PRESS RELEASE: Pirate Party Opposes Anti-Internet and Anti-Privacy Bills

Parliament Bills C-13 and S-4 pose imminent threats to privacy and net neutrality

Winnipeg, MB – June 11, 2022 – The Pirate Party of Canada, is a registered political party supporting civil rights, improved democracy, reform of intellectual law, free sharing of knowledge, information privacy, transparency, freedom of information, and network neutrality, announced today its opposition to several anti-internet and anti-privacy bills recently brought before Canadian Parliament. The announcement of opposition is in specific reference to Bills C-13 and S-4, successors to Bill C-30.

Bill C-13

Parliament Bill C-30, otherwise known as the “You Are Either With Us Or The Child Pornographers” Bill, is back and is repackaged into several other bills in order to dull opposition and dilute its true intentions. Canadians spoke loud and clear that they reject the kinds of privacy intrusions introduced by Bill C-30 when it was originally introduced and shot down more than two years ago. It is abominable for the government to reintroduce the bill by stealth under the guise of alternate issues and in a rushed manner that is designed to push the bill through.

Bill C-13, the “Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act” purports itself as a protection from cyberbullying, but the truth is that only a small part of this bill is about cyberbullying at all. Rather, the majority of C-13 is about expanding police powers to seize Internet data from Canadian citizens without the currently required warrants. The passing of this bill into law constitutes a serious breach of personal privacy and will enable mass surveillance by the state in a way that bypasses standard judicial oversight. The mother of Amanda Todd, the teenager who took her own life due to cyberbullying and the raison d’être for this bill, had called for this bill to be split to allow careful consideration of the privacy related provisions.

The consequences of such a far-reaching and comprehensive threat to privacy will be similar to the intent of the C-30 online spying bill. The criminal code currently limits police forces by requiring a court orders to obtain data for investigative purposes. Current data shows service providers have responded to close to 1 million of such requests over the past year. And that is from three telecommunications company only.

This bill would offer blanket immunity to companies sharing personal information. This could lead to companies disclosing their customers’ personal data without due process of the law. Under a “voluntary and automatic handover of data,” provided to the companies under this bill, police could ask for any data, any time, without having to give a reason.

In essence, this bill would bring a level of mass surveillance to Canada, similar to those seen in the U.S. in recent years as revealed by Edward Snowden.

In the face of recent revelations of spying on Canadians and the sharing of this data with the NSA, this level of government sanctioned privacy infringement without due process of law is truly troubling,” says Fred Hebert of the Pirate Party’s Political Council.

The Pirate Party calls for careful debate on this matter in parliament. Use of time allocation and other tricky Parliamentary Procedures in order to shorten the debate and limit the public’s input will only reinforce public perception that the government is afraid of detailed study of this bill. Telecommunication companies could willingly give out personal data to a government obsessed with warrantless surveillance when the immunity is combined with financial incentives. The Canada Border Services Agency has already been reported to have paid companies for their user’s personal data. The incentives could cost well over a million dollar at current pre-C-13 and S-4 mass spying level. The government is already willing to spent billions to build a mass surveillance palace. The number of requests, hence amount spent to pay the telecommunications companies, could increase exponentially once the C-13 and S-4 is passed into law.

Bill S-4

Senate bill S-4 would amend the “Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act” to allow mass surveillance without warrants, continuing the intent of the C-30 spying bill.

Subsection 7(5) of the Act is replaced with clear provisions attempting to allow disclosure of user information between companies both without the consent of users and without a warrant.

Under Bill S-4, a company could ask for a user’s personal information and easily obtain it. For instance, requests based merely on allegations of a website’s terms of service agreement being violated.

The case of Teksavvy vs Voltage has courts mandating that a court order is required before the disclosure of personal information. This bill effectively enacts the opposite and allows copyright troll organizations to ask for personal information, without a warrant, on any user they may dislike. A serious implication to consider is that the passing of such a bill could lead to increased requests by other commercial industries outside law enforcement who seek personal information based simply on unproven allegations of “breach of contract.”

Appointment of new Privacy Commissioner

At a time when the improvement of privacy protection is paramount, the government appointed Daniel Therrien as the privacy commissioner. The journalist Stephen Maher referred to Therrien as being responsible for privacy intrusion on a grand scale. Daniel Therrien co-led a team that allows sharing of Canadian medical histories with the U.S., something Ontario’s privacy commissioner is currently fighting in court to stop.

The appointment of a strong privacy advocate to this influential position, that has the power to stop government abuse on privacy, would show the government’s sincerity in dealing with privacy concerns. Daniel Therrien’s appointment should be reconsidered. If the appointment is pushed through, a Pirate MP would seek to have Parliament review his performance up until that point.


Together, Bills C-13 and S-4 poison the Internet and erode the privacy of all users, which in this day and age is a formidable majority of the citizen population.

Companies who engage in practices that violate the basic rights of citizens should note the negative publicity that will inevitably result. We fully support the “Ottawa Statement on Privacy” of which we are a signatory.

The Pirate Party calls upon the Canadian government to respect its people’s privacy. The Pirate Party fully supports the Open Internet Policies necessary for a thriving information economy in a free and open society. If these bills are passed, a Pirate MP or government would seek to abolish them and sanction any company or individual who had compromised Canadians’ privacy.

The more people who see these heinous bills for the hidden threats they truly are, the better,” says James Wilson, Leader of the Pirate Party of Canada. “We will not sit idly by and let the wool be pulled over the public’s eyes. It’s time to hold our government to a higher standard.”

Related articles and post:


This post was written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>