Tag Archives: personal privacy
November 16, 2014

Why does my Doctor want to know if I own Firearms?

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Ryan Steacy liked this post

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Why does my family physician want to know if I own Firearms before treating me for [insert medical issue here]?

The only doctor who will ask you about gun ownership before treating you is a doctor who hates guns. Any doctor who hunts or target shoots or believes in your Right to Self-Defense isn’t going to ask the question. He won’t care. It’s only anti-gun doctors who believe you must abdicate your Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms before he or she will treat you.

There is a single reason for medical practitioners demanding to know if you own firearms before treating you. It’s got nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with politics. Their politics, not yours.

It’s obscene, but that’s the reality. The problem is so bad that two states, Florida and Missouri, have passed a law against the practice, effectively a gag order against doctors prying into that particular area of a patient’s life.

The practice comes out of the Center for Disease Control’s decision that guns are a disease and they must treat ownership of them as a disease.

President Obama, in his gun violence a “public health crisis” rhetoric, announced in 2013 he would fund the Center for Disease Control to “study the issue“, or in layman’s terms, look at ways of stripping people of guns based on a medical model. He also rescinded the 1995 prohibition on using federal tax dollars to advocate and/or promote “gun control”.

“While year after year, those who oppose even modest gun-safety measures have threatened to defund scientific or medical research into the causes of gun violence, I will direct the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce it.”

Daniel Webster, director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research, backed Obama’s anti-gun plans.

“I agree that the CDC should be free to fund high-quality research into the causes and solutions to gun violence, one of the leading causes of premature mortality in the U.S. that affects not only deaths and injuries, but mental health as well.”

The CDC ought to stick to matters of medicine and stay out of social policy. As Emily Miller of the Washington Times noted in her January 2013 column, “Tax Dollars for Gun Control“,

By calling gun violence a “public health crisis” on Wednesday, Mr. Obama echoed Mr. Clinton’s model. It’s a move that could cost lives, as shifting funding away from fighting disease creates severely misplaced priorities. In 2010, 780,213 Americans died from cardiovascular disease and 574,743 from cancer, compared with 11,078 firearm homicides.

Under the Bush administration, the CDC already conducted a two-year independent study of the laws, including bans on specified firearms or ammunition; gun registration; concealed-weapon carry; and zero-tolerance for firearms in schools. The scientists concluded in 2003 that there was “insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence.”

The notion that suicidal people denied access to firearms will not kill themselves, statistics on both sides of the border show that to be false.

Then in 1992, writing in another New England Journal of Medicine piece, Kellermann cited an American Journal of Psychiatry study to back up a claim that “limiting access to firearms could prevent many suicides.” Instead, that study really concluded that suicidal people who don’t have guns find other ways to kill themselves.

In Canada as in the United States, while anti-gun forces triumphantly crowed that suicides by gun were down (correct, they were), those same anti-gun forces refused to acknowledge that suicides by hanging grew exponentially for the same time period, and were now higher than the number of suicides by gun they said were “prevented”.

People didn’t stop killing themselves, they simply chose a different method.

To put an end to the practice of harassing patients about gun ownership, Florida passed the “Florida Firearm Owners Privacy Act (FOPA)” which prohibits doctors from asking their patients if they own or possess firearms.

Anti-gun doctors and their associations, like the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to name but two, were up in arms over the legislation, claiming it violated their First Amendment rights.

Doctors claimed that FOPA “will denigrate the practice of medicine” by preventing physicians from “communicating freely with their patients on issues relating to the ownership and possession of firearms.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), known for the passionate love of firearms (not!), predictably wrote in their brief to the court,

“there is no disagreement within the medical community that providing patients with information about firearm safety is a valid aspect of preventative care and thus beneficial to public health.”

Utter crap, of course, but that is irrelevant. The ACLU, AMA and AAP believe civilians should be disarmed, and will say pretty much anything to make that a reality.

Fortunately the courts disagree with such nonsense and the 11th Circuit Court specifically upheld Florida’s Firearm Owner’s Privacy Act in Wollschlaeger v. Governor of Florida.

The essence of the Act is simple: medical practitioners should not record information or inquire about patients’ firearm-ownership status when doing so is not necessary to providing the patient with good medical care. The Act’s harassment and discrimination provisions serve to reinforce these prohibitions.

