Archive for February 6th, 2007

What the Canadian Government Really Thinks About Net Neutrality

The Canadian Press is out this evening with an important story that reveals the government's true view on net neutrality.  Based on documents obtained under the Access to Information Act, they provide a clear picture of an Industry Minister and policy makers content to leave the issue alone, despite acknowledging that major telcos such as Bell and Telus are "determined to play a greater role in how Internet content is delivered" and that "they [Bell and Telus] believe they should be the gatekeepers of content, with the freedom to impose fees for their role."

The documents were prepared for the Minister in anticipation of questions that might arise after Videotron President Robert Depatie mused publicly about a new tariff or fee for carrying content.  The departmental response as contained in a Question Period Card:

"The Internet is not regulated in Canada. There is no regulation of the relationship between Internet service providers and the providers of Internet content. There is currently considerable discussion in the industry about the implications of telecommunications companies who provide network and Interent service taking a greater role in determining how Internet content will be delivered and at what cost, if any.  The Telecommunications Policy Review Panel reviewed this issue in its March 2006 report.  My department is continuing to examine and assess the recommendations, including the issue of net neutrality, that were made in this report."

While that may be the official line, the documents reveal very different thinking behind the scenes.  

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February 6, 2007 23 comments News

Steve Jobs on DRM

A true must-read.

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February 6, 2007 1 comment Must Reads

Bev Oda’s Wild Ride

Those who track Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda's regular missteps will recall that last fall she planned to hold a fundraiser hosted by a lobbyist for Canwest.  When this conflict of interest was raised in the House of Commons, she responded that "I have observed every rule existing right now." […]

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February 6, 2007 5 comments News

Federal Court Orders Privacy Commissioner to Investigate Complaint

The Federal Court of Canada yesterday issued an important decision addressing the jurisdictional reach of Canada's privacy legislation.  The case involved a complaint launched by Pippa Lawson of CIPPIC against U.S.-based Abika.com over the collection and use of her personal information.  The Privacy Commissioner refused to investigate, arguing that Abika.com declined to cooperate with the investigation and that she therefore lacked the jurisdiction to proceed.

CIPPIC applied for judicial review and yesterday won the case.  The court gets it exactly right – "with respect, I think the Commissioner did not distinguish her power to investigate from the effectiveness of her investigation."  

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February 6, 2007 1 comment News

The Integrated Circuit

Environmental issues have obviously commanded an enormous amount of attention in recent weeks.  Next month, the University of Ottawa will host a symposium looking at e-waste.  Learn more – or better yet attend – at The Integrated Circuit.

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February 6, 2007 Comments are Disabled Must Reads