Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Contrast in Individual Rights . . . .

Compare this story in Canada, and in particular British Columbia,

Court limits police wiretaps
B.C. ruling makes emergency surveillance illegal without judge's approval

Neal Hall - Vancouver Sun - Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In a ruling that has national ramifications, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has struck down a section of the Criminal Code that allowed police to intercept private conversations without a judge's authorization.

The section applied to emergency situations when a person's life is in danger.

Justice Barry Davies ruled last Friday that Section 184.4 of the code is unconstitutional because it violates the "Section 8" rights of six people accused of kidnapping.

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms covers the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

Since the ruling was made by a justice of a superior court, it applies across Canada. But it will not take effect immediately

with this story in the US:

House Defeats FISA Extension
Feb 13, 2008(The Politico)

House Democrats were unable to hold together their caucus on a key intelligence vote on Wednesday, as a coalition of Republicans, Blue Dog Democrats and liberals helped defeat a measure to extend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as the deadline approaches.

The measure, which failed 191 to 229, would have extended the bill an additional three weeks to work out differences with the Senate on the issue of granting immunity to telecom companies which aided the federal government in wiretapping.

The Democratic bill was undone by strong opposition from Republicans and 34 Democrats, including both members of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition who want to see a bill passed, and liberal members who oppose many other aspects of the wiretapping program.

Looks like our decision to move North of the 49th is looking better and better . . . .

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