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News | 08/26/2002 4:00 am EDT

Canadian government launches lawful access consultation
The federal government has launched a broad consultation on legislation governing lawful access to information and communications in recognition of technological advancements in telecommunications and the growing use of the Internet as a major communications tool. Lawful access includes the lawful interception of communications, and the search and seizure of information by law enforcement and national security agencies.
"Legislation governing lawful access was originally designed for rotary telephones – not email or the Internet," solicitor general Lawrence MacAulay said in a news release announcing the consultation.
While telecommunications advancements have provided Canadians the benefits of ecommerce and information sharing, they have also been used to shield illicit activities. "These new technologies are posing challenges to conventional lawful access methods," the news release states.
Wireless communications have become one of the technical hurdles law enforcement and national security agencies have to overcome to effectively collect information on illegal activities.
The public is being given the opportunity to consider lawful access issues and policy options by obtaining a consultation paper, which is available at www.canada.justice.gc.ca/en/cons/la_al. Those wishing to respond may send their submissions to la-al@justice.gc.ca before November 15, 2002. More details.

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