Stockwell Day blames lawful access document on Liberals

by Jesse Brown, CBC Radio

In an interview with CBC Radio One program Search Engine, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day suggested Thursday that the controversial wording in the “lawful access” document, which was leaked to the media last week, had originated with the Liberal Party.

The document, as initially reported by CBC.ca last Thursday, held that “law enforcement agencies have been experiencing difficulties in consistently obtaining basic CNA information from telecommunications service providers,” because many of these companies “require a warrant” before handing over customers’ personal information, such as their names, addresses, cell numbers, and IP addresses.

The document said that this need for warrants “poses a problem” to law enforcement officials, and civil liberty groups worried that this was the first step toward invasive new legislation that could compromise Canadians’ privacy.

Last week Minister Day distanced himself from the document, claiming that he had never seen or approved it. Meanwhile his office suggested that the wording of the document had been misunderstood and that they had never in fact considered circumventing the warrant system.

On today’s episode of Search Engine, CBC host Jesse Brown asked Minister Day questions that had been crowdsourced from the Canadian public. One question asked was: “What other possible meaning can be derived from the wording in this document?”

Stockwell Day responded, “I don’t know why that particular official or whoever sent that out had that particular idea - maybe it was from the former Liberal legislation.”

Minister Day went on to cite Liberal legislation supported by Stephane Dione that would in fact allow police to demand online information without court oversight.

To hear the interview, click here for the Search Engine podcast.