Most reasonably conscious citizens carry a healthy distrust of their government. They carry such distrust because they understand the implications of a lackadaisical populace; a government that goes unchecked, the likes of which swiftly precipitates into an overgrown, poorly regulated, and crushing bureaucratic mess. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, a government big enough to oversee and regulate all has the means to take it all away.
The technological marvels of today afford the enemy as much freedom as they do everyone else with access: Currently before Canada’s parliament is the response. The last time the Canadian government answered an outcry for public security in the fall out of a tragedy, millions of law abiding Canadians became criminals overnight (à la École Polytechnique). Despite blatant charter rights violations and flawed reasoning, draconian firearms legislation was written into law.
The mere ownership of a firearm became an automatic criminal offense unless properly licensed. The new regulations were crippling and deliberately vague, that they may be spread thinly to enhance their effect. The wake of emotions carried; Canadians felt it sensible to sacrifice their freedoms, and the freedoms of future Canadians, for the idea of security. A peaceful hobby, a part of Canadian culture, was demonised and crushed. To this day, all firearms owners in the country are subject to the tragic Firearms Act: No appreciable enhancement of public safety, attributable directly to the act, has ever occurred. Hence, in one corner we have freedom, and the other, security.
It is understandable that many Canadians are expressing a mixture of concern and confusion in the wake of recent domestic terrorism. The stage has been set yet again, and all the major players have returned: a perceived public threat, a tragic event, public outcry, political scrambling, and emotions. This time around, hanging in the balance is our freedom of multimedia and privacy.
A staunch libertarian would immediately dismiss any idea that suggested an exchange of freedom for security, without a second thought, regardless of how little freedom is in question. After all, history will show us that it is almost never a worthy exchange. However, as with nearly everything, there is much more to be found beneath the surface.
The liberal media and its criers, which constitute the majority of our media coverage today, will have us all believe that C-51 calls for: widespread government espionage upon lawful citizens, especially online; sharing of private information between government institutions, police, and security forces; enhanced means for search and seizure; the elimination of lawful protest/dissent; and so on and so forth.