Lawful Access may not be as bad as it seems.

If you do not know what lawful access is then maybe you should, because it affects you on a daily basis. Lawful access is comprised of three pieces of legislation that allows the Canadian government to access and retain a copy of all communication that takes place in Canada. The government can access this information through organizations that offer wireline, wireless, and internet technologies to Canadians.  The Federal Government explains on its website that it uses this information to monitor the online life of Canadians in order to prevent terror, drug trafficking, money laundering, and other threats that may affect Canadians.

Being monitored by the government may seem as a privacy breach and unlawful act, but is it actually?

Here is a great discussion among Canadian scholars who express their opinions about the topic:


In my personal opinion, I think that the fact that the government is taking those steps may be not as bad as we think. As internet users, we should not forget that the online world is a space where we live, spend time with our friends, look forward to new adventures, and share our life stories with other users. Thus, protection in the cyber space should be as important to us as in real life. After all, we all accept the importance of having the police, army, and other security measures in order to protect us from the bad guys. So why is it such an issue when the government is trying to do the same online?

I think that one of the reasons people are concerned with such surveillance is because they think that the government may abuse its powers to limit people’s freedoms. I agree that this is a legitimate concern, but how else can the government prevent serious crimes that are discussed and organized online? If people want cyberbullying to be stopped, if they want pedophiles to be caught before they commit a crime, and if they want to prevent terror attacks in their cities, then perhaps the government is justified in its actions.

This is my personal opinion on the topic. I wonder what you think. How can the government ensure our safety without compromising our privacy?


2 thoughts on “Lawful Access may not be as bad as it seems.

  1. Hi Yuliya,

    I also wrote about this in my blog post last week. I agree that preventative security measures can be beneficial. Based on what I’ve read on this topic, it seems that most people are put off by unnecessary monitoring and tracking, which feels like an invasion of privacy (bringing in the ‘Big Brother is watching’ feeling). Modelling from offline legal protection, things like warrants or permission to search and access someone’s information might be one small measure?

  2. Yuliya, I really like that you’ve come out and said this, because you are right, how else do we protect individuals from online harm. I think the tough part about this situation is that there is so much activity that is really unregulated, that allows governmental organizations that ability to operate carte-blanche. The other part that is frustrating is that many people don’t seem to be aware – or care about their privacy. There is and always will be abuse by those in power – but like the police force, there are laws and rules in place to proivde checks and balance on their ‘power’, there just is very little fo that right now with respect to online surveillance, and there needs to be more. Great post!

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