As suggested by the complaints the Florida legislature received prior to passage of the Act, patients are aware that their answers to physicians’ inquiries will be entered into their medical record, and may fear that their record will be shared with third parties, including, for example, government bureaucrats.

We need not speculate as to the reasons a patient may have for objecting to the sharing of his or her firearm-ownership status, but we note that a patient might be concerned about disclosing to a physician information regarding any number of private topics when such information is not relevant to his or her medical care for similar reasons. For example, a patient may not wish to disclose his or her religious or political affiliations, sexual preferences, or bank account balance to a physician.

The Act merely circumscribes the unnecessary collection of patient information on one of many potential sensitive topics. It does so as a means of protecting a patient’s ability to receive effective medical treatment without compromising the patient’s privacy with regard to matters unrelated to healthcare.

Nothing in Florida law prevents or prohibits doctors from expressing their views on firearms or firearm ownership. Their First Amendment Rights are not infringed, but their ability to violate the Privacy Rights of their patients most certainly is.

As the National Rifle Association stated in their brief to the court in Wollschlaeger v. Governor of Florida,

“The Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act is another reasonable regulation of the medical practice. It exhorts doctors to stick to practicing medicine when examining patients, rather than pushing their own political agendas, and it protects patients from doctors who refuse to do so.”

Precisely.

Firearm ownership is not a disease, contrary to the irrational believes of some in the Center for Disease Control, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics.

These groups should stick to medicine and stay out of politics.

The American Civil Liberties Union ought to protect our rights, not violate them whenever it suits their political agenda.

 

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November 13, 2014

R. v. Spencer: Our Right to Privacy vs Police Need to Investigate Crime – Who Wins?

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Online-Privacy-PFTR

Police want easy access to personal information, generally with the assurance that they will not misuse the data they collect. The trouble is they almost always misuse the data, or if that statement seems too unfair, they often use it in ways never intended and they said they would never do.

Take the testimony of Scott Naylor of the Ontario Provincial Police before the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs regarding the so-called “lawful access” Bill C-13, also known as the “Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act”.

Naylor and the Ontario Provincial Police correctly want to stop child sexual exploitation and cyber-bullying. They get themselves in hot water, however, due to their overreaching desire to strip Canadians of their Right to Privacy in the process.

Here is Naylor’s testimony before the committee, courtesy of privacy expert Michael Geist:

If the bag was open and I could do anything, the biggest problem that I see in the world of child sexual exploitation is anonymity on the Internet. When we get our driver’s licence we’re required to get our picture taken for identification. When you get a mortgage you have to sign and provide identification. When you sign up for the Internet, there is absolutely no requirement for any kind of non-anonymity qualifier. There are a lot of people who are hiding behind the Internet to do all kinds of crime, including cybercrime, fraud, sexual exploitation and things along those lines.

The Internet is moving so quickly that law enforcement cannot keep up. If there were one thing that I would ask for discussion on is that there has to be some mechanism of accountability for you to sign on to an Internet account that makes it like a digital fingerprint that identifies it to you sitting behind the computer or something at that time. There are mechanisms to do it, but the Internet is so big and so vast at this point, and it’s worldwide, I’m not sure how that could happen, but that would certainly assist everybody. In that way I can make a digital qualification that that’s the person that I’m talking to. If I had one choice, that’s what I would ask for.

As Michael Geist points out, Scott Naylor starts his argument with something completely disconnected and irrelevant to the discussion of privacy rights and internet anonymity: driver’s licenses and mortgages.

I am required to prove who I am when I take out a mortgage because the bank needs to know who they have on a string, and where to go to yank on that string when required. A driver’s license is required to drive a motor vehicle on the state’s roadways. These comparisons are ludicrous, yet Naylor delivered these statements with a straight face as though some non-existent causal link between the two and privacy on the internet actually exists.

It doesn’t.

More to the point, and this is something a police officer looking to violate our Charter Right to Privacy ought to be fully aware of, is that Canada’s Supreme Court already ruled this year that our right to privacy is a paramount concern, and should only be violated in the most egregious cases.

The case I’m referring to is R. v. Spencer, 2014 SCC 43, where the Supreme Court made these statements about internet access and anonymity in a child pornography case:

The nature of the privacy interest engaged by the state conduct turns on the privacy of the area or the thing being searched and the impact of the search on its target, not the legal or illegal nature of the items sought. In this case, the primary concern is with informational privacy. Informational privacy is often equated with secrecy or confidentiality, and also includes the related but wider notion of control over, access to and use of information.

