Archive for December 12th, 2011

Why The Government’s Lawful Access Claims Stand on a Shaky Foundation

Early next year the government will introduce lawful access legislation featuring new information disclosure requirements for Internet providers, the installation of mandated surveillance technologies, and creation of new police powers. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, the chief proponent of the new law, has defended the plans, stating that opponents are putting “the rights of child pornographers and organized crime ahead of the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that Toews’ stance in the face of widespread criticism from the privacy community and opposition parties is likely to be accompanied by a series of shaky justifications for the legislation.

For example, the bill will mandate the disclosure of Internet provider customer information without court oversight – that is, without a warrant. Under current privacy laws, providers may voluntarily disclose customer information but are not required to do so.  Toews has argued that the mandated information is akin to “phone book data” that is typically publicly available without restriction.

Yet the legislation extends far beyond phone book information by requiring the disclosure of eleven different items including customer name, address, phone number, email address, Internet protocol address, and a series of device identification numbers. Many Canadian courts have recognized the privacy interests associated with this data.

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December 12, 2011 10 comments Columns

The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter, Day 49: Union des consommateurs

Union des consommateurs is one of Canada’s leading consumer advocacy groups. Based in Quebec, it represents consumer interests on a wide range of issues. Union des consommateurs filed a submission to the 2009 national copyright consultation that expressed significant concern with the use of digital locks and their implications for consumer rights, privacy, and freedom of expression.

Dès lors, le Gouvernement se doit de se poser la question d’intégrer spécifiquement de telles dispositions au sein de la Loi sur le droit d’auteur, alors que l’échec des mesures techniques de protection est évident, et que celles-ci seraient déjà protégées dans notre arsenal législatif. Nous avons aujourd’hui le recul nécessaire pour affirmer que la protection légale des mesures techniques de protection est dangereuse pour la vie privée des consommateurs, que bien souvent elle porte atteinte à la liberté d’expression, et qu’elles limitent les utilisations légitimes des oeuvres.

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December 12, 2011 Comments are Disabled News

Fair Dealing, Copyright and the Haggadah

Ariel Katz has a great post that links the story of the four sons in the Passover Haggadah to copyright and fair dealing emphasizing the connection between education and freedom.

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December 12, 2011 1 comment Must Reads

Why Spotify Can Never Be Profitable

Michael Robertson, the founder of MP3tunes, has an eye-opening article on the lopsided demands of record labels for online music sites that render it nearly impossible for the online sites to generate a profit.

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December 12, 2011 4 comments Must Reads

Vic Toews’ Lawful Access Deception

Appeared in the Toronto Star on December 11, 2011 as Canada’s need for the Tories’ snooping law is not proven Early next year the government will introduce lawful access legislation featuring new information disclosure requirements for Internet providers, the installation of mandated surveillance technologies, and creation of new police powers. […]

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December 12, 2011 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive