Lawful Access – Obligations, Costs, and Threats

Lawful access is here.

On February 18, 2012, the Canadian Government introduced legislation to amend and expand authorities’ online surveillance powers. If the bill is passed, the federal government will have successfully expanded its power to monitor Canadians’ Internet activity.

For telecommunication service providers, this legislation will impose obligations to comply with police investigations by revealing individuals’ personal information. Moreover, service providers will be required to adopt sophisticated technologies for the enhanced surveillance of Internet communications.

In this session, Christopher Parsons, doctoral candidate at the University of Victoria, will examine the various facets of the controversial legislative proposal and how similar lawful-access legislation in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, have impacted civil rights and created economic difficulties.

Come to this session and learn about the ins and outs of the proposed legislation and alarming implications for Canadian civil liberties and telecommunications companies.


Chris Parsons, PhD candidate, Department of Political Science, UVic

Christopher Parsons is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria. His research interests focus on how privacy is affected by digitally mediated surveillance and the normative implications that such surveillance has in (and on) contemporary Western political systems. Specifically, he thinks
through how digital surveillance technologies influence citizens’ decisions, and capacities, to openly express themselves and associate with others.

Christopher has spoken across Canada about Internet Service Provider network surveillance practices, data security, data and network privacy issues, and governmental and corporate data access regimes. He has also given presentations addressing the security-, privacy-, and surveillance-related risks associated with social media. Christopher has published in CTheory, with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and contributed to Open Media’s ‘Casting the Open Net’ report. He also has forthcoming publications on the topics of ePassports, privacy literatures, and lawful access legislation in Canada.


Speaker Presentation

Intended Audience

Policy Makers, Security Officials, IT

Session Duration

60 Minutes

Session Schedule

Tuesday May 1st, 2012

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Labatt Hall (Room 1700)


Hugh Burley, Senior Technology Coordinator for Information Security, Thompson Rivers University