Kootenay Columbia MP David Wilks said from his perspective, a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Internet privacy won’t have an effect on the government’s proposed cyberbullying bill.
“I don’t think it does, and the reason that I say that is under the new bill C-13 there is a provision in which the police must obtain a preservation order which is good for 21 days with regards to the digital information that they are looking for,” Wilks said.
The supreme court ruling, which came June 13, found that under Canada’s constitution, police do require a search warrant in order to compel Internet Service Providers to release subscriber information to an investigation.
Bill C-13 was introduced as a bill to deal with cyberbullying, but has proven controversial as it also extends police powers for online surveillance.
Wilks said that it’s a matter of discretion on what information the organization chose to share.
“Irregardless if it’s the police or you at the newspaper, you have to make that call and that can’t be controlled by any law,” Wilks said. “What this law does under C-13 and the subsequent decision by the supreme court is to ensure that the police, when doing an investigation, follow the rules to which they are required to get a warrant, and I believe that C-13 does that very well. “
Wilks said that C-13 brings forward advancements of the Criminal Code that has not been amended since the 1980s.
“Since the 1980s, a lot has happened in the world and you have to give the police the tools to do the investigations and you have to trust the police that they are going to investigate in the best manner that they can,” he said. “I believe, as a former police officer, that police officers have good will and do their investigations to the best of their ability within the parameters that they are required to investigate them in.”
When asked whether splitting the bill would be a possibility, Wilks said it wasn’t.
“It’s all fine and dandy saying that you can split the bill, but the police still need the power to investigate today,” he said. “So to say that we’re going to do things about cyberbullying and ‘yes we agree that cyberbullying is bad and we have to find ways to stop it,’ but then we don’t give the police the tools to do it? That’s like giving someone a hammer but then not giving them the nail to put two boards together. It’s difficult to do.”
He said he has no problems and no qualms whatsoever with C-13 as it was put together by the Minister of Justice.