However, particularly important in the context of Internet usage is the understanding of privacy as anonymity. The identity of a person linked to their use of the Internet must be recognized as giving rise to a privacy interest beyond that inherent in the person’s name, address and telephone number found in the subscriber information.

Subscriber information, by tending to link particular kinds of information to identifiable individuals may implicate privacy interests relating to an individual’s identity as the source, possessor or user of that information. Some degree of anonymity is a feature of much Internet activity and depending on the totality of the circumstances, anonymity may be the foundation of a privacy interest that engages constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

In this case, the police request to link a given IP address to subscriber information was in effect a request to link a specific person to specific online activities. This sort of request engages the anonymity aspect of the informational privacy interest by attempting to link the suspect with anonymously undertaken online activities, activities which have been recognized in other circumstances as engaging significant privacy interests.

The Court goes on to say:

[66] In my view, in the totality of the circumstances of this case, there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in the subscriber information. The disclosure of this information will often amount to the identification of a user with intimate or sensitive activities being carried out online, usually on the understanding that these activities would be anonymous. A request by a police officer that an ISP voluntarily disclose such information amounts to a search.

[67] The intervener the Attorney General of Alberta raised a concern that if the police were not permitted to request disclosure of subscriber information, then other routine inquiries that might reveal sensitive information about a suspect would also be prohibited, and this would unduly impede the investigation of crimes. For example, when the police interview the victim of a crime, core biographical details of a suspect’s lifestyle might be revealed. I do not agree that this result follows from the principles set out in these reasons. Where a police officer requests disclosure of information relating to a suspect from a third party, whether there is a search depends on whether, in light of the totality of the circumstances, the suspect has a reasonable expectation of privacy in that information: Plant, at p. 293; Gomboc, at paras. 27-30, per Deschamps J. In Duarte, the Court distinguished between a person repeating a conversation with a suspect to the police and the police procuring an audio recording of the same conversation. The Court held that the danger is “not the risk that someone will repeat our words but the much more insidious danger inherent in allowing the state, in its unfettered discretion, to record and transmit our words“: at pp. 43-44.

Similarly in this case, the police request that the ISP disclose the subscriber information was in effect a request to link Mr. Spencer with precise online activity that had been the subject of monitoring by the police and thus engaged a more significant privacy interest than a simple question posed by the police in the course of an investigation.

Police routinely make requests for internet subscriber information from Internet Service Providers (ISPs). While there is no legal requirement for ISPs to surrender this data, and in fact a very real legal requirement to protect the personal information of their clients, the act of a police officer asking for someone’s personal information creates the illusion that their request has the authority of law and cannot be denied.

It does not, as the Supreme Court makes clear.

Turning to whether the search of Mr. Spencer’s home and computer was lawful, the Supreme Court makes it crystal clear that it was not.

[73] With respect, I cannot accept that this conclusion applies to s. 7(3) (c.1)(ii) of PIPEDA . Section 487.014(1) is a declaratory provision that confirms the existing common law powers of police officers to make enquiries, as indicated by the fact that the section begins with the phrase “[f]or greater certainty”: see Ward, at para. 49. PIPEDA is a statute whose purpose, as set out in s. 3 , is to increase the protection of personal information. Since in the circumstances of this case the police do not have the power to conduct a search for subscriber information in the absence of exigent circumstances or a reasonable law, I do not see how they could gain a new search power through the combination of a declaratory provision and a provision enacted to promote the protection of personal information.

[74] The subscriber information obtained by police was used in support of the Information to Obtain which led to the issuance of a warrant to search Ms. Spencer’s residence. Without that information, the warrant could not have been obtained. It follows that if that information is excluded from consideration as it must be because it was unconstitutionally obtained, there were not adequate grounds to sustain the issuance of the warrant, and the search of the residence was therefore unlawful. I conclude, therefore, that the conduct of the search of Ms. Spencer’s residence violated the Charter : Plant, at p. 296; Hunter v. Southam, at p. 161. Nothing in these reasons addresses or diminishes any existing powers of the police to obtain subscriber information in exigent circumstances such as, for example, where the information is required to prevent imminent bodily harm. There were no such circumstances here.

