Overshadowed by news that the Canadian government had abandoned the “Internet Snooping” Bill C-30, was the first announcement Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson made today. The introduction of a bill to update provisions that would allow for warrantless phone tapping in emergencies.
Canadian law allows police to wiretap without authorization from a court when there is the risk of imminent harm, such as a kidnapping or bomb threat, but the Supreme Court last year struck down the law and gave Parliament 12 months to rewrite another one.
The new bill, C-55, would give peace officers the right to secretly intercept private communications without a warrant in relatively rare, urgent situations. Someone whose communications had been intercepted in situations of imminent harm would have to be notified by police within 90 days.