Bill C-30 Section-34 without a Warrant

Copied and pasted direct from the bill, English and French – find the word “warrant” – anyone?


“An inspector may enter any telecommunications service provider, examine any document or  information and take copies of anything they have without exception and without a warrant.”

Don’t beleive me? It’s right here – you can read it yourself if you don’t believe me – tell me that it doesn’t say pretty much exactly that? Find the word “warrant”? You won’t!  (You can find the entire bill here at the Government of Canada website if you want to check).

Really? And that’s ok with you?

If you don’t agree you might want to sign this petition:

OpenMedia Petition

34. (1) An inspector may, for a purpose related to verifying compliance with this Act, enter any place owned by, or under the control of, any telecommunications service provider in which the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe there is any document, information, transmission apparatus, telecommunications facility or any other thing to which this Act applies.
34. (1) L’inspecteur peut, à toute fin liée à la vérification du respect de la présente loi, entrer dans tout lieu appartenant à un télécommunicateur — ou placé sous sa responsabilité — s’il a des motifs raisonnables de croire que s’y trouvent des installations de télécommunication, des appareils de transmission, des documents, des renseignements ou des objets visés par la présente loi.
Accès au lieu
Powers on entry
(2) The inspector may, for that purpose,
(a) examine any document, information or thing found in the place and open or cause to be opened any container or other thing;
(b) examine or test or cause to be tested any telecommunications facility or transmission apparatus or related equipment found in the place;
(c) use, or cause to be used, any computer system in the place to search and examine any information contained in or available to the system;
(d) reproduce, or cause to be reproduced, any information in the form of a printout, or other intelligible output, and remove the printout, or other output, for examination or copying; or
(e) use, or cause to be used, any copying equipment or means of telecommunication at the place.
(2) Il peut, à cette même fin :
Autres pouvoirs
a) examiner les documents, les renseignements ou les objets se trouvant dans le lieu et ouvrir, directement ou indirectement, tout contenant ou autre objet;
b) examiner toute installation de télécommunication ou tout appareil de transmission ou matériel connexe s’y trouvant et lui faire subir, directement ou indirectement, des essais;
c) faire usage, directement ou indirectement, de tout système informatique s’y trouvant pour vérifier les données qu’il contient ou auxquelles il donne accès;
d) reproduire ou faire reproduire toute information sous forme d’imprimé ou toute autre forme intelligible qu’il peut emporter pour examen ou reproduction;
e) faire usage, directement ou indirectement, du matériel de reproduction et des moyens de télécommunication se trouvant dans le lieu.
Duty to assist
(3) The owner or person in charge of the place and every person in the place must give all assistance that is reasonably required to enable the inspector to perform their functions under this section and must provide any documents or information, and access to any data, that are reasonably required for that purpose.
(3) Le propriétaire ou le responsable du lieu, ainsi que quiconque s’y trouve, sont tenus de prêter à l’inspecteur toute l’assistance qu’il peut valablement exiger pour lui permettre d’exercer ses attributions au titre du présent article, et de lui fournir les documents, les renseignements et l’accès aux données qu’il peut valablement exiger à cette fin.
Inspector may be accompanied
(4) The inspector may be accompanied by any other person that they believe is necessary to help them perform their functions under this section.
(4) L’inspecteur peut être accompagné des personnes qu’il estime nécessaires pour l’aider dans l’exercice de ses attributions au titre du présent article.

3 responses to “Bill C-30 Section-34 without a Warrant

  1. Vic Toews replied (haha Auto-Reply for sure) to my petition:

    Thank you for contacting my office regarding Bill C-30, the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act.

    Canada’s laws currently do not adequately protect Canadians from online exploitation and we think there is widespread agreement that this is a problem.

    We want to update our laws while striking the right balance between combating crime and protecting privacy.

    Let me be very clear: the police will not be able to read emails or view web activity unless they obtain a warrant issued by a judge and we have constructed safeguards to protect the privacy of Canadians, including audits by privacy commissioners.

