Liberals introduce bill to allow eavesdropping by Canadian police

The Liberal government introduced a bill in Parliament on Tuesday that would allow police and intelligence officials to demand personal information about telephone and Internet subscribers.

Authorities could request a person's name, address, telephone or cell phone number, or IP address, which identifies a computer's coordinates on the Internet, although the government says release of such information by communication companies would be subject to privacy safeguards.

The initiative, more than three years in the making, could ignite concerns about undue state surveillance and the rights to privacy in Canadian homes and businesses.

The proposed law would also force communication service providers _ including traditional telephone companies, wireless firms and Internet providers _ to phase out technical barriers to police and security agencies seeking access to messages or conversations.

But with a general election call expected in the next few weeks, the bill was expected to die on the floor of the House of Commons, AP reported. V.A.

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