With the House of Commons back in session this
week there will be a number of different votes occurring largely on Bills that I
have referenced in previous reports that continue to move through the
Parliamentary process. Bill C-43, “Removal of Foreign Criminals” will be voted
on at the conclusion of second reading debate as will Bill C-37 “Increasing
Accountability for Victim’s Act”. There will also be a third reading vote on a
Private Member's Bill C-299 “Kidnapping of Young Persons”.
Bill C-299 is a private member’s bill from my Kootenay-Columbia
colleague, MP David Wilks. Many citizens may recall the tragic Sparwood, B.C.
kidnapping of a three year old toddler who fortunately was returned to his
family four days after having been abducted from the family residence. This
Private Member's Bill C-299 proposes increased minimum sentences for those who
kidnap children unknown to them who are under the age of sixteen.
Also occurring early this week will be an opposition private
member’s motion, M-385, calling for a special all-party committee of MP’s to
study and develop a national bullying prevention strategy. There has been some
confusion as it has been suggested that this motion was drafted quickly in
response to the recent bullying related tragedy occurring in the lower mainland
late last week. This particular motion was actually drafted back on May 30th of
2012 and illustrates the ongoing impact of bullying in our society. I believe
if we are to take further action against bullying we need to also consider
bullying that exists online. As the use of the internet has increased so too
has disturbing incidents of cyber-bullying, which in many cases has become
almost rampant in some areas on the internet. Social media sites, online
discussion forums, comments on media stories are often filled with hate related
comments, personal insults and attacks and even at times threats. These types
of actions are almost always from those individuals who hide under the
anonymity of an internet IP address.
As many of you recall, Bill C-30 proposed that those individuals
who use the internet for purposes that include crime, fraud, to engage in child
pornography, identity theft, or use of threats and violence could have their
basic IP contact information made available to law enforcement to assist in an
investigation. Contrary to what was stated often in the media, Bill C-30 did not
authorize individuals to be “spied on” without judicial oversight. What Bill
C-30 did propose was that law enforcement would have access to the same basic
contact information in the cyber community as is currently available in the real
world from something like a licence plate on a vehicle. As the internet
continues to play a more prominent role in all aspects of our society, and in
particular with our youth, we must also ensure that we have measures in place to
safeguard our most vulnerable from those predators and criminals who use the
internet for illicit and illegal purposes. As it stands today there is little
accountability online and increasingly the interests of Canadians are being
compromised as our means to safeguard the internet are not keeping pace with
One point that I would like to emphasize is that no Member of Parliament that I have
met is looking to politicize a very important issue. However as a society we
must also recognize the need for a balance that we can help to achieve through
our democratic process. While we as Canadians greatly value our current online
freedoms that include anonymity we must also ask how long we are prepared to
stand aside while that same anonymity is increasingly being misused to victimize
others through online cyber bulling, fraud, identity theft and other illicit and
illegal acts. I am not suggesting for a moment that we create a “big brother”
environment online, only that we ensure that law enforcement has the same basic
abilities in the cyber community as they do in the real world helping to ensure
our streets and communities are safe. As it stands today, a RCMP officer can
more readily access the contact information for a hit and run driver than they
can access the contact information for an IP address of someone who is posting
inappropriate pictures of a minor online. We must also recognize that for many
of today’s youth, being victimized in the online community can be just as
devastating and harmful if not more so than anywhere else. I believe it is time
we increased accountability online and I welcome your views on this
10/20/2012 11:15:12 am
The problem with making ip addresses like "license plates" is that criminals will just adapt to the measure by using foreign proxies, among other methods, that do not release ip information and the only people who will be affected by the proposed bill are innocent people who do not commit crimes, some of whom actually value the ideal of privacy, irrespective of the license plate analogy, to some degree.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.
Central Okanagan – Similkameen – Nicola