    What’s needed most is an open discussion about how to better protect Canadians from online crime. We will therefore send this legislation directly to Parliamentary Committee for a full examination of the best ways to protect Canadians while respecting their privacy.

    For your information, I have included some myths and facts below regarding Bill C-30 in its current state.


    Vic Toews
    Member of Parliament for Provencher

    Myth: Lawful Access legislation infringes on the privacy of Canadians.

    Fact: Our Government puts a high priority on protecting the privacy of law-abiding Canadians. Current practices of accessing the actual content of communications with a legal authorization will not change.

    Myth: Having access to basic subscriber information means that authorities can monitor personal communications and activities.

    Fact: This has nothing to do with monitoring emails or web browsing. Basic subscriber information would be limited to a customer’s name, address, telephone number, email address, Internet Protocol (IP) address, and the name of the telecommunications service provider. It absolutely does not include the content of emails, phones calls or online activities.

    Myth: This legislation does not benefit average Canadians and only gives authorities more power.

    Fact: As a result of technological innovations, criminals and terrorists have found ways to hide their illegal activities. This legislation will keep Canadians safer by putting police on the same footing as those who seek to harm us.

    Myth: Basic subscriber information is way beyond “phone book information”.

    Fact: The basic subscriber information described in the proposed legislation is the modern day equivalent of information that is in the phone book. Individuals frequently freely share this information online and in many cases it is searchable and quite public.

    Myth: Police and telecommunications service providers will now be required to maintain databases with information collected on Canadians.

    Fact: This proposed legislation will not require either police or telecommunications service providers to create databases with information collected on Canadians.

    Myth: “Warrantless access” to customer information will give police and government unregulated access to our personal information.

    Fact: Federal legislation already allows telecommunications service providers to voluntarily release basic subscriber information to authorities without a warrant. This Bill acts as a counterbalance by adding a number of checks and balances which do not exist today, and clearly lists which basic subscriber identifiers authorities can access.

  2. So I responded politely to Mr Toews

    Mr Toews,

    I appreciate that this was an “auto reply” from your office, nevertheless I will answer because your fallacies deserve repudiation.

    I’ve read the bill and based on the plain English which is really not that hard to understand, and perhaps because I also work in the IT industry, your statements are impossible to justify.

    One example; Section 34 gives inspectors the right to take copies of information from any place owned by telecommunications services providers. Surely you realize that this “information” can include the massive databases that already contain swaths of private information pertaining to Canadians , and can include the contents of every email, tweet, sms in transition, or in storage and every web page online on a Canadian server, and that section 34 enables all of this information to be ‘copied’ and ‘taken’ without a warrant.

    If you read Section 34, as you insist that you have, how can you possibly insist that “This has nothing to do with monitoring emails or web browsing.” and that “It absolutely does not include the content of emails, phones calls or online activities.” – it’s not a true statement, because Section 34 gives “inspectors” unfettered power to do exactly that by simply taking copies of the database containing this information – without a warrant.

    Either you don’t understand this or you think we are too stupid to understand your intention. Either way its unacceptable.

    There is a better way:

    The courts, judges and the ability to get warrants have also benefited from 21st century technology.

    A judge can participate in a teleconference with a police officer and prosecutor on 5 minutes notice, instantaneously and concurrently viewing electronic copies of relevant evidence and a warrant can be issued verbally or electronically -make this explicitly allowed. This should not be an obstacle to due process. Warrants can and should be required, are a necessary and valid protection. Why can’t the bill require warrants?

    If an email address is collected, why can’t it be used to notify someone that their information has been collected? Why can’t people be notified that their information has been harvested? There is no valid reason not to require it. It’s not rocket science?

    The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is fundamental, everything that needs to be done to enable policing online can be done within this framework, please try harder to do this rather than trying to go over or around it. If you do, it will be better for law abiding citizens, and more likely to catch criminals, including child predators, and enable convictions that will stick.

    Oh – and get someone who understands the technology to help with the drafting – please!

    PS: I’m still waiting for my apology for your insult. My concern with personal privacy does not make me a child pornographer. Please apologize publicly for that! Thank you.

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