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Thwarted "Halifax Massacre" should be a lesson in the value of privacy and anonymity

With the thwarted Halifax murder plot, where three or four young people were planning to open fire at the Halifax Shopping Centre on Valentines Day, we can expect to hear a lot soon about how the "misfits" met online and likely conspired online. We can also expect to hear that this is an example of how important it is to chip away at privacy interests in online communications. Thought Minister Peter MacKay said "This is where investigative techniques and tools save lives, and the balance of privacy rights versus police powers to intercept and prevent violent crime is on full display," there is no information yet public that suggests that police intelligence gathering went into this effort.

According to the most recent reports, this plot was thwarted by an anonymous call to CrimeStoppers. The person did not call 911 or any regular police number where the call would have been traced and they would have asked for the person's name. The person chose a means to communicate where his or her identity was kept private.

This speaks to the value and importance of privacy, does it not?

I also note that the Minister gave effusive credit to the Halifax Regional Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, police agencies in the United States and the Canada Border Services Agency, but never thanked the single, anonymous individual who called CrimeStoppers and thwarted the potential massacre. 
Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay spoke to reporters on Saturday regarding the investigation into "murderous misfits" who allegedly plotted to kill a large number of people in Halifax, N.S.
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A presentation that I gave today on the "spyware" provisions of Canada's anti-spam law (#CASL), which actually affects most software companies and many employers. 
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Privacy Commissioner of Canada releases results of second GPEN #Privacy Sweep focused on mobile apps 
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Canadians deserve to participate in an informed conversation about privacy and surveillance

#privacy   #surveillance   #lawfulaccess   #lawadjacentaccess  
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An important step towards greater transparency in Canada. 
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Have them in circles
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Grant Fraser's profile photo
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Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.
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This is the Google+ page for the Canadian Privacy Law Blog, which reports on developments in Canadian privacy law.