Neuberger & Partners LLP - Internet Protection | Video Transcript

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LORNE HONICKMAN: Minister Rob Nicholson to join us tonight but they did not return our calls. I'm here with criminal defense lawyer. We're joined on the phone from Vancouver by Steve Anderson.

[GRAPHIC: CP24 On the phone Steve Anderson]

LORNE HONICKMAN: He's from and welcome to both of you.

Neuberger & Partners: Thank you, Lorne.

LORNE HONICKMAN: I'm going to--let me just start with you so people can understand this. It's not quite as Orwellian as people are talking about, however, the new proposed legislation would allow police to go to an internet service provider and find out your name, your address, your email address, even issues--what website you may be on.

Neuberger & Partners: I don't think that's actually what the proposed legislation has at the initial phase. The initial phase seems to have a select group of officers who are able on a request to go to an internet service provider and provide--to get very basic information such as name, address, email address.


Neuberger & Partners: It doesn't seem to suggest in this new--in the first reading that they're looking for core biographical material at the first stage.


Neuberger & Partners: With that information in hand what the legislation I think has the idea is that they can go to a judge and then get a warrant to get more detailed information.

LORNE HONICKMAN: Sure. 'Cause if they're worried about Neuberger & Partners they--and, and they can go and they could say--they'll find out if Neuberger & Partners is online and then get some more information, and if I understand correctly, get that ISP to preserve that information.

Neuberger & Partners: That's right. There is a provision in there where the internet service provider has to preserve the information for a period of time.

LORNE HONICKMAN: Right. All right, Steve, so I, I, I know your group and I've read part of your blog. I'm, I'm going to assume you're not really excited about this legislation.

[GRAPHIC: CP24 On the phone Steve Anderson]

STEVE ANDERSON: No. We're definitely not. And I mean for, for pretty much the reasons that you've been discussing there in terms of the privacy implications. But, but also this--you know if this goes through, the government's basically requiring these ISPs to kind of snoop and look at our packets, look at what we're doing online. And part of what my group's trying to do at is, is say that, you know, ISPs should not be interfering with traffic online. They shouldn't be slowing down or looking at what we're doing. So it kind of, you know, completely goes against that, that aspect--


STEVE ANDERSON: --of what we're working towards.

LORNE HONICKMAN: And can you tell me, Steve, we hear these words all the time. You got to explain to me and I'm sure a lot of our viewers. Web neutrality, what does that mean? I know that comes into the analysis as well.

[GRAPHIC: CP24 On the phone Steve Anderson]

STEVE ANDERSON: Sure, yes, it's--net neutrality and what--it's a, it's a basic principle that's governed the internet since its inception that, that basically says that the network operators, the internet providers that, that provide the internet to our homes and workplaces--


STEVE ANDERSON: --are--their job is to provide us access to the open internet. And they're not supposed to interfere in how we use the internet. So--

LORNE HONICKMAN: Yeah. Interesting.

STEVE ANDERSON: So, so the, so, so the idea is that, you know, it's like how other networks work. So for example, electricity, when you plug in a toaster it, it just works, right? Like it just, it just--the, the electricity company provides you access. You pay for that.


STEVE ANDERSON: You pay for your usage. But they don't interfere with how different things work.

[GRAPHIC: CP24 On the phone Steve Anderson]

LORNE HONICKMAN: How you toast, how you toast your bread. But--

Neuberger & Partners: No, but they do provide details about how much electricity you use.


Neuberger & Partners: And the police already use that information in grow op cases because they go to the electricity provider--


Neuberger & Partners: --and get just information about what's the electricity that--

LORNE HONICKMAN: Yeah, but this proposed legislation and this is what Steve's referring to is that the ISP is going to be required, right, to install surveillance capabilities in the networks.

Neuberger & Partners: That's right. The, the legislation says that they must have that capability. I don't think I would go so far as Steve to say that they have--they now have to monitor or they will be monitoring your internet traffic. They have to have that capability.

