losing the war at home

Are fanatics winning the War On Terror? It's something to ponder as the rights, freedoms and protections from tyranny Canadians have long enjoyed are cast aside in the name of security.

Are fanatics winning the War On Terror?

It’s something to ponder as the rights, freedoms and protections from tyranny Canadians have long enjoyed are cast aside in the name of security.

For example, Ottawa has just signalled it wants to put new surveillance technologies in Canadian communications networks. It also wants laws allowing it to access surveillance and subscriber information.

It also wants to broaden police powers, allowing them to access this new information.

This from Michael Geist, a lawyer and University of Ottawa professor who specializes in internet and e-commerce law.

The laws represent another intrusion into our privacy.

Under the federal government’s proposed law, an internet service provider would have to voluntarily disclose customer information – name, address, phone number, IP address and device ID numbers.

When linked with actual data, a detailed profile of an identifiable person can be quickly assembled.

This information would be provided without any court oversight, wrote Geist in The Tyee.

The service providers would, at great cost, have to buy equipment allowing real-time surveillance of their networks. That will, in the end, cost those companies’ customers more money in monthly access fees.

And, finally, new powers granted police would give them access to this dossier of information.

And the internet providers could be barred from telling customers they have been subjected to surveillance or information disclosures. That is, you may not ever know there’s a file on you out there.

These bills were tabled in Parliament earlier this month.

“Few would argue that it is important to ensure that law enforcement has the necessary tools to address online crime issues,” wrote Geist. “Yet these proposals come at an enormous financial and privacy cost, with as yet limited evidence that the current legal framework has impeded important police work.”

Such initiatives pull us closer to the closed, intolerant, oppressive extremists we’re supposed to be fighting.

Maybe that’s the plan.

Keep pushing stuff like this through and, pretty soon, our society will be indistinguishable from the intolerant, uptight and restrictive society the zealots want.

The so-called War On Terror will end because there will be nothing to protect.