As we have seen in the US, we will see in Canada.
Court ruling may clear the way for more digital surveillance
"This is an important and overdue piece of legislation. We're dealing with intercept legislation that has been around since the '70s, and every Canadian knows how technology has changed since then," said Pecknold, who is also a deputy chief with the Central Saanich Police Service in British Columbia.
But the telecommunications industry has notified the government it won't support the law in its current form, according to documents obtained this week by Canwest News Service under the Access to Information Act.
"The associations are very concerned by the fact that (the lawful-access legislation) is entirely silent on the question of compensation for operational costs, notwithstanding that the topic is currently a significant point of dispute between certain (law-enforcement agencies) and (telecom service providers)," states a joint submission to the government by the Information Technology Association of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Association of Internet Providers and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.
The industry groups have proposed amending the law to "provide reasonable compensation" to service providers for intercepting private communications on behalf of law enforcement and handing over subscriber information.
Compensation has been a long-standing point of contention between telecommunications service providers and the police.
Some municipal police forces have refused to pay claims for compensation submitted by telecom providers.
But Pecknold says the Supreme Court ruling clarifies that any right to compensation must be spelled out in the law. "It reiterates the principle that every citizen, corporate or otherwise, has a responsibility to co-operate with the state in matters of public safety."
According to the documents obtained by Canwest News, officials at the Public Safety department were also closely watching the Telus case to see how it might impact lawful-access legislation.
Privacy advocates and civil-liberties groups have also raised concerns about the proposed law.
Some have speculated the Harper government is hesitant to re-introduce a law that could cause a public backlash over privacy issues.
But Pecknold said law-enforcement agencies are willing to work with privacy groups to address their concerns. And he noted the original bill was introduced by the Liberals, suggesting it would not be too difficult for the Conservatives to seek bipartisan support.
The Public Safety department did not immediately return a request for comment.