The Double-Edged Sword in the Fight Against Terrorism

by PHayes on February 3, 2015 - 12:04am

A few days ago, the government introduced legislation in the House of Commons that would, among other things, give more power to CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) in its fight against global and domestic terrorism. If passed, the new law would extend the period of preventative detention for terror suspects, criminalize the promotion of terrorism, allow the agency to disrupt terrorist activities and remove content from the internet and ''tweak'' court procedures and the no-fly list. The Prime Minister has defended the bill by saying that it is an appropriate response to what he calls an ''act of war'' by violent jihadists.

Not many people are against fighting terrorists altogether, but some are very concerned about the way our country is currently dealing with this increasing problem. This new piece of anti-terrorist legislation shines a new light on transparency issues and civil rights concerns. The government is seeking to make Canada's spy agency more powerful without even considering implementing some sort of parliamentary oversight, like what can be found in the United States or Australia, and is blindly defining new crimes which could potentially go against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms according to the B.C. Civil Liberties Union which states that ''criminalizing people's words and thoughts is misguided and won't make Canadians any safer".

What needs to change is how transparent our governments are and the level of participation of all parties in legislative decision-making. The government needs to frequently report to Canadians about what our security agencies are doing and how it might affect them, ensure that there is no abuse of power and that all parties in Parliament can participate in making our country safer.

Original article:
Further reading:
Author: Laura Payton
Publication: CBC
Date: Jan. 30th 2015

I believe that this source is reliable because the CBC is a major national network that is sure to be neutral and impartial due to its public funding. The author of this article is also reliable and credible because she has been covering politics with CBC News since 2007 and has studied journalism at Carleton University.


I agree with you that Canadians should be refuting the passing of this law. The whole OTaawa shooting situation is very similar to 9/11 in some ways. The government in power attempts to use the situation to rally for the passing of very vague, but empowering laws (see:PATRIOT ACT). I can understand such a law passing in the US, who is very patriotic, but Canada seems to be like another story. Canadians weren't really terrified by the attack, we didn't think more would come of it, but now the Conservatives believe that such a silly one manned attack is cause for a whole anti terror bill.

That's the thing about these laws, though. They're passed under a very specific political climate and are never repealed. When it comes to spying, the lack of oversight makes it a very scary situation that could lead to a situation of blackmailing high priority individuals and silencing protest leaders with threats of apparent leaks. As dystopian as it sounds, it's a possibility because surveillance powers are virtually limitless when there are the Five Eyes cooperating and a number of companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and so on.

If you want a bit more information to see how exactly companies are easily spying on you and reselling you as a product, you can go read this( article on Facebook infiltrating your browsing habits and tracking you, as well as them misrepresenting you through false endorsements.

As for your source, I like that you used a website as trustworthy as the CBC. They tend to remain neutral on most issues and come through with detailed reportings. In the case of the unveiling of these proposed laws, it's an obviously legitimate reporting due to all the sources indicated in the article.