NCA Information Technology For Democratic Society Policy Statement

Introduction

With each new invention, information technology (IT) has revolutionized the way people have lived their lives, especially since the integration of the World Wide Web (Internet) into institutions and homes in 1989.

Governments of all levels in Canada must take advantage of IT by integrating IT into institutions wherever possible, ultimately adding efficiency, effectiveness, accountability and transparency.

Information technology provides an opportunity to serve and protect Canadians and defend democratic principles and values.

The National Citizens Alliance (NCA) already embraces IT to advance democratic principles, values, and practices. All of the NCA internal voting is through secured and private online voting. This voting arrangement allows the NCA to be more efficient, flexible, and timely, and it provides more opportunity for the NCA membership to voice its views,

Given the continued growth of IT, as well as the advantages and challenges it presents to public administration, the NCA supports:

● Using the Internet, in whole or in part, during Canadian elections by way of online voting if the authenticity of the can be confirmed without reasonable doubt

● Using the Internet, in whole or in part, to carry out the recall of elected officials by way of online voting if the authenticity of the can be confirmed without reasonable doubt

● Using the Internet, in whole or in part, to conduct referendum by way of online voting if the authenticity of the can be confirmed without reasonable doubt

● Monitoring and regulating closely for fraud the use of telephone or mobile/cellular phone systems to conduct campaign activities – especially robocalling

● Exploring computer technology for the casting of ballots during elections

● Developing a comprehensive cyber security system against hackers that does not compromise the privacy of the Canadian people or entail any form of government censorship of internet content: the NCA supports the establishment of a national cyber security NGO through a trained and unionised of non-partisan technicians, and in which all configurations and technical specifications transparent to the public (such as the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre); the NGO would be funded from private telecommunications industry and the public

● Making government websites more user friendly

● Creating a mandatory local, off-line network within the government that pertains to any communication within government of public private information

● Disallowing Internet service providers (ISP) from selling metadata to third parties or give metadata to government without court order, unless an individual user consents to his or her internet service provider doing so

● Prohibiting domestic dragnet surveillance, and thereby dismantling dragnet surveillance programs already in place

● Requiring a court order for the surveillance of any Canadian resident

● Initiate amendment of the Canadian Charter (1982), Article 2, with the inclusion of “freedom to reasonable privacy”

● Rescind Bill C-59 and replace with a new bill that requires warrants for surveillance and prohibits mass dragnet surveillance of the Canadian people, bans the practice of radical extremist ideology, supports tough no nonsense immigrant screening including ideological screening

● Establish an independent, citizen-based oversight body to monitor government surveillance of persons in Canada; this citizen body would act as a check and balance on government use of IT for surveillance; this citizens-based watchdog would replace the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency

● Establishing a government administered online public-ideas portal where the public can submit ideas aimed at improving Canadian culture, including business, the arts, and sports, and where Canadians can promote and exchange ideas for events in those respects to make Canadian culture more innovate and lively

● Developing IT that will allow the Canadian people to vote directly on legislation in the House of Commons

● Advocating free expression on the Internet and other communications technologies, whilst regulating censorship to the benefit of online safety for children and other vulnerable groups. The NCA will only support online safety measures that are specific and do the least harm to privacy and freedom of expression, while ensuring the safety of the individuals/groups in question

Conclusion

The NCA will explore ways of safely integrating IT innovatively into the day-to-day operations of Canadian democratic life, including government services, as well as social, cultural and business pursuits. The NCA is willing to work with any other parties that share our vision of moving Canada forward using IT in Canadian society, innovatively, democratically, and securely.

Created: 2014-03-22; last updated: 2018-05-04

The NCA membership vote on 2014-03-22. The vote resulted in 100 percent of membership in favour of the Information Technology for Democratic Society Policy Statement with a 100 percent quorum. This vote outcome satisfies the minimum 70 percent membership support and 50 percent quorum required for adoption of policies as per the NCA Founding Document.

The NCA welcomes feedback on its policies. Please send policy feedback to info@nationalcitizensalliance.ca

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