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How to look busy without actually doing anything

I was about to get all up in arms about the federal government's latest stab at Internet surveillance legislation - specifically the apparent return to the plan to allow police to get personal information from ISPs without a warrant.

Then I realized there was no point. After all, it's not like the government is making any serious effort to pass this legislation.

That it was introduced at the very end of the spring sitting suggests that seeing lawful access through Parliament is not exactly a top priority for the Conservatives. It's just a way of throwing some red meat to their base - much like the various other law-and-order bills that have popped up lately, many of which are similar rehashes of past legislation that never went anywhere.

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That's not because of failure; it's by design. Actually implementing these measures would (a) subject many of them to legal challenges and (b) mean the government would have to come up with new ones to throw to its supporters next time. Just keeping them perpetually on the table, but not in law, is much easier.

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About the Author
Political Feature Writer

Adam Radwanski is The Globe and Mail's political feature writer. More

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