Why Brin is full of it, and reverse panopticon is a fantasy.

----- Forwarded message from David Farber <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> -----

From: David Farber <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 13:52:35 -0400
To: Ip Ip <ip@v2.listbox.com>
Subject: [IP] OT: Canada: Sweeping new surveillance bill to criminalize 
investigative journalism
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.734)

Begin forwarded message:

From: Tim Meehan <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Date: September 21, 2005 1:25:07 PM EDT
<[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, Declan <declan@well.com>, [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Subject: OT: Canada: Sweeping new surveillance bill to criminalize  
investigative journalism


Pubdate: Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)

Sweeping new surveillance bill to criminalize investigative journalism,
'nanny cams,' critics say

Bill makes it illegal to monitor children, document corrupt acts

Cristin Schmitz
The Ottawa Citizen

Big Brother wants expanded powers to watch over you and yours, but  
who use their video cameras to conduct their own "surveillance" could  
prison under legislative measures the Liberal government is  
considering for
this fall.

As part of a planned bill that will hand sweeping new electronic
surveillance powers to police, the federal government is also  
the creation of one or more new offences that would turn into criminals
anyone who wilfully makes surreptitious "visual recordings" of "private

The government is also looking at criminalizing any such activity  
that is
done "maliciously" or "for gain."

Among those who could find themselves exposed to criminal jeopardy for
currently legal activities are investigative videojournalists,  
parents who
rely on hidden "nanny cams" to monitor their infants, the paparazzi and
private investigators.

The possible measures were unveiled earlier this year by government
officials during closed-door discussions with selected groups and
individuals. But the proposal has caused a stir among civil  
libertarian and
legal groups who say the government has failed to provide evidence  
that such
a broad new offence is needed, particularly in the wake of the new  
voyeurism" offence created by Parliament in the summer.

Voyeurs are now liable to up to five years in prison if they  
visually record a person who is in a state of nudity or engaged in  
activity in situations where there is a reasonable expectation of  

Toronto media lawyer Bert Bruser, a member of the Canadian Media  
Association, said his group was not consulted on the proposal for an
additional new "visual recording" offence, even though it could have a
dramatic impact on those investigative journalists who, for example,  
out politicians or other public figures to see if they are engaged in

"I don't think anybody has thought about this proposal, I think it's
hideous," Mr. Bruser remarked. He rejected the government's argument  
because surreptitious wiretapping of private telephone conversations is
illegal without a court order, Canadians should be similarly barred from
surreptitiously capturing electronic images.

"The problem with legislation like that is when it uses terms like  
activity' it creates a meaningless sort of phrase and nobody knows  
what it
means," Mr. Bruser observed. "Everybody wants to protect people's  
these days, but I think that's far too broad and would very seriously  
all sorts of journalism that is in the public interest, and that goes  
on all
the time."

Justice Department lawyer Normand Wong emphasized if the government  
ahead with a new visual recording offence, it will endeavour to craft  
offence that isn't overly broad, but protects those principles that
Canadians want to protect, and that's personal privacy, without  
with legitimate practices like investigative journalism."

But Bill Joynt, president of the Council of Private Investigators of
Ontario, who also chairs a national umbrella group, complained the
government has failed to consult with his membership.

"I haven't even heard of this. We haven't been consulted and we would  
to be," he said. "If there is not an exemption for private  
this would put us all out of business. Any surveillance we do is  
with video, and that includes insurance claims, Workers Safety and  
Board claims, both directly for the WSIB and employers, plus domestic
investigations, and intelligence-gathering for corporate or criminal  

Mr. Joynt said private detectives already steer clear of surveillance in
residences and other private places.

"What we would be concerned about is the definition of 'private  
activity,' "
he stressed. "We are aware that there are certain things that are  
kind of
sacrosanct and that we wouldn't videotape, such as people changing their
clothes or going to the bathroom. But if it was a spousal domestic
investigation, for example, and somebody was having sex in the front  
seat of
a car, we would be videotaping it."

Mr. Joynt also argued that parents should be entitled to install a  
video camera in their kitchen, for example, if they are suspicious  
about how
a child-care giver is interacting with their helpless infant.

"If they become suspicious about the quality or the level of that  
care, they
should be able to check it out and I don't think that employee's  
right to
privacy supercedes the right of the child to a safe environment," Mr.  

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