn over client information without a warrant.
"This is the first time that I'm hearing this somehow extends ordinary police emergency powers [to telecommunications]. In my opinion, it doesn't. And it shouldn't."
Translation: the public has read the bill? Damn, damn, damn!
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