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Canadians Respond to Proposed Cyberbullying Bill

www.endcyberbullying.org

Recently, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper proposed C-13, a controversial cyberbullying bill that was the subject to debate. Controversy arose due to the law giving telecommunications and Internet service providers legal immunity for voluntarily giving customer private data to law enforcement agencies. Essentially, this bill would allow police to gain access to computers and remotely track cell phone users’ activities.

Results from a new poll at Forum Research has revealed the opinions of Canadian citizens. Nearly three quarters of Canadians surveyed in this study oppose the Conservatives’ C-13 bill. Only 15% approved of the bill, and 12% were neutral.

The poll showed that 40% of respondents put private information such as credit card numbers online. Most of these people expect their data to remain private online, and would therefore not be in favor of the bill. Reportedly, 69% of respondents disapproved of telecoms voluntarily giving the police personal data.

Another factor involved is the trust people place in organizations that possess private data. Doctors were well regarded by Canadians, but telecom and communication companies were not as trusted. Of those surveyed, only 36% of respondents trusted these companies.

Evidently, the bill has had the most opposition with the potential loss of online security. However, the need for government intervention with the growing issue of cyberbullying should not be undermined.