OTTAWA, Ontario

Proposal would increase railroads’ insurance plans

Canada’s railways will have to carry additional insurance under proposed legislation introduced in response to an oil train explosion that killed 47 people in Quebec last year.

The bill, introduced Friday, would also set up a compensatory fund paid for by oil shippers.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said the legislation will mean any railway or company that ships crude oil will share accountability for cleanup and compensation costs in the event of an accident.

Raitt says the bill would impose mandatory minimum insurance levels on railways depending on the type and volume of the dangerous goods being transported.

Much of downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, was destroyed on July 6, 2013, by a raging fire caused when an unattended train derailed and exploded.


Privacy activists call for change after hacking news

Rights organizations on Friday called for urgent steps to be taken to protect private calls and online communications after allegations that U.S. and British agencies hacked into the networks of a major SIM card maker. The World Wide Web Foundation, founded by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, said the alleged hacking by the National Security Agency and its British counterpart, GCHQ, was “another worrying sign that these agencies think they are above the law.”

The claims of the hack into Netherlands-based company Gemalto came from documents given to journalists by whistleblower Edward Snowden. A story about the documents posted Thursday on the website The Intercept said the agencies hacked into Gemalto’s networks to steal codes that allow both governments to seamlessly eavesdrop on mobile phones worldwide.

In an email to The Associated Press on Friday, GCHQ said it does not comment on intelligence matters. However, it said all of its work was legal and its “interception regime” fully complies with the European Convention on Human Rights.

– From news service reports