Mon, 15 January 2018
If you thought Bill C-51 was concerning, boy do we have an update for you!
Bill C-59 is the Liberal government’s national security reform bill, and it covers a lot of ground.
According to the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab’s report, the potential activities allowed by Bill C-59 are “limited only by imagination”: Mass dissemination of false information, leaking foreign documents in order to influence political and legal outcomes, large-scale denial of service attacks, interference with the electricity grid…
The report also warns that Bill C-59 contains a loophole which would allow the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) — the country’s spy agency focusing on electronic communications — to cause death or bodily harm, and to interfere with the “course of justice or democracy.” (*tugs collar* emoji)
This follow-up to Bill C-51, the Harper government’s controversial anti-terrorism Act, is making its way through parliamentary committees, but has yet to draw similar national attention or scrutiny.
But it’s not all bad. Bill C-59 also addresses institutional blindspots like lack of organizational oversight and accountability, and sheds some light onto the CSE's inner workings. Lex Gill, a researcher with Citizen Lab, says that only 3% of Canadians know what CSE is.
Gill, along with fellow researchers, outlines over 50 recommendations for amendments to Bill C-59. To learn more, see their 75-page report.
Lex Gill joins Jesse.
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