Quite clearly the highest court in the land takes our right to personal privacy and anonymity on the internet very seriously. Equally clear is the fact that police forces routinely do NOT take that right seriously at all, and in fact ignore it as often as possible, since ignoring our rights makes their job of investigating crime much easier.

Is it a problem for police that we mere citizens have Rights and Freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Absolutely, and as a result they must find ways of doing their job that does not violate our rights.

Police don’t like that.

I suppose were I in their shoes I wouldn’t like my job being made more difficult either, but as I view this issue from the standpoint of a mere citizen I naturally disagree with police and their quest for the easy way out.

My right to privacy has meaning. I don’t care that they don’t like it, or that it makes their jobs more difficult.

Tough.

Where I find fault with the Supreme Court decision in this case is that even though the police request for information was not “lawful” the court ruled their behaviour was not egregious enough to warrant tossing out the evidence simply because police “reasonably thought” they acted lawfully when they did not.

While I would not want to be understood to be encouraging the police to act without warrants in “gray areas”, in light of the fact that the trial judge and three judges of the Court of Appeal concluded that Det. Sgt. Parisien had acted lawfully, his belief was clearly reasonable. In short, the police were acting by what they reasonably thought were lawful means to pursue an important law enforcement purpose.

They cite the fact that a trial judge and three Court of Appeal judges concluded Det. Sgt. Parisien acted reasonably as proof that he did. That is not the case. They said this, yet in the very next paragraph explain that the Charter violation is extremely serious.

[78] The second Grant factor is the impact of the Charter-infringing conduct on Mr. Spencer’s Charter-protected interests. That impact here was serious. As discussed above, anonymity is an important safeguard for privacy interests online. The violation of that anonymity exposed personal choices made by Mr. Spencer to be his own and subjected them to police scrutiny as such. This weighs in favour of excluding the evidence.

Their decision to allow the evidence to stand ultimately rests on the idea that since they’d caught a man with child pornography, the ends justified the means. I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea. Here is their actual written rationale:

[80] The offences here are serious and carry minimum prison sentences. Society has both a strong interest in the adjudication of the case and also in ensuring that the justice system remains above reproach in its treatment of those charged with these serious offences. If the evidence is excluded, the Crown will effectively have no case. The impugned evidence (the electronic files containing child pornography) is reliable and was admitted by the defence at trial to constitute child pornography. Society undoubtedly has an interest in seeing a full and fair trial based on reliable evidence, and all the more so for a crime which implicates the safety of children.

[81] Balancing the three factors, my view is that exclusion of the evidence rather than its admission would bring the administration of justice into disrepute, and I would uphold its admission.

Having caught someone who is downloading and distributing child pornography the Supreme Court says it must overlook the “serious” violation of Mr. Spencer’s Charter Rights because not to do so would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

This ruling essentially tells police they can do as they please so long as they “reasonably believe” they are following the law when they are not.

That is a very dangerous precedent to set.

Where do we draw the line between our Right to Privacy and police violations of it under the rationale that to do otherwise would bring the administration of justice into disrepute? It’s a hard question and one our Supreme Court did its best to answer in R. v. Spencer.

Did they get it right?

I would prefer that our Supreme Court hold our police to a higher standard when they violate our right to privacy. Just because the police wrongly believed they were acting in good faith when they clearly are not doesn’t justify their violation of our rights. This leads us down a road none of us want.

However, the Supreme Court of Canada concluded that when it the choice is between our Right to Privacy vs the need of police to investigate crime, the police win.

 

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June 2, 2014

Are You A Terrorist or do you simply Value Your Privacy?

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Mike Ackermann liked this post

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In digging through some information on another subject I stumbled across a copy of the moronic information pamphlet released by the FBI, titled “Communities Against Terrorism – Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities“, in its efforts to curb terrorism by creating a cadre of informants. I’d forgotten about this pamphlet and I think a short review is in order so we all know how to deal with those silly miscreants (aka mere citizens) who dare believe in their Right to Privacy.

Do you or anyone you know, while visiting an internet cafe or coffee shop…

  • always pay cash?
  • prefer to shield your computer screen from the view of others?
  • log onto AOL, ComCast or other “residential based internet provider”?
  • use an anonymous web web portal to shield your IP address?

Then you are a very suspicious person and the FBI wants someone to report your “very suspicious conduct“.

