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(02/24/12) -

Canadians Reject Components of Bill C-30, Deem it Too Intrusive

Half of respondents believe the House of Commons should not pass the proposed legislation.

Canadians have not reacted well to the proposed Bill C-30, and many are voicing disagreement with several components of the legislation, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,011 Canadian adults, 45 per cent of respondents have followed stories related to Bill C-30 “very closely” or “moderately closely.” Respondents aged 17-to-34 (47%) and those over the age of 55 (also 47%) are more likely to have been paying attention to the debate on this proposed legislation.

Respondents to this survey were provided with seven elements of Bill C-30 and asked whether they agreed or disagreed with each one. Only three components get the thumbs-up from a majority of Canadians: allowing police to get warrants to obtain information transmitted over the Internet and data related to its transmission, including locations of individuals and transactions (68%), changing the definition of hate propaganda to include communication targeting sex, age and gender (63%) and allowing courts to compel other parties to preserve electronic evidence (57%).

Canadians are almost evenly divided on providing for an internal audit of warrantless requests that will go to a government minister and oversight review body (Agree 40%, Disagree 43%).

Respondents were not satisfied with the remaining elements, with 57 per cent disagreeing with forcing Internet providers and other makers of technology to provide a “back door” to make communications accessible to police, and 62 per cent rejecting a requirement for telecommunications and Internet providers to give subscriber data to police, national security agencies and the Competition Bureau without a warrant, including names, phone numbers and IP addresses.

The most unpopular measure included in Bill C-30 is requiring telecommunications providers to disclose, without a warrant, six types of identifiers from subscriber data (Name, Address, Telephone number, Email address, IP address and Local service provider identifier). Almost two thirds of Canadians (64%) disagree with this idea.

Most Canadians (53%) believe Bill C-30 is too intrusive, and that the government should not be able to track the movements of Canadians or reading their e-mails without a warrant. Only one third (27%) believe Bill C-30 is necessary because many criminal activities, including child pornography, have evolved with technology and police need broader tools to deal with these crimes.

The regions that show the highest level of rejection for Bill C-30 are Alberta (66%), Atlantic Canada (63%) and Ontario (58%).

When asked how the House of Commons should deal with Bill C-30, half of Canadians (51%) want their federal lawmakers to defeat the legislation, while 35 per cent would prefer to pass it. Once again, Alberta, Atlantic Canada and Ontario are the areas where Bill C-30 is regarded in a negative light.

Analysis

While Canadians are content with the measures related to obtaining warrants, changing the definition of hate propaganda and preserving electronic evidence that are included in Bill C-30, the public provides a negative review of the more contentious aspects of the proposed legislation. The idea of surrendering subscriber data and identifiers without a warrant is rejected by almost two thirds of Canadians.

Strong majorities of people who voted for the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Liberal Party in the last federal election brand Bill C-30 as too intrusive (62% and 58% respectively), but it is important to note that Conservative voters are not as supportive of this government initiative as they have been with others in the past. Almost half of Tory voters (47%) think the proposed legislation is too intrusive. Conservatives are evenly split on what the House of Commons should do with Bill C-30. New Democrats and Grits clearly want to see it defeated.

Alberta, traditionally a Conservative stronghold, is not on the government’s side on this issue. Albertans are more likely to wish for the defeat of Bill C-30 than Ontarians, British Columbians and Quebecers.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

CONTACT:

Mario Canseco, Vice President, Angus Reid Public Opinion
+877 730 3570
mario.canseco@angus-reid.com

Methodology: From February 23 to February 24, 2012, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,011 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.