Bill C-51 (Anti-Terrorist Act, 2015) has been passed by the Senate despite massive opposition against its privacy unfriendly invasive powers. See, for example, commentary by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, this article by security law professors entitled “Why Can’t Canada Get National Security Law Right“, and this post on Openmedia.ca .
Yet in the United States, the USA Freedom Act was just passed that pulled back a bit on the ability of the NSA to collect domestic data.
There seems to be no evidence that all this invasive spying and data collection actually reduces or prevents terrorism or crime. The cost is enormous – both in terms of the direct cost of collecting, storing and analyzing it – and the costs to the economy. A new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation says that US companies will likely lose more than $35 billion in foreign business as a result of NSA operations.
And that’s not to mention the cost to civil liberties and privacy. As many people have pointed out, 1984 was supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual.