Did you know that ISPs track everything you do online? Record everywhere you go, every website you visit, every video you stream or track you listen to? Did you know law enforcement agencies are increasingly asking ISPs for this data? Did you know that many ISPs will provide this data without a warrant just because the enforcement agency asked?
Specific numbers are hard to come by, but we suspect that requests number in their millions. What’s more, the ISPs are often charging law enforcement for access to this data, making money in the process. With an estimated charge of $1-$3 per record, the agencies are using taxpayer’s money to pay ISPs to access the data they collect on us!
That’s an absurd situation and something that is only going to get worse.
Protecting Canadians from Online Crime
Since the passing of Bill C-13 in 2014, also known as the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, law enforcement agencies have it easier than ever. They can now freely request subscriber data from ISPs.
By dressing up this lawful access law within the overall online bullying, government used the deaths of Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd to force the issue through parliament and into law. By capitalizing on the emotions surrounding these tragedies, government hid other elements within the law that included a lower threshold of proof for lawful access and even a mention of cable signal theft!
Before C-13, law enforcement required a level of proof that could convince a judge that the person they are requesting data for was suspected of a specific crime. Only once a warrant was issued could ISP data be requested and produced.
After C-13, law enforcement need only a ‘reasonable grounds for suspicion’ to request data from an ISP to gain that warrant. Better still, some law enforcement agencies are just asking ISPs to hand over our data without a warrant and they are doing so!