Message to Edward Snowden, you’re banned from @MissUniverse. Unless you want me to take you back home to face justice!
A Liberal government plan to hold public consultations on national security including changes to Bill C-51 is presented in a way that is biased in favour of police and other authorities, warns a privacy watchdog.
The controversial bill, also known as the Anti-Terrorism Act, has civil liberties groups concerned over how vaguely some aspects of the bill are worded and how easily it allows law enforcement to breach the privacy of citizens.
Brought in by the former Conservative government in 2015, critics also saidthe bill criminalizes non-violent free speech and creates a chill on freedom of expression.
Concern about oversight of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service under the bill was also raised.
On Thursday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould announced wide-ranging consultations on national security, which will take place until Dec.1.
Ottawa said the consultations will “inform” any changes to national security policy while safeguarding Charter rights. The Liberals promised to repeal “problematic” parts of C-51 during the election campaign.
But David Christopher of the Internet rights group OpenMedia said the wording of the consultation’s backgrounder is biased in favour of law enforcement, for example often detailing how current legislation impedes law enforcement.
“Much of the explanatory information that is presented is really one-sided,” Christopher said. “We have all this background information written in a way that seems to address police concerns rather than what the public [is] most worried about.”
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