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Security and Investigation Services

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A PRELIMINARY critique of the Report of the 1981 Marin Commission of Inquiry Relating to the Security and Investigation Services Branch with the Post Office Department finds the conclusions and recommendations about mail-opening useful in that they would eliminate some of the vagueness and inconsistency of current law on the subject.

However, the recommendations on security and investigation appear rather ominous and the BCCLA paper, citing a number of examples, calls for careful study of the legal ramifications before action is taken on the report’s recommendations in this area.

HIGHLIGHTS:

“Giving the RCMP the job of planning and implementing security for electronic mail may be rather like asking the wolf to build a sheep pen. Many of our concerns about interception are concerns not about private interception but about illegal interception by police forces.

“We need a very careful study of this document to find out what the legal ramifications of the securities recommendations would be. This study should also attempt to discover whether the effect of such recommendations would be, as we suppose, to create a national police force closely linked to the RCMP which would be in effect in control of all security for the post office. Such a force would be in a prime position to intercept, control delivery of, and open mail. This preliminary critique of the Marin report merely raises some difficult questions. It will require legal skills to answer some of these questions.”

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
425 – 815 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC
V6C 1B4

E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.bccla.org
Tel: 604-687-2919
Fax: 604-687-3045