After the UK passed a draconian new law allowing unprecedented state monitoring of all its citizens, it seems Canada also wants in on the action. They want to expand the controversial Bill C-51 to include mandatory software backdoors on communications apps, provide mandatory decryption features for encryption software and force ISPs to keep subscriber data for longer.

Like in the UK, the Canadian government seems to think that watching everyone is the way to catch the bad guys. Even when the bad guys have largely left tech behind and have gone old school with one-time pads, analog communications and other offline ways to communicate.

All these changes ever do is inconvenience the average citizen, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and further convince the public that the government is only looking after its own interests and not those of the people at large.

Backdoor lunacy

Mandating a backdoor into every communications service or encryption program is just crazy. It assumes that the spy agencies will be the only ones to find them and use them. Many security apps have their own weaknesses that are already exploited, why add more? As soon as a software maker introduces a backdoor to its software, sales will flatline and so will the company.

Would you buy an encrypted communications solution that could be easily broken? No, neither would I. I have nothing to hide and I doubt you do too but my privacy is still worth something even if it’s only to me.

The government tells us that they are only doing it to protect our way of life and our rights. Yet to do that they trample on other rights. How does that make sense?

If Canada does introduce this law things will change up north. Companies will stop selling products that don’t comply, software companies will move south where at least (some) of our rights are still protected and the only losers in this entire thing will be Canadian citizens. Governments just don’t learn do they?