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Canadian Government Wants Software Backdoors: Do you Agree?

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Last year the Senate passed Bill C-51 into Canadian law despite opposition from hundreds of thousands of Canadians and the country’s top privacy experts (via Tom’s Hardware).

Public safety canada

Close to 18 months after that historic moment, which broadened the authority of Canadian government agencies to easily share information about individuals and join other governments adopting similar laws requiring mandatory decryption and backdoors, Public Safety Canada has launched a “Green Paper” to prompt discussion and debate about Canada’s national security framework.

That framework would mandate companies to build some sort of backdoor to bypass end-to-end encryption (such as the one Facebook Messenger allegedly uses, or the Signal app often mentioned by Snowden) and much more.

In addition, the Canadian government is complaining about a storage problem: Some service providers don’t store records for long enough, and some companies, such as VPN providers, don’t keep logs and don’t even have servers in Canada, which means the Canadian government can’t request user data and force them to install backdoors. The government is seeking a way to require them to store customer data for a longer period of time.

If you didn’t made your voice heard a year ago, or did but saw the voice of hundreds of thousands of Canadians wasn’t enough for the Senate to hear, you can so it again by filing in a form on the Public Safety Canada’s website.

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  • Michel Plante

    HELL NO !!!

  • hlna55

    I wouldn’t trust Trudeau or his administration with my Disqus password, never mind a back door in to everything electronic

  • Dehop

    I sure hope that’s a bipartisan distrust, not just the government of the day just because you don’t like them.

  • Brew

    Can Govt Backdoor means a backdoor for China, Purtin & any hacker
    A weakened software is insecure

  • hlna55

    would I lack trust for a government that I liked? come on man

  • DoctorT

    No no no – never place intentional back doors! They will always be found and abused.

  • Dominic

    Could we just say that this discussion wouldn’t have happened with a Mulcair government… because he backed his promise of not wanting C-51 in the first place ?

  • Bafoon

    Why are folks so apprehensive on this stuff – can idiots please look at the bigger picture, please?

    I watch porn and CNN in equal measure. I have legit software on my devices. I follow the law (as much as I don’t agree with certain bits) and only have authorized content on it. I have whatsapp and snapchat conversations belittling local, federal government and constantly pass armchair observations on all matters policy or sport management.

    That’s all they’ll find on my device. And as long as I am not living in a place like Thailand (where they’ll jail me for speaking out against the lousy monarch, or in Saudi where they’ll likely behead me for speaking up against the Emir) – I have no problems!

    Now, I wonder what they’d find in a device of a suspected terrorist or chief-mischief maker.

  • hlna55

    So what you’re saying is… we would all be safer if we would just allow autonomous spying of the government on our privacy for the greater good.

    I think that’s already been tried in history.

  • Bafoon

    Are you kidding – have you read the green paper? Do you know something that we don’t? Have you secretly already read through, and subsequently discarded, the governances and oversights being proposed? Do you believe the government is interested in your porn fetish? Or maybe you think 1984 was based on true events? Did moon landing happen according to you? Do you wake up every morning thinking the government is out to get you?

    You know what you should be scared off. The government spending billions of your tax money on fighting terrorism and chaos – when the real fight is really happening digitally. How do you combat this, in your opinion? Or again, in your la la land all is good with the world?

  • hlna55

    So I guess your answer is yes, you DO feel better having your privacy invaded by the government in power. And… we all know there is no history of THEM having any bad judgement don’t we.

    What is truly the worst part of your teenie bopper socialist rant is that you think the greatest risk to a country is the people LIVING IN IT and not the people OUTSIDE of it.

    Moving on, not worth the wear and tear on my keyboard. You suit your screen handle well.

  • Bafoon

    Ok, thanks for your irrelevant response.

    And notice, how easy I made it for you to attack me based on my handle. Should tell you something about yourself, but likely you’re too devoid of any useful perceptive skills!

  • awkpain

    The fear is not that they’re tracking… the fear is in what they’re tracking could be used for. If there’s a backdoor then who is using it? How is it protected so that only the government has access to it and not someone with nefarious intent? Who within the government has access to the information and what are they using it for?

