Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Suddenly there came a tapping...

On 15 November 2005, the federal government introduced Bill C-74, "An Act regulating telecommunications facilities to facilitate the lawful interception of information transmitted by means of those facilities and respecting the provision of telecommunications subscriber information." The purpose of the bill is to help CSIS, the RCMP, and other Canadian police agencies bring their wiretapping abilities into the internet era.

The proposed law would have no direct effect on CSE or CFIOG (as far as I can tell), but CSE might well end up called upon to assist CSIS or the police in cryptanalysis of some intercepted messages, as they already sometimes are. The law also might facilitate the occasional collection by CSIS of material for CSE.

In any case, it's all moot at the moment. The bill is virtually guaranteed not to pass before parliament is dissolved for the next election, at which point–if the same government is still in power–the bill would have to be reintroduced and start again from scratch.

See the Canadian Press report here: Liberals introduce wiretap bill, Globe and Mail, 15 November 2005.