Canada watchdog warns anti-terror bill tramples privacy

After multiple shootings in Ottawa and the Parliament buildings, pictured here on October 23, 2014, and other attacks in rural Quebec, Canadian lawmakers have proposed a bill to toughen counterterrorism laws, but some argue it violates privacyCanada’s privacy commissioner warned Friday that a proposed toughening of the nation’s counterterrorism laws would expose too much personal information, with little or no oversight. In an open letter, Commissioner Daniel Therrien expressed concern at the “unprecedented” scale of information sharing between government departments allowed under the anti-terror bill currently under consideration. The bill would dramatically expand the powers of Canada’s spy service to include disrupting terror threats, and lower the threshold for detaining suspects in terror cases and the standard for prosecution. It would also allow intergovernmental sharing of information on alleged threats and suspects, which was previously illegal under privacy laws.

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