19.12.05

Bigger Government, Bigger Brother


Although Dubya's latest efforts to keep an ear to the ground have been momentarily squashed, it seems that his neighbors to the north are, once again, leading by example.

Like a good Texan, Dubya shot first and asked questions later, and may have violated a "1978 law that makes it illegal to spy on US citizens without court approval" when he "authorized the National Security Agency to monitor international telephone calls and e-mail messages of Americans and others." The less than enthusiastic partners in the war on terror, on the other hand, legislated away their civil liberty woes four years ago.

Where before 9/11, Canadian authorities required court authorization, a national newspaper now reports:

But that all changed after the Anti-Terrorism Act was proclaimed four years ago in the wake of 9/11. The omnibus anti-terrorism legislation now allows the clandestine Canadian Security Establishment to intercept private communications when directing its activities against "foreign entities" located abroad.

The CSE does not need to go to a court to get such authorization. All it needs to do is get permission from the Minister of Defence.

It seems that all the big government that makes dreams like socialized healthcare come true has its drawbacks. Just like same-sex unions were approved despite dissenting segments of the electorate (good), civil liberties themselves were beyond the influence of civil society and increasingly out of its reach (bad).

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