Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bill C-51 Backgrounder #3: Sharing Information and Lost Lessons from the Maher Arar Experience
The proposed Security of Canada Information Sharing Act in Bill C-51 declares a legitimate government interests in sharing information about security threats. Yet after close textual review, we conclude that the proposed law is both excessive and unbalanced. 

Bill C-51 Backgrounder #4: The Terrorism Propaganda Provisions
Proposed s.83.222 of the Criminal Code creates a new concept of “terrorist propaganda”. It also allows judges to order deletion of “terrorist propaganda” from the internet.

We support the concept of deletion orders for “terrorist propaganda” in principle. We believe they can have a role as part of a balanced and evidence-based counter-radicalization strategy that aims both to reduce the supply of terrorist material and (even more importantly) the demand for it.

However, the details matter. We remain concerned about the breadth of the definition of “terrorist propaganda”. It includes cross-referencing to the new speech crime proposed by bill C-51. As we discuss in backgrounder #1, that new offence risks sweeping in too much speech that is not tied to violence or threats of violence. 


Bill C-51 Backgrounder #5: Oversight and Review: Turning Accountability Gaps into Canyons?
Canada’s system of national security “oversight” is imperfect. Its system of national security “review” is frayed, perhaps to the breaking point. The government’s antiterrorism law, bill C-51, will accelerate this pattern. Without a serious course correction, we risk the prospect of avertible security service scandals.

Kent Roach and Craig Forcese: Bill C-51: Our Statement to the Standing Committee on National Security & Public Safety
Professor Forcese and I have produced over 200 pages of detailed analysis of parts 1, 3 and 4 of Bill C-51. It is a complex omnibus bill that would add two new security laws and amend another 15 existing, including most notably the Criminal Code and CSIS Act. 

In our analysis we have tried to bear in mind the effects, including unintended ones, that the bill could have on both security and rights.
 
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