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Conservatives killing off Internet surveillance bill

OTTAWA (NEWS1130) – The Conservative government says it is scrapping its controversial Internet surveillance bill in favour of modest changes to Canada’s warrantless wiretap law.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says Bill C-30, the so-called Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, will not go ahead.

The law was sought by police who said they needed it to go after child pornography, but the legislation ran into strong resistance from privacy and civil liberties advocates.

It would have forced Internet service providers to maintain systems that allowed police to intercept and track online communications.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews set off a public firestorm when he told parliamentarians they could either stand with the government on Bill C-30 or stand with child pornographers.

Nicholson says the government will instead take a small part of the legislation and create a new law that addresses Supreme Court concerns over emergency use of police wiretaps without a warrant.