Brad Thomson (Ottawa South, Progressive Canadian Party) answers CIPPIC questions

Do you agree that we need legislation to protect Canadians from harmful technologies like the Sony-BMG rootkit DRM?

Yes. The problems of copying music, for example, have existed since the advent of cassette tapes back in the 1970's. Any infringement upon copyright laws was, and still is, very difficult to detect and police. But if is of course not proper for Sony or anyone else to endanger consumers computers. There are programs that cannot be copied and remain installable, while no danger to the computer exists. The same can be done with music in terms of copying. The copies don't have to work, while the computer does not have to be put in jeopardy.

Do you support Canadian innovators' rights to reverse engineer or otherwise deal with a work for the purposes of security or interoperability research?

Yes.

Do you agree that we need stronger laws and enforcement mechanisms to protect Canadians from unwanted behaviours associated with spyware?

Yes.

What would your government, if elected, do to stop the flood of spam that continues to plague Internet users?

I think the problem is international. Canada should strive to have the United Nations set up a control board to oversee all internet questions, and this would be one of them. So long as there is no one regulatory body with authority, none of these sorts of problems can be overcome.

Do you agree with civil liberties groups that:

1. There should be no increase in state surveillance without full justification, including clear evidence of the need for such new capacities and powers and of their likely effectiveness?

2. Searches and surveillance should require judicial authorization on a "reasonable and probable cause to believe" standard; and that exceptions to this rule must be narrowly limited, subject to strict conditions and safeguards, and should not be expanded to include subscriber data

3. All state search and surveillance activity should be subject to rigorous oversight by an independent body to guard against police abuse of these intrusive powers?

Yes. We live in difficult times, and too often it seems to me, individuals champion their rights and liberties at the expense of the well-being of the common good. Some disagreed with Trudeau when he brought in the War Measures Act. But it was argued that the temporary suspension of normal individual rights and liberties was necessary due to the dangerous situation that took place. I agree. While we do not want to see excessive and unnecessary powers in the hands of the state and policing, we have the obligation to ensure the well-being of the common good. Thus it would be unwise to prevent reasonable surveillance. If an error is to be made, it must be on the side of sometimes unduly restricting freedom or privacy, rather than allowing those with wrongful intent to get away with potential atrocities in the name of protecting our individual rights.

1. How would you reform Canadian privacy laws in order to provide meaningful privacy protection in the Internet era?

2. Do you support amendments to PIPEDA that would allow for class actions and penalties, so that companies are held accountable for privacy breaches affecting large numbers of Canadians?

This seems to me to be an international problem, one that no single nation can address adequately alone. But I think it is important to note that no one is entitled to privacy if they are breaking any laws. The common good overrides the rights of the individual.

Yes.

Do you support a Canadian law requiring companies to notify individuals of security breaches that expose the individuals to identity theft?

Yes.

Do you support continued government and regulatory intervention in telecommunications so as to ensure that Canadians of all income levels and in all regions of the country, including those with disabilities, have access to good quality, reliable, and functional telecommunications services at affordable and reasonable prices?

Yes.

Do you agree that the following policy objectives currently set out in the Telecommunications Act are fundamentally important and should remain the guiding principles of Canadian telecommunications policy:

s.7(a) "to facilitate the orderly development throughout Canada of a telecommunications system that serves to safeguard, enrich and strengthen the social and economic fabric of Canada and its regions";

s.7(b) "to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada"?

Yes.

Do you agree that any reforms to the Telecommunications Act should be subject to a full public review five years after they have been enacted?

Five years seems arbitrary, but some review, yes.

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Whew... "yes" means "no" and I hope Brad Thomson loses big

Man Brad fails big time with the Q&A. Every single answer where he said anything more than "yes" was in reality a "no" answer.

"There are programs that cannot be copied and remain installable, while no danger to the computer exists. The same can be done with music in terms of copying. The copies don't have to work, while the computer does not have to be put in jeopardy."

That statement says, I Brad Thomson don't know how a computer works. But I'm willing to pass laws based on my limited and incorrect understanding. I don't want an MP supporting new legislation about something they fundamentally do not comprehend. That is just asking for disaster.

What would he do to combat spam? Answer: Absolutely nothing. Spam isn't Brad Thomson's problem, and Canada doesn't need to deal with it at any level of government. Let someone else deal with it. Perhaps he thinks Canada should take that stance on all cross border crimes... after all it's not like there are many... oh wait... lots of crimes span borders from copyright infringement to terrorist acts. Maybe sticking your head in the sand Brad isn't the best solution.

Does Brad agree with civil liberties groups?.. Absolutely not. Be afraid of anyone who says:

"If an error is to be made, it must be on the side of sometimes unduly restricting freedom or privacy"

Then he cites the WMA as a good and necessary thing! The ONLY good thing that came out of the War Measures Act was the huge public backlash and criticism from it's use. That criticism paved the way for the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Brad apparently disagrees with historians and even high school history classes that use of the War Measures Act was an overreaction and injustice in it's own right.

As to privacy Brad Thomson doesn't seem to get that either. Apparently if he is an MP, privacy is something that the Canadian gov won't care about... as that will somehow be someone else's problem.

"I think it is important to note that no one is entitled to privacy if they are breaking any laws."

So don't speed or jaywalk or infringe copyrights... that forfeits all your rights to privacy.

"The common good overrides the rights of the individual."

Whew... that's a scary statement. Most would agree that individual rights are a common good. I wonder if Brad agreed with the "common good" when Japanese Canadians like David Suzuki were forcibly relocated into camps during WWII. Perhaps individual rights and privacy don't need to be respected and the Conservatives should conduct 24h surveillance on all Canadian Muslims to prevent terrorism... "For the Common Good."

Wow... That is some set of answers he gave. The questions were so leading they were almost rhetorical and he couldn't have given answers that were more offensive if he tried.