Archive for October 13th, 2009

Conservative Committee Chair Against Anti-Spam Bill Exceptions

ITBusiness reports that Conservative MP Michael Chong, chair of the Industry Committee, is against further watering down of Bill C-27, the anti-spam bill.  Will the Liberal MPs on the committee also take a stand against spam?

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October 13, 2009 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Peer-to-Peer Traffic Declining Dramatically

Wired reports on a new Arbor Networks study that finds a dramatic decline in P2P as a percentage of network traffic over the past two years.

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October 13, 2009 7 comments Must Reads

Do-Not-Call List Undermined By Loopholes in the Law

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of Canada's do-not-call list.  Over the past 12 months, millions of Canadians have registered their numbers on the list and filed hundreds of thousands of complaints with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which is tasked with enforcing the law. While the CRTC has found itself subject to considerable criticism for investigating only a small percentage of complaints and levying just a handful of fines for do-not-call violations, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that a review of tens of thousands of complaints obtained under the Access to Information Act reveals a potentially bigger problem.  

Many of Canada's best-known companies have been the target of frequent complaints, yet are not subject to investigation due to the large number of exceptions found in the law.  This has led to genuine dismay, with many people using a comment section in the complaint form to register their disappointment with the do-not-call list.

Working together with University of Ottawa students Sean Murtha and Frances Munn, I recently reviewed more than 60,000 complaints released by the CRTC.  The complaints were lodged in late 2008 and early 2009 using the do-not-call list's Internet-based complaints mechanism.  In each case, the complaint included all relevant information with the exception of the complainant's name and telephone number, which were excluded for privacy reasons. There were hundreds of complaints about automated calls promising cruise vacations or lawncare services.  But the undisputed leader among reputable companies was Bell Canada, which alone was the subject of nearly one thousand complaints.  In fact, the wireless sector had the distinction of taking the top three spots with Rogers and Telus ranking second and third respectively. There were also hundreds of complaints against Canada's top financial institutions and retailers including RBC, CIBC, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, and Sears.

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October 13, 2009 23 comments Columns

Do-Not-Call List Undermined By Loopholes in the Law

Appeared in the Toronto Star on October 12, 2009 as Do-Not-Call List Undermined By Loopholes in Law This month marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of Canada's do-not-call list.  Over the past 12 months, millions of Canadians have registered their numbers on the list and filed hundreds of thousands […]

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October 13, 2009 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

CIRA and IISD Team Up For Survey

CIRA and IISD have teamed up on a survey focusing on CIRA's potential role on Internet policy matters.  The survey is available here.

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October 13, 2009 Comments are Disabled Must Reads