Lawful Access Bill Introduced

As expected, in the House of Commons, the Honourable Anne McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, introduced legislation on the lawful interception of communications – The Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act (MITA).

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Act will not change the current requirement under the law that the police and CSIS can only intercept communications with authorization. What the Act will do is require ISPs and telephone service providers to include an interception capability in new technology.

According to the PSEPC news release, MITA will also make subscriber contact information from telecommunications service providers available on request to designated law enforcement and CSIS officials. Under the legislation, these officials will be able to request individuals’ basic contact information such as their name, address, telephone or cell phone number or IP address. The release of this information will be subject to rigorous privacy safeguards which will include requiring that all requests for this information are recorded for audit and review purposes. The police or CSIS will not be required to obtain any judicial authorization prior to compelling service providers to release such information but the proposed Act does contain other lesser safeguards.