As a general rule, if you’re going to try to pass a bill that would effectively strip an entire nation of its personal privacy for the sake of a moral crusade, it would probably help if you weren’t sitting on a few immoral secrets yourself.
If you haven’t heard about Vic Toews and Bill C-30 by now, here’s the SparkNotes version: the bill would force internet providers to collect information about their customers’ actions on the internet, provide that information to the police if asked, and they would not legally be able to inform their customers if they shared said information. See how that might be a violation of human rights? And here’s the kicker: it would cost $80 million to set it up.
Thankfully, free speech group Anonymous has stepped in, saying that if Vic Toews wants to strip Canadians of their right to privacy, Anonymous is only too happy to return the favour by airing his dirty laundry. And oh, what a laundry basket it is. Turns out, despite riding high on the “family values” bandwagon, Vic Toews allegedly had an extramarital with Stacey Meek, a former babysitter he was paying with tax dollars.
Here’s the thing: you cannot give up your own rights, or force others to give up theirs, because you want to feel a little more secure. Will people use the internet to do terrible things? Of course they will. That doesn’t mean you can strip an entire nation of their right to basic privacies. There are ways to combat these crimes, but this isn’t the right way. It’s easy to justify heinous acts when you’re scared or confused, but this is why we have laws in the first place: to keep us level-headed and logical in situations that are anything but.
Ultimately, this about more than just some a-hole who wants to take away your right to a private life, or someone who espouses family values while maintaining none of his own. This is a matter of people needing to stand up and say that fear is not a justification for irrational decisions.