What an anti-terrorist law should look like

This is what every country in the Democratic West must do if we are really going to preserve our freedoms. The article is titled, Canada’s New Anti-Terror Bill Is Everything You Hoped It Wasn’t, but whoever “you” is, it isn’t me. This is exactly what I do think is needed.

Under the broad anti-terror legislation tabled Friday, Canada’s spy agency, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), will be given broad new powers to investigate and “disrupt” terrorist plots. Canada’s police services will be able to go after online terrorist propaganda.

When the bill was tabled on Friday afternoon, the Prime Minister vowed to prevent attacks like the ones that hit Ottawa and Quebec in October.

The powers included in Bill C-51 come with little new oversight or transparency. The core of the provisions will allow CSIS to disrupt attacks the organization believes may occur in Canada or abroad.

The government calls them “disruption warrants,” and they will let Canada’s spies do just about anything. According to the legislation those warrants authorize the spies to “enter any place or open or obtain access to any thing,” to copy or obtain any document, “to install, maintain or remove any thing,” and, most importantly, “to do any other thing that is reasonably necessary to take those measures.”

To use the new measures, once passed by Parliament, the spies will need to apply to a judge to authorize operations to stop a terrorist attack. The legislation doesn’t offer many caveats on that power, instead enabling the spies to take whatever measures they feel are necessary, in Canada or abroad. So long as a judge agrees, it’s all fair game—even if it’s illegal.

The word install appears to be an indication that CSIS should have powers to install malware and keyloggers, which the government has already moved toward legalizing.

On top of that, the bill offers no new oversight for CSIS. Currently, it is policed by the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), which has been lambasted for being woefully inadequate and staffed by political appointees.

This legislation does not show the terrorists have won. It shows what needs to be done to make them lose. It is like dealing with paedophiles. You do not give them freedom of speech on the zero chance that they may be in the right and the rest of society in the wrong. You just make anything they say in public, or put online, illegal, and punish them as hard as you can for any breaches whatsoever. Trust me, if they had the chance to shut you up, they would, they absolutely would. We need to do this while we still can.

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