Canadian Police Chiefs: 'RESOLVED: The Warrant Requirement For ISP Subscriber Data Makes Our Job Harder. Please Fix.'
from the WHEREAS-whine-complain-bitch-moan dept
Canada's law enforcement agencies are still enduring the growing pains of having to respect the privacy and civil rights of Canadian citizens. It's apparently killing them.
At the peak of their power, Canadian law enforcement agencies were asking for ISP subscriber data every 27 seconds. Nearly 1.2 million requests were made in in 2011 alone. That number likely increased over the next couple of years before a Supreme Court decision brought this harvesting to a halt with the introduction of a warrant requirement in 2014 . Prior to that, the only thing keeping Canadian cops from requesting data at an even faster rate was the "five minutes of paperwork" occasionally demanded of them.
Since the warrant requirement went into effect, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have adopted two tactics to deal with the additional stipulations:
1. Complaining about it (using graphic child abuse imagery, of course).Can't win. Won't try. That's the indomitable law enforcement spirit officials are always praising when asking for donations and votes.
2. Tossing cases.
The Canadian law enforcement community is now deploying the third prong of its attack on the inconvenience of securing warrants: a strongly-worded resolution backed by the collective power of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. (h/t Jordan Pearson at Vice)
According to the CACP, the government owes Canadian law enforcement immediate access to subscriber information at all times. The resolution begins with this assertion, which everyone is apparently supposed to treat as an long-acknowledged fact.
WHEREAS law enforcement requires real-time, or near real-time access to basic subscriber (customer name and address) information (BSI) as it relates to telecommunications’ customers for investigative reasons…It then points out what the Supreme Court decision changed (officially recognized Canadian citizens' privacy interest in their own subscriber data) before complaining that ISPs are getting all uppity with them when they show up without a warrant.
WHEREAS since the Spencer decision, the telecommunications companies refuse to provide any basic subscriber information (BSI) in the absence of an exigent circumstance, or a judicial warrant or order, even where there exists no reasonable expectation of privacy…Well, gee, if we leave the decision of where the "expectation of privacy" lies in the hands of law enforcement, we get what we already got: subscriber data requests every 27 seconds. So, we know law enforcement can't be trusted to make that decision.
And it's not the ISPs place to make "expectation of privacy" determinations. These companies should do what they're doing: demand warrants and court orders. But law enforcement views this as a form of obstruction, albeit a form supported by a court decision.
The resolution's next "WHEREAS" tosses out another assertion everyone's just supposed to agree with, because who's more trustworthy than a group of cops?
WHEREAS there exists no lawful authority designed specifically to require the provision of basic subscriber information, and the problems posed by this gap in the law are particularly acute where there exists no reasonable expectation of privacy in that information.This complaint/assertion is basically: "We can't make ISPs do anything the law no longer compels them to do." That's kind of how laws are supposed to work. So, the problem is the ruling... and the solution is a legislative undoing of the court's ruling.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police supports the creation of a reasonable law designed to specifically provide law enforcement the ability to obtain, in real-time or near real-time, basic subscriber information (BSI) from telecommunications providers.BE IT RESOLVED: legislative time machine. Law enforcement wants to go back to its pre-Supreme Court decision form, where demands were made (and met) quickly and with a minimum of paperwork or privacy considerations. Nowhere in the in-depth explanation of its "problem" and proposed resolution does it discuss a more limited framework for warrantless requests. The CACP wants the legislature to undo the terrible wrong it has suffered at the hands of the Supreme Court. There are no compromises offered. Canadian cops simply want to be able to freely demand subscriber info without having to jump through any privacy-protecting hoops.