In defense of intellectual freedom, and freedom from surveillance

The Tyee, and independent online news source, has a very interesting article today on Bill C-51:

Harper’s Police State Law:  Passing it means ‘death of freedom’ writes Green leader Elizabeth May.  Click on the headline to read more.

Stephen Harper’s campaign 2015

And, on the Library front:

In his Canadian Library Association Intellectual Freedom Award acceptance speech, Brian Campbell talks about the current Bill before Parliament in Canada, Bill C-51, the ‘Anti-Terrorism Bill’.  Please review his comments:

“Through a multi-faceted political and policy-making regime, the present government
has diminished the collection of data, notably the long-form Census, has eliminated
government agencies and fired civil servants critical of government policy. Partisan
CRA tax-audits have been used to attack social justice and advocacy organizations that
have played an important role in keeping the public informed. The lack of whistle-blower protection
legislation has made government accountability even more difficult. Bill C-51 (Anti-Terrorism Act 2015)
is the culmination of repressive government legislation, representing the greatest threat to
the right to know and to speak in Canadian society. It strengthens the legal infra-structure that validates
and underpins antecedent legislation and regulations such as the Anti-Terrorism Act 2001, the No-Fly
List, Security Certificates, the mass electronic surveillance recently revealed by Edward Snowden, and
the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between Israel and Canada expressing mutual “concern by
efforts to single out the State of Israel for criticism …including calls for a boycott…divestment
…and or sanctions…” No longer can anyone pretend that these isolated legislative and
regulatory instruments are directed towards specific threats to Canadian society. Among
other things, Bill C-51 conflates terrorism with Islam in the same manner that the government conflates
criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. Bill C-51 is a direct attack over many aspects of public and private
life – including thought. The Bill expands the power of preventive detention
by changing one word from “will” to “may”. It weakens privacy protection by allowing information
sharing among government agencies. Of particular importance to libraries and to this audience is
the definition of terrorist propaganda as “any writing, sign,visible representation or
audio recording that advocates or promotes the commission of terrorism offences ingeneral”. Note the
vagueness of the term ‘in general’. A previous example of this was the enthusiastic confiscation of
lesbian and gay magazines at the border under obscenity laws.”

If you would like to read more, go to this site.

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