The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. The government’s response to the Sept. 11 tragedy has wide-ranging implications for everyone and the telecom industry is as affected as anyone.  Many of the Anti-Terrorism Act’s provisions deal with telephony and the Internet. The proposed bill would eliminate the need to show electronic surveillance is a last resort. Authorization for wiretaps will be extended from 60 days to one year. The requirement to notify surveillance targets is being delayed to three years. The Internet, hitherto unregulated by the federal government, also comes under the bill’s microscope. Courts will be permitted to delete hate propaganda from web pages. The onus is on the posters to prove the material is not hate propaganda. Surely this subverts the usual practice in British common law, that makes the state show guilt rather than the defendant establish innocence. "The provision would apply to hate propaganda that is located on Canadian computer systems, regardless of where the owner of the material is located or whether he or she can be identified," a Justice department background paper states. This moves us into the murky world of regulating material from other jurisdictions. Court challenges will surely proliferate. There are laudable sections of the legislation. One section would see Canada sign the Council of Europe Convention on Cyber-Crime. This international agreement takes aim at violations like hacking. It also provides for cooperation between signatories, making detection and prosecution of Internet crimes easier. No one is suggesting that corporations should be leading the fight for civil liberties. But the bending of freedoms to fight fanaticism should be a worry for all citizens. We are not discussing niceties of a polite society; we are upholding the foundations of a democratic society. The Cabinet counters that these are temporary measures required by the current global situation. Of course, a previous government used much the same argument in 1916 when it established income tax to pay for the Great War. Keep that in mind next April, as you send your remittance to Ottawa to fight the Kaiser.