Technologies in Society
that have Led to Changes in the Law
Technology is rapidly changing and expanding in today’s society. The technology of today has and will continue to constantly bring about changes to the law, which provides a constant redefinition of criminal activities. Definitions, such as “motor vehicles” or “firearms”, in the Criminal Code of Canada are also continually being redefined. The impact of technology not only brought new federal legislations (i.e. Criminal Code of Canada), but it has also made some changes in provincial legislation as well. These changes, as a result, have changed the ways of policing.
As society evolves, police are directly affected not only because of the changes in the law, but more importantly, because they are responsible for keeping the public peace. One step police services have taken in changing their ways of policing was creating specialized units to perform specific roles and functions. Such units include Airport Division, Traffic & Highway Patrol, etc.
Aircrafts changed society greatly. It allowed for easier transportation, and can carry passengers, or even mail and other cargo. Because of this new technology, laws and regulations had to be made. S. 77 CC regarding endangering safety of aircraft or airport was created, along with other aircraft, airport, and air navigation facilities sections found in the Criminal Code of Canada. The definition “peace officer” according to S. 2(f) CC was also added to give authority to a pilot in command of an aircraft. In addition, the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) was also created as it deals with issues such as personal licensing, flight rules, airworthiness, and other regulations and standards.
The role that technology has played in abortion is significant as it brought forth many changes in Canada. Technology allowed for women to abort earlier, and has allowed for medical and scientific developments to become more accurate and safer in paying closer professional attention on the status of a fetus. As technology allowed for abortions to happen, many debates and issues regarding abortion began to arise. Technology in abortion soon made way to changes in the Criminal Code of Canada and other regulations, such as the Canada Health Act. Without technology, S. 287 CC regarding procuring miscarriage would not have existed.
The use of credit cards has become a way of life. No longer is there a need to carry cash when purchasing products and services. Many people use credit cards for the convenience of not carrying cash, while others do so to purchase a product they cannot yet afford. Although credit cards help for the good, many legal issues have also arisen from this technology, such as credit card fraud and wireless identity theft. As a result, many new laws were created. S. 362 CC in regards to obtaining by false pretence or fraud and S. 342 CC concerning theft or forgery are both examples of the many laws created because of this new technology.
Technology plays a huge role in the criminal justice system as it has helped to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Technology increased the accuracy evidence found in crime scenes and allows police to more accurately identify an offender. In obtaining blood samples (S. 254 CC), breathalyzers (S. 258 CC), DNA analysis (S. 487.04 CC), and other forms of evidence, police are given new search and seizure authorities. Warrants to enter a dwelling house may even be issued under oath by telephone or other means of telecommunication. These warrants are known as “telewarrants” (S. 487.1 CC).