Let’s See Canadian Transparency in Government Demands for Personal Information

Earlier this week, Michel-Adrian Sheppard blogged on Slaw about Google’s new Government Requests Tool (Google Releases Data on Government Requests for Private User Data). I blogged about it as well here. I’m all in favor of pulling this out of the shadows and into the sunlight.

It’s interesting to peruse the numbers and to read the FAQ.

While the information provided raises a bunch of questions, they are very important questions to ask. What are the nature of the demands for customer information? Criminal law or national security? What are the relevant Google products involved? Why so many government demands in Brazil?

But I’d really like to see other online service providers step up and provide this level of transparency. Bell, Aliant, Rogers, Shaw and other Canadian online service providers and ISPs should provide this same information for their operations. How many requests do they currently get? From whom? Which province? What is the legal authority? With or without a court order?

This is particularly relevant as the former Bill C-47 (Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement in the 21st Century Act) will likely return to Parliament which, if passed, will allow the police to demand customer information from telecommunications companies in Canada without a warrant.

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