Canadian Federal government plans to toughen child porn fighting laws

Federal government plans to toughen child porn fighting laws: The Conservative federal government plans to introduce new legislation Tuesday forcing Internet providers to alert police if they encounter any host sites linked to child pornography, Canwest News Service has learned.

By Kim Bolan, Canwest News ServiceNovember 23, 2009 1:43 AM

The Internet companies would also be forced to safeguard evidence if they believe a child-pornography offence has been committed using a server they provide, a senior government official confirmed Sunday.

The new bill would also make it mandatory that any tip received by Internet companies about potential child-porn sites be reported to a designated agency.

The legislation allows for fines to Internet providers who do not comply of up to $100,000 for corporations, and up to $10,000 and six months in jail for companies owned by a sole proprietor.

At present, Internet providers are not obligated by law to pass on information to law enforcement agencies, though many do so voluntarily.

Three provinces — Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia — have made it mandatory under child protection laws for Internet companies to call police if they suspect or have knowledge of online child porn.

The proposed law comes just days after the release of a study that found Canada is one of the leading countries in the world for hosting child-porn sites.

The report, released by Cybertip.ca, examined more than 15,000 child-porn websites worldwide and found Canada ranked second behind the U.S. in terms of the number of commercial porn sites featuring children.

Canada was found to host eight per cent of the sites — far behind the U.S., which hosts 65 per cent of the commercial child-porn sites worldwide.

‘As strong as our laws are within Canada, no country is really free from this type of material existing on websites,’ Cybertip director Signy Arnason said. ‘We have 60 countries . . . that were hosting child-sexual abuse content.’

The report also details how child-pornography websites cover their tracks.

In one 48-hour period, Cybertip.ca watched a website cycle through 212 unique IP addresses in 16 different countries — making the specific location of the information very difficult for law enforcement to track.

And a recent report by the federal ombudsman for victims titled Every Image, Every Child, said the number of Internet images of ‘serious child abuse’ quadrupled between 2003 and 2007 and that the images are getting more violent and depicting younger and younger children.

The new bill — called ‘An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service’ — is considered to be complementary to two other bills. Those bills — C-46 and C-47 — were introduced last June and are still at the committee stage.

Bill C-46 — the Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act — provides police with additional tools to obtain information from Internet providers related to any criminal investigation. The tools include preservation orders to freeze data for up to 21 days, production orders compelling a company to provide a customer’s e-mail or IP address, and tracking orders to require a cellphone company to use its network to assist police in finding a particular cellphone or BlackBerry user.

Bill C-47 — the Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement in the 21st Century Act — allows police to obtain information about clients from Internet providers and forces those companies to have the technical ability to allow police to intercept information.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter

Be the first to comment on "Canadian Federal government plans to toughen child porn fighting laws"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*