Our buddy Simon at IntoMobile caught wind of a worrying bill that is currently being presented to the Canadian House of Commons. It essentially would bring the US Patriot Act wiretapping rules to Canada. That may all be fine and dandy for law enforcement trying to catch criminals hiding behind BlackBerry security but that also lowers every BlackBerry users expectation of privacy.
In one fell swoop Bill C-285 would allow the Canadian government to do what RIM had fought tooth and nail in India not to allow. Essentially compromise customers trust in the RIM infrastructure since all BlackBerry communications go through RIM’s servers in Canada which would be open to wiretapping and interception.
From the proposed bill:
The purpose of this Act is to ensure that telecommunications service providers have the capability to enable national security and law enforcement agencies to exercise their authority to intercept communications, and to require service providers to provide subscriber and other information, without unreasonably impairing the privacy of individuals, the provision of telecommunications services to Canadians or the competitiveness of the Canadian telecommunications industry.
The bill is just before the House of Commons now so it still needs to pass there before it goes to the Senate but still this is mighty troubling… The issue with giving such access to law enforcement is that once the door is open it is much harder task to keep it closed. I wonder if a warrant will be required or what level of justification…