Canadian Goverment wants Internet tap?

There are a couple stories floating around today that could be worrisome to Internet users in general, but especially those in Canada and the US.

Ars Technica and Slashdot first picked up an Article from the Toronto Star from Michael from Michael Geist

In it he states that there are plans within the Canadian government to tap into every conversation and bit of data on the Internet coming from Canadian ISPs. There are also some rather frightening attitudes towards new technologies like Voice of IP (Internet Telephone services).

Some examples from the article:

If lawful access becomes reality, Canada’s telecommunications service providers (TSPs) will be required to refit their networks to allow for real-time interception of communications, to have the capability of simultaneously intercepting multiple transmissions, and to provide detailed subscriber information to law enforcement authorities without a court order within 72 hours

Quebecor, which owns Videotron, told the Commission that services such as Vonage contributed nothing to the development of facilities-based competition and that “the service provider’s VoIP-based service is totally parasitic on the local access facilities of other carriers.”

As the leading Canadian ISPs roll out their own VoIP services, many may look at competing services in the same way and seek to limit the use of their network. Stopping such interference requires a strong CRTC…

Acting on the recommendation of a parliamentary committee that was chaired by Toronto MP Sarmite Bulte, the government may soon unveil a new “extended license” that would require schools to pay millions of dollars for content that is currently freely available on the Internet

All this is simply not cool. One of things I have been very happy with when it came to my government and the Internet has been it’s reluctance to interfere in the affairs of people on the Internet. They’re turning of a blind eye to Supreme Rulings that say it is legal to share files is also nice.

This looks like a bit of a reversal, or perhaps just the evolution of a position on the Internet which we as Canadians have never seen expressed before.

There is another article today from the CBC passing on a warning from CSIS on Al-Quaedas use of the Internet.

Are these two issues inter-related? On the surface, probably not. But I’m willing to bet that there are plenty of connection if you dig deep enough.

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