Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Bill C-51, designed to combat the spread of terrorism, has become law in Canada. Critics of the bill, however, including Amnesty International and 100 law professors who signed an open letter to the government, say that it goes too far.
The more controversial aspects of the bill are criticized for being too broad in scope. These include making it a crime to promote terrorism and allowing judges to censor terrorist online propaganda. Critics argue “terrorism” is poorly defined by the bill, and that these new powers could be used to silence legitimate democratic dissent.
The bill also gives law enforcement greater access to information relating to individuals suspected of terrorism held by other government departments, such as the Canada Border Services Agency, Health Canada, and the Canada Revenue Agency.
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