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In Canada, Terror Attacks Prompt Surveillance-Expanding Legislation

Legislation to be heard in Parliament later this month would hasten detentions, data sharing by national security agencies, according to new reporting.

Parliament Hill in Ottawa.  Following recent attacks, Canada is pushing forth legislation that would expand surveillance and allow for "preventative detentions."  (Photo:  Asif A. Ali/flickr/cc)

Canada's federal government is reportedly capitalizing on recent terror attacks with proposed counter-terrorism legislation that could threaten privacy rights.

According to reporting by the Globe and Mail and CBC News, the legislation will be introduced when Parliament resumes at the end of the month, and is ostensibly to thwart attacks like those that occurred in Ottawa and Quebec in October.

CBC News reports: "The legislation is the centerpiece of a package of wide-ranging security measures to be unveiled in the coming weeks."

The Globe and Mail states that the legislation will make it easier for law enforcement to make "preventative arrests or detentions of suspected extremists," will include a "campaign to thwart radicalization in young people," and will remove barriers for national security agencies to get and share information.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said last week following the attacks in Paris, "The international jihadist movement has declared war," adding that "the reality is we are going to have to confront it."

The government already put forth Bill C-44, or the "Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act," which critics said would widen surveillance powers at the risk of personal freedoms.

Following the roll-out of that legislation, a trio of civil liberties advocates warned: "It would be perilous to move ahead with another round of national security law reform unless past human rights violations are remedied and Canada’s national security review and oversight gap is—finally—addressed. Otherwise, what exactly are we protecting?"

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