Dale McFee, President, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
The police of Canada are active players in the digital revolution.
There are four goals here for the CACP:
Quality of service
The public right and responsibility and right tomparticipate
Innovative solutions to crime and public order
The CACP is not a privacy advocate, but a very interested party in access to information in alignment with those four goals.
Four areas of the CACP relate to privacy and security:
Counter terrorism and national security
Emergency management and informatics
Law amendments committee
"... The police are the public and the public are the police."
Sir Robert Peele was quoted to make the point that policing the electronic domain is not exclusively the domain of the police, but the public must contribute and participate. Case in point is the wide spread use of portable digital recording devices such as phones and cameras.
Digitally recorded information from the public shifted the perspective of the police as to who were the instigators of the Stanley Cup riots.
Hackers recently outed NeoNazi groups in Canada to the RCMP and prevented hate crimes.
Court acceptance of digital evidence varies by region and by individual judge, as the law is vague and open to interpretation. Police will continue to test the bounds of digital privacy in the interest of keeping peace and preventing crime, while respecting the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms. This document is silent on the right to privacy, or at the best, vague.
PI is not defined in the criminal code of Canada.
Information is claimed as the lifeblood of policing, so the plea is for access to the information desired. The police are asking for checks and balances but not roadblocks. The need for privacy is acknowledged, but the need for information is vital. Lawful access debates have been going on for 10 years, and the police are asking for a balance between privacy and safety.
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Location:13th Privacy and Security Conference