online privacy | February 22, 2012

Rick Mercer: Why the Government Shouldn't Peek Into Our Hard Drives

“The state has no business in the hard drives of the nation,” Rick Mercer said on his top-rated Rick Mercer Report this week. The Gemini-winning satirist was “ranting” about the controversy surrounding Vic Toews, the Minister of Public Safety, whose proposed Bill C-30 would allow the government, in Mercer’s words, to “peek into your hard drive” and gain access to all your online traffic, how much money you make, where you get your news, what you say to your best friend, and how you vote. The Globe and Mail has called it “troubling legislation.”

Mercer, like countless other Canadians, seemed particularly flabbergasted by Toews’ contention that Canadians have only two choices in accepting the bill. Here’s Mercer:

Vic says, “We have a choice to make here: we can side with the Conservatives, and let Vic peek. Or we can side with the child pornographers. Unfortunately for Vic, he forgot one very important thing: Canadians aren’t that stupid.

You can call us anything you want, Mercer concludes, addressing Toews.  “We’re not going to let you peek. That doesn’t make us criminal. It makes us Canadian.”

Though deftly entertaining and good natured, Mercer is unafraid to tackle controversial subjects—in fact, he often saves his best rants for them. Earlier this season, his impassioned rant against teen bullying sparked an outpouring of positive comments on a situation that has flown under the radar for too long. Before that, Mercer’s rant challenging young people to vote inspired countless op-ed articles and student-led gatherings.

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the internet | February 19, 2012