According to the FBI, anyone watching you and your very suspicious conduct ought to…

  • gather information about you without drawing attention to themselves
  • capture your license plate number and vehicle make and model
  • identify your name, ethnicity and what languages you speak, and
  • notify law enforcement immediately if they are concerned about your very suspicious conduct

The last 2 paragraphs of the pamphlet are brilliant. Utterly brilliant.

Preventing terrorism is a community effort. By learning what to look for, you can make a positive contribution in the fight against terrorism. The partnership between the community and law enforcement is essential to the success of anti-terrorism efforts.

Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine whether there is a basis to investigate. The activities outlined on this handout are by no means all-inclusive but have been compiled from a review of terrorist events over several years.

What is sad is they save their explanation that every single activity they deem suspicious is actually “lawful conduct or behaviour” for the fine print at the bottom of the page so small you need a magnifying glass to read.

While I agree we must all be aware of our surroundings it is treading on very dangerous ground to believe everyone who values their privacy and pays cash is a terrorist.

On that note I think I’ll take my laptop to the nearest internet cafe, grab a coffee, pay for it in cash, find the darkest corner I can to protect my screen from prying eyes and use a web anonymizer service to shield my IP address while I research my next article on, oh, I don’t know, how about the Anarchist Cookbook or the latest full auto firearm manufactured by Sig Sauer.

Oh yeah, and I’d better log onto my home ISP service and check my email while I’m at it.

That ought to be enough very suspicious conduct to qualify me for their snitch program, right?

 

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October 13, 2012

Privacy: We don’t care about it until the invasion of privacy gets up close and personal

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We live in a strange age.

We don’t care that airport security screeners take what amounts to naked pictures of us with their “porn scanners” before allowing us to board our flight, something that was unimaginable just ten short years ago.

We think nothing of posting our most private and intimate thoughts to Twitter or Facebook for the world to see.  We happily share photographs of our daily lives to these same social media sites without a single thought as to who might use these photos to do us harm.

We don’t even care that we are photographed by total strangers dozens or even hundreds of times a day by governments and corporations without our consent.

These same corporations and their RFID chips track our every purchase and even movements about their stores, yet we are unconcerned.

Our cell phones, the devices we just can’t live without, can be turned against us in a heartbeat yet we blissfully and ignorantly carry on as though there is nothing to be concerned about.

Yet when the invasion of privacy is up close an personal, when we can see the person tracking us,  suddenly we get our knickers in a twist and the world comes to an end.

Yet the unseen trackers, photographers and cell phone recorders don’t cross our minds for a moment…  Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes.

Perhaps our thoughts and priorities around personal privacy need to change.

YouTube user “IBMeddling” created a fantastic video that highlights this point.

Will how you operate in your daily life change after watching this short video?  I hope so.

 

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September 18, 2012

Privacy: A Relic from the Past

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George Orwell was right.

Big Brother is watching!

So is the menacing Big Sis over at the U.S.’s ubiquitous Homeland Security.

That evil government department is in accelerated motion toward total world surveillance that transcends Orwell’s projections as well as that of screenwriters Patrick McGoohan and George Markstein whose unnerving British TV series The Prisoner portrayed a secret agent who suddenly resigned in disgust.

Knowing too much to be left unattended on the “outside”, he is captured and renamed No. 6. “The Prisoner” is held captive in a mysterious resort known as “The Village” where he struggles to retain freedom, privacy and identity until one of his numerous escape plots is successful.

“I am not a number; I am a free man,” he insists, defiantly. ”What do you want?”

“InFORmation,” thunders a pervasive voice, although it’s obvious the authority’s appetite for “inFORmation” can never be satisfied.

And here we are in reality, under constant espionage with little hope to evade the spies who want every particle of “inFORmation”.

Companies offering Internet-related products and services willingly do the government’s bidding without giving two hoots about computer users except as a profitable commodity.

Two major culprits, Microsoft Windows and Google, should be high on anybody’s priority list to be avoided like the bubonic plague, although shunning them is nowhere near full-proof protection against snooping.

Google tracks your searches and steals your gmail information, then may dump you upon believing they have mined every ounce of golden information likely to emanate from your account.

The biggest problem facing Computer Age consumers is loss of privacy due to unscrupulous technological wizards who offer you no say about what personal information can be collected or where it can be disseminated. The master thieves simply steal it.

