OTTAWA, ON. (NEWS1130) – The Conservatives are on one side and child pornographers are on the other.  The Harper government is drawing a line in the sand over its controversial online surveillance legislation. 

The tough talk comes ahead of Ottawa reintroducing legislation that would make it easier for police to monitor your Internet activity.  Yesterday, Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia questioned whether the government would use information it gets through the law to target Canadians for simple protest activity.

“We are proposing to bring in measures to bring our laws into the 21st century and provide police with the lawful tools that they need.  He [Scarpaleggia] can either stand with us or with the child pornographers,” says Federal Justice Minister Vic Toews.

He insists Canada needs stronger, more modern laws to ensure criminals don’t use technology to get away with crimes like distributing child pornography.  However, one of the criticisms is the law would require Internet service providers to give out personal information without a warrant.

Steve Anderson, executive director of the Internet advocacy group Openmedia.ca, says the kind of language Toews is using only underlines how badly the Tories have lost this debate.

“If the government wants to stop child pornographers, they should write legislation that targets child pornographers.  But instead, they’re targeting every Canadian and they refuse to answer the question, ‘why?”

Anderson says many Canadians are opposed, pointing to the 81,000 signatures Openmedia.ca gathered in its Stop Online Spying petition