Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at www.thevertexfighter.blogspot.com.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Thank you for opposing Bill C-51 - please take one more action

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Mass Surveillance - yet another reason why Bill C-51 needs more reflection 

Dear Tracy,

Thank you for signing Amnesty International's petition on the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act, Bill C-51.

Your voice has helped raise awareness across Canada that the serious shortcomings of this bill will undermine our human rights.

Public concern about this proposed bill helped broaden the debate, yet following Amnesty's appearance before the Standing Committee, I was struck by everything that the government had completely dodged and ignored during our session, especially concerns that:

-new CSIS threat-reduction powers violate international human rights law, show contempt for foreign law, and draw judges into human rights violations;   
 
-exempting only "lawful" demonstrations from new definitions of threats to the security of Canada is an assault on meaningful protests by Indigenous peoples, environmental groups, the labour movement and others.

The new criminal offence of promoting terrorism “in general” will violate and chill free expression in ways we will likely never be able to measure;  

You can read our longer list of grave concerns by reading my reflections following the Standing Committee or by reading Amnesty's Brief.


But what is the context of this new legislation?

Even as this legislation proposes new and worrying powers for CSIS, Amnesty has concerns about some of Canada’s other national security agencies and practices that are putting our human rights at risk.

We now know that Canada, together with its allies in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand – known as the "Five Eyes" alliance – shares vast amounts of internet and phone communications collected illegally through mass surveillance of almost the entire world. Private emails, calls, texts, internet searches, contact lists, phone locations, webcam images and much more are being collected and stored.

These programs that snoop on everything we do online violate privacy on a massive scale and have a chilling effect on freedom of expression.

Please sign and share Amnesty's global petition to end mass surveillance
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Documents revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden demonstrate that surveilance is being undertaken indiscriminately, without clear rules subject to public scrutiny and with very limited - if any - oversight and safeguards against abuse.
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Over-sight, safeguards, and respect for international human rights obligations - these are the same elements missing in the proposed Bill C-51.

Thank you for speaking up and help raise awareness in Canada of these vital human rights issues!
Sincerely,

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Alex Neve,
Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada 

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