Interestingly, the first exemption the coalition proposed deals with the type of programs the provision addresses. The coalition wants exempted:
(a) A program that is installed by or on behalf of a person to prevent, detect, investigate, or terminate activities that the person reasonably believes (i) presents a risk or threatens the security privacy, or unauthorized or fraudulent use of a computer system, telecommunications facility or network or (ii) involves the contravention of any law of Canada, or a province or municipality of Canada or of a foreign state.
At least one privacy advocate argues that admitting this and other exemptions allows “surreptitious” surveillance by copyright owners.
“This provision would effectively legalize spyware in Canada on behalf of these industry groups,” wrote Michael Geist University of Ottawa Internet law professor in his blog yesterday. “…a software program secretly installed by an entertainment software company designed to detect or investigate alleged copyright infringement would be covered by this exception.”
Programs designed to block access to Web sites, attempts to access wireless networks without authorization, or keylogger programs tracking unsuspecting users, could be covered by the proposed exception, he said.
The coalition, Geist wrote, wants to make sure the antispam law does now block their ability to "secretly install spyware on personal computers for a wide range of purposes."
Read the rest of Michael Geist’s blog here