    Then there’s the slightly more outlandish but still conceivable… what if some bomber used a “Wasabi” brand bag. If you googled “would a wasabi brand bag hold a bomb”, should you be questioned? What about if it was scientifically proven that 99% of those who watch teen porn are pedophiles? Should all people who have that search in their history be registered for the protection of others?

    The problem is not when it’s a clear black and white situation. The problem is the grey.

  • Alexis T

    What historic event are you referring to?

  • Chrome262

    You are assuming they even understand the thing they are trying to legislate. A backdoor would make things less secure and leave the way open for the very people you are afraid of access to your personal data.

  • Herodutus

    And if I have an opposing view of the government sometime in the future? Let’s say in a Trump like government where I can be prosecuted without a fair trial or hearing?

    Our freedoms are there for a reason. Sure they might protect a few guilty people but they also protect a greater majority of innocent people.

  • Bafoon

    again, this is a green paper, they are literally eliciting responses to state for and against arguments. Why are we insisting on jumping the gun, and proclaiming this to be a bad thing before you have even see what the proposal is?

    Also, again, do you have a crystal ball? Have you lived through the Trump government mayhem? Or again, are you basing a prejudiced view based on fact-less fear-mongering paranoia?

  • Chrome262

    But this and the C51 bill only passed because they used fact-less fear-mongering to fool people into thinking this was a good thing. The green paper, and the questions asked ( went through and answered their questions) are asking if more then the norm of a warrant would be a good thing. You have to understand, last time this happened hundreds of thousands of people said they didn’t want it, and they passed c51 anyway, so you can see if people are a bit suspect.

  • Chrome262

    To bad the guy couldn’t compete in terms of Image. Many a NDP supporter voted liberal because they thought it was worth it to get rid of Harper, and all you ended up with is a version then seems less bad, but in some cases does the same thing.

  • Chrome262

    Its not government I am as afraid of, they will use the data for bigger agendas, and in truth stuff like this only effects people on a local level. Like if your local cops use this to get data, and then use the data for future fishing expeditions and reel innocent people in because they happened to of gone to a similar or the same site as a criminal. Local law enforcement isn’t known for level of intelligence or higher educational requirements.

  • Dominic

    I will admit that. I just wish that the two major players had more respect for our well-being and privacy instead of going by the motto : « If you have nothing to hide then what are you worried about ? »

  • Jezzah

    I’ll have to quote Ed Snowden here.

    “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say. ”

    We take our rights and freedoms for granted until the day we don’t have them anymore.

  • Dehop

    (I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic. I will read it as literally written.)

    For certain things, you sure as heck should lack trust for a government, even one you like.

    Governments change. At least I’m consistent in not trusting any political party, not even the ones I *do* like, with certain things when they’re in power. One of the internet spying bills was introduced by the Conservatives in 2012 or so. Assuming you liked that party, you would’ve trusted them not to abuse it? Come on man.

  • Chrome262

    agreed, seriously most things that they all promised weren’t that important to me, or at least weren’t new. Funding for research and development, protecting privacy and more tech infrastructure, protecting it from attacks without thinking sacrificing privacy is the only way. Spending money on those things seem like the way to go, but alas no one seems to care, not the major politicians anyway

  • mcfilmmakers

    Except anyone with half a brain would remember the orange wave in Quebec and should have voted ndp.

  • mcfilmmakers

    Not true. A back foot would allow a hacker access to your phone number, location and address. All it takes is an idiot teenager to hack your phone through the back door, know where you are, and rob your house blind when you’re not home, and that would be the least bad thing to happen.

  • mcfilmmakers

    I don’t want to live in the reality you come from

  • raslucas

    What’s more easy to get into? A locked door, or a brick wall? I think that’s the simplest way to look at it. Sure only one guy has the “key”, but what if it gets copied? Or the lock gets picked? What if somebody updates the door and forgets to lock it properly afterwards?

    I understand the concerns regarding terrorism and other crimes, but I think there are other areas where security should be improved. Not compromising security for security.

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