If minimizing surveillance is possible and consumers want to retain a modicum of privacy, they should not operate seemingly magical platforms which are infected with malicious software.

Like freedom, once privacy is gone, you can’t get it back.

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February 21, 2012

Inside the Prime Minister’s Office after Vic Toews called all Canadians child pornographers

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This video contains language not suitable for all audiences, as the saying goes, but is absolutely hilarious nevertheless.  This clip has floated around the internet for some time, but never in the context of opposing Bill C-30.

If you have a sense of humour, enjoy.

And while you’re here, how about downloading my Stop Bill C-30 WordPress plugin and installing it on your blog?  It will look just like the top right corner of this page.  For more information about the plugin, see my post Protect Your Right to Privacy and Help Stop Bill C-30.

🙂 (more…)

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February 20, 2012

Protect Your Right to Privacy and Help Stop Bill C-30

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The Conservative Government of Stephen Harper has introduced Bill C-30, disingenuously named the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act.  This Act seeks to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide police with your personal private information WITHOUT A SEARCH WARRANT.

Warrantless searches are not something Canadians should tolerate or be subjected to. If the police believe someone is committing or has committed a crime, they should be required to go before a judge and obtain a search warrant. Anything less is a violation of our Charter Rights and is 100% unacceptable.

If you believe in your Right to Privacy, and that if police believe you have committed a crime they should be required to go before a judge and obtain a search warrant before demanding your personal information, then please download my Stop Bill C-30 WordPress plugin and add it to your WordPress-powered blog.

The plugin is simple, and as you can see from viewing this page, adds a simple black banner to the top right corner of your WordPress website.  When you click on the ribbon you will be taken directly to RealPrivacy.ca, a website created by Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D., the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. (I’ve modified the plugin here on postcardsfromtheright.com to bring you to this post, but the one you download below will take your visitors to RealPrivacy.ca.)

She created this site to help stop what the government is calling “lawful access” legislation.  What this legislation does is anything but lawful, of course, because it strips you of your Right to Privacy, your Right against Unreasonable Search and Seizure, and your Right to Remain Silent.

Help promote Internet Privacy and use the tools provided by RealPrivacy.ca to educate yourself about the perils of Bill C-30 and also to let the government know you will not tolerate this legislation.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Prime Minister Stephen Harper need to know that Canadians value their personal privacy and will not tolerate a so-called conservative government stripping Canadians of our most precious right: Our Right to Privacy.

Download the Stop Bill C-30 WordPress Plugin

 

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January 24, 2012

What to do if the RCMP Calls You on the Phone About Your Firearms License

know-your-rights

It has come to my attention that the RCMP may or may not be phoning people who have firearms licenses expiring within the next 12 months.  I’ve heard of at least one individual who says they have been contacted on the telephone by someone claiming to be from the RCMP and that person demanded all kinds of personal information from them.

NOTE You are under NO OBLIGATION to answer personal questions from an unidentified voice on the telephone!

See: http://www.canadiangunnutz.com/forum/showthread.php?t=699862

I have no way of confirming whether or not this story is true, but here are the steps that every firearm owner should follow if they receive a telephone call from anyone claiming to be from the RCMP or any other branch of law enforcement.

While this all sounds a bit absurd and far-fetched, the RCMP does seem intent upon getting firearms out of the hands of legitimate, law-abiding firearm owners when they should be far more concerned about getting them out of the hands of violent criminals.  Anyone willing to jump through all the hoops and background checks to get a firearms license is not likely to be a threat to anyone.

However…

A voice on the telephone is simply that: a voice on the telephone.  You have no way of confirming they are who they claim to be.

That being said, here are some simple rules that everyone should follow if they receive a phone call from anyone claiming to be from any branch of law enforcement.

Step 1. Understand that just because someone claims to be from the police, that doesn’t make it so. Do not answer personal questions about firearm ownership or anything else to an unidentified voice on the telephone.

Step 2. You are under no obligation to answer personal questions from an unidentified voice on the telephone, regardless of who they claim to be.  Do not answer personal questions about firearm ownership or anything else from an unidentified voice on the telephone.

Step 3. Never EVER answer personal questions about firearm ownership or any other personal issue from an unidentified voice on a telephone.

Now that the first three steps are fully understood, it’s time to get to the good stuff.

🙂

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