After reading an article in the Vancouver Sun today regarding proposed legislation that would give Canadian authorities the right to, without warrant, monitor our online activities, I wrote the following letter to my local Member of Parliament. I urge all Canadian readers to do the same and support our privacy commissioner in putting an end to this legislation before it is too late:
Dear Honourable MP, Cathy McLeod,
I am writing to you concerning news I just read that Vic Toews and the Harper Government are choosing to ignore privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart’s warnings regarding the unethical monitoring of citizen’s online activities. I do not support this type of behaviour from my government and I urge you to listen closely to Jennifer Stoddart’s warnings. Canadian citizens need to support her on this one. I wouldn’t want the government to have access to a video camera in my home watching my every move: In a similar regard, I don’t think they should have access to my online life. Any attempt to circumvent our rights by condoning the authorities to not require warrants to search our homes and online communications, is essentially unfair, unjust, and undemocratic. It does not make me feel at all safe to know that my government would willingly choose to have the power to be so invasive into my personal affairs. What I do in my spare time online is of nobody’s business but my own. To illustrate my point by analogy: If my neighbour killed someone, this wouldn’t give the police the right to search my home without warrant. Likewise, if someone breaks the law online, this shouldn’t give the authorities the right to intervene in my affairs without warrant. This isn’t merely of concern only to myself; this extends to you and your personal affairs as well. Do you feel confident that your political opponents found in positions of such authority would not, without warrant, search through your affairs online for personal or political gain? Believe it or not, providing authorities with the right to monitor all citizens to such degrees leaves ample room for all sorts of privacy abuse: Your own privacy included. So, whether or not you feel safe allowing such intrusive laws to flourish in this country, I am not alone in feeling, without reservation, completely against this form of authority. I assure you that I will be sharing this letter with as many people as possible and urging them to write their local MP’s as well. I hope you will not support your party leader in this proposed legislation by voting against it in parliament.
Justin Allen Philcox
Kamloops, BC, Canada.