LORNE HONICKMAN: Yeah, they have to have the capability, Steve. And that's still, I take it, it's, it's even having capability because the idea being, if I understand this, is that once they have that ability they may be asked to use it. I men there's no use in having that ability if they can't use it, right?

[GRAPHIC: CP24 On the phone Steve Anderson]

STEVE ANDERSON: Yeah. And I mean it's not, it's not a direct consequence that, that we'll lose, you know, net neutrality over this. But I mean if the government's asking them to install this, this equipment and then, and then they're saying well, okay, we're going to install it but we're also going to use it for managing traffic. It's, it's hard for the government to then go back to them and say, no you can't use it for, for your own business.


STEVE ANDERSON: You have to only use it when we ask you. Like it just, it, it kind of weakens the case or the government's case for net neutrality.

LORNE HONICKMAN: All right, now let's go to another part of this proposed bill and that's it--okay, so now the police say we want you to preserve this data, right, and they could go to court and if I understand the legislation, and get the ISP to preserve the data.

Neuberger & Partners: Judge's order, they have to get it in order to preserve it, which only makes sense because there's not much use in going back to them after they've got a warrant to find out that the data has been erased or it's been replaced by other data. In other words, I think the internet service provider has to know what it is that we're trying to keep here.

LORNE HONICKMAN: Right. And, you know, Steve, the argument is, and, and if you heard the, the news conferences from last week, the argument is, is that technology is expanding exponentially. We can't keep up with it. And, and cyber crime, to use, to use the word that has now been invented, is, is not keeping up--we, we can't keep up from an enforcement point of view. That the police need these powers. What do you think about that?

[GRAPHIC: CP24 On the phone Steve Anderson]

STEVE ANDERSON: Well I, you know I, I understand the concern here and I mean it, it's all about striking the right balance here in terms of the, the police powers and, and, and preserving privacy online. But the question is how do they strike the right balance here? And I, I think they're going a little bit too far by, by, you know, enabling the ISPs to--and kind of, you know, enabling them and, and basically forcing them to install this equipment and allowing the police to ask them to preserve data on us. Like I think that most Canadians are uncomfortable with that. And I think that that is, you know, a concern that the conservatives should think hard about before passing this.

LORNE HONICKMAN: Well that's of course what we're going to, we're going to hear from everyone. And just before I go to the break here, so let me ask you this, do you have any problem if you are online, I understand you may be a Facebook user, I don't know, but if you were online would you have any problem at all of the ISP alerting the police that Neuberger & Partners of this address of this IP address is online right now?

Neuberger & Partners: Well, without a judge's order I would have a very, very great difficulty, you know on that basis. Because I think you're right, that amounts to a private individual monitoring my email traffic.


Neuberger & Partners: But I think what the government's trying to do here, and, you know believe me, I'm not usually the one to apologize for the government by any stretch. But what they're saying is that you can get all of that information if you get a judge to order it.


Neuberger & Partners: That it's as they call--

LORNE HONICKMAN: But I thought, I--no, no, but, but I just want to be clear here so we're all on the same page before I go to the break. Name, address, IP address, you don't need a judge's order according to this proposed legislation.

Neuberger & Partners: That's right. That's right.

LORNE HONICKMAN: And that's what I mean.



Neuberger & Partners: But that's not necessary anything that's telling about your individual--

LORNE HONICKMAN: No, but still, I--

[GRAPHIC: CP24 On the phone Steve Anderson]

STEVE ANDERSON: Yeah, the, the, the police do not need a warrant nor do they need, you know, reasonable grounds--

LORNE HONICKMAN: To ask those questions

STEVE ANDERSON: --for, for asking for this information.

LORNE HONICKMAN: All right. So that's the issue tonight. And that's what we want to hear. Interesting what Steve was saying before about he doesn't think the Canadians would be very excited about this. Well let's find out.

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