Pushing the limits of state surveillance

Lawrence Martin, author of the article

By Lawrence MartinThe Globe and Mail, 16 August 2011

In Canada, the impact, while far less egregious, has been profound enough. Here 9/11 has served as the enabler of a new security and surveillance mindset. What happened a decade ago triggered the Afghanistan war and the reinstituting of a military mentality at a time when, the Cold War having passed, there was hope we could move beyond the war psychology. While not directly tied, the post 9/11 security climate has helped undergird our government’s lock-’em-up, law-and-order preoccupation that the Canadian Bar Association lambasted on the weekend. Another effect of 9/11 was to bring on a rash of new border-security measures that cut into trade flows and made passports mandatory.
 
On the question of surveillance and reduced civil liberties, the latest Ottawa measure is what is termed “lawful access” legislation. This will compel Internet service providers to disclose customer information to authorities without a court order. In other words – blunter words – law enforcement agencies will have a freer hand in spying on the private lives of Canadians.
 

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