The Canadian government says its looking for a way to stop terror groups and their followers from using the Internet to advance their cause as a debate emerges over how to fight threats to Canada while preserving civil liberties including free speech and privacy.
Justice Minster Peter MacKay said measures could include tools to allow for the removal of websites or Internet posts that support the proliferation of terrorism in Canada.
Theres no question that the whole issue around radicalization and the type of material that is often used that we think is inappropriate, and we think quite frankly contribute to again this is my word the poisoning of young minds, that this is something that needs to be examined, Mr. MacKay said Wednesday.
His comments come as Canadas privacy watchdogs warn changes being planned to boost police powers after last weeks terror attacks must be measured and proportionate to preserve Canadian democratic values.
A joint statement from 15 privacy and information commissioners raised concerns that new police powers could infringe on civil liberties and privacy rights.
We acknowledge that security is essential to maintaining our democratic rights. At the same time, the response to such events must be measured and proportionate, and crafted so as to preserve our democratic values, the commissioners, including two federal watchdogs, wrote.
Mr. MacKay said Ottawa is examining laws in the European Union where lawmakers have grappled with the same problem.
Such measures risk infringing on free speech but Mr. MacKay said he believes its possible to set an objective standard with which to judge what constitutes promoting terrorism. He said hed want judicial oversight before you would make any you know, any type of intervention.
Encouragement of terrorism, including glorifying terrorism is an offence in Britain. Critics of transplanting such a measure to Canada question whether explicitly outlawing this will do any good.
Parliaments major political parties still disagree, though, on whether the slaying of Canadian soldiers last week constitutes terrorism.
Terror fight turns to Internet, sparking new free-speech debate