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Monday, 21 July 2014

Anti-Terrorism Bill (AKA We Can Jail You Whenever We Want)

I somehow missed Canada's "anti-terrorism" bill last year. Isn't it funny how we only hear about these bills after they pass? Almost like we don't even get a chance to protest.

Anyway, this part is hilarious:

"An individual can be forced to appear at a secret hearing without any charges being laid if authorities believe he or she has knowledge of a terrorist activity. The individual must appear and answer questions or risk being jailed for up to 12 months."

This is a fucking joke. Why? For one simple reason: "terrorist activity" can be defined however the government wants to define it, like the Patriot Act:

"There are fears that the Patriot Act reduces or removes many of the civil liberties enjoyed in the United States and guaranteed by the Constitution. The right to privacy (not specifically mentioned in the Constitution but supported by numerous Supreme Court decisions) and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures are the most notable infringements due to the expansion of the government’s ability to conduct wiretaps, obtain NSLs and perform searches without notification. The detainment of material witnesses and terrorist suspects without access to lawyers, hearings or any formal charges are seen as erosions of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, rights of due process and trial by jury, respectively... There are also fears that the law will be inappropriately used against non-terrorist criminals. In fact, it’s been used to remove homeless people from train stations, to pursue drug rings and to collect financial data on random visitors to Las Vegas."

"The detainment of material witnesses and terrorist suspects without access to lawyers, hearings or any formal charges..."

Unless I missed something, the new Canadian bill sounds eerily similar to the Patriot Act. Even if you didn't do anything, you can be dragged away by the great authority. If you refuse, they'll jail you for up to 12 months. Either way, have fun going to a "secret hearing" without being officially charged. Never mind the "vote 666" either, a "secret hearing" is an ominous phrase if I've ever heard one.

I love when US citizens think there's more freedom up North. Sometimes, I'm too engrossed by corrupt US antics to remember that Canada is also going down the shitter.

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