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Pre-Crime: Canada’s Justice Minister Defends “Online Harms Bill” Powers To Place People Under House Arrest, Cut Internet Access

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Canada is facing stiff competition from many countries around the world, some of them labeled as “authoritarian,” in the race to institutionalize and normalize, and write into law, some distinctly dystopian concepts, like “pre-crime.”

And unfortunately for Canada’s democracy, its government seems to be doing very well in this aspect.

Justice Minister and Attorney General Arif Virani is currently defending a bizarre provision contained in the country’s “online harms” (C-63) bill that allows the authorities to place people under house arrest out of “fear” they could, at some point in the future, commit a “hate crime.”

Alternatively, citizens singled out in this way will be made to wear a tracking device – an electronic tag.

“Awful and unlawful” is how critics might describe the bill, which, judging by the minister’s comments, the government wants to rush through the parliament. However, Virani is trying to put a positive spin on it by suggesting it is some kind of democratic breakthrough that finds a balance that allows “awful but lawful” content to be kept online.

Meanwhile, what about the people who post it? Some of them will be kept at home or surveilled around the clock, which is the sum total of the provision. And Virani – who, in his role as attorney general, along with a judge, will be the one to decide who qualifies for this treatment – sees nothing wrong with any of it.

“(If) there’s a genuine fear of an escalation, then an individual or group could come forward and seek a peace bond against them and to prevent them from doing certain things,” Virani said of the “suspected future suspects.”

In Canada, according to the Criminal Code, a peace bond is issued “when a person appears likely to commit a criminal offense, but there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an offense has actually been committed.”

Virani explained that such a peace bond could impose restrictions on people approaching “a synagogue or a mosque” (presumably, also a church). Or, their use of the internet, but also somehow behavior could get “restricted,” he continued.

“That would help to deradicalize people who are learning things online and acting out in the real world violently, sometimes fatally,” said the official.

C-63 also seeks to introduce the life sentence for those who commit “a hate crime offense” along with another type of crime.

Such is the messaging and the climate created by this type of legislation that the Canadian press finds it necessary to reassure people while reporting about C-63’s life imprisonment provision, that it will not apply in cases of “mischief to a garage door.”

But if it did – one might be amazed, but at this point in time, hardly surprised.

The post Pre-Crime: Canada’s Justice Minister Defends “Online Harms Bill” Powers To Place People Under House Arrest, Cut Internet Access appeared first on Reclaim The Net.

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