Archive for May 22nd, 2012

How Canada’s Telecom Companies Have Secretly Supported Internet Surveillance Legislation

Canada’s proposed Internet surveillance was back in the news last week after speculation grew that government intends to keep the bill in legislative limbo until it dies on the order paper. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews denied the reports, maintaining that Bill C-30 will still be sent to committee for further study.

Since its introduction in mid-February, the privacy and law enforcement communities have continued to express their views on the bill, but Canada’s telecom service providers, which include the major telecom carriers and Internet service providers, have remained strangely silent. The silence is surprising given the enormous implications of the bill for the privacy of their customers and the possibility of millions of dollars in new surveillance equipment costs, active cooperation with law enforcement, and employee background checks.

While some attribute the Internet surveillance silence to an attempt to avoid picking sides in the high stakes privacy and security battle, documents obtained under the Access to Information Act offer a different, more troubling explanation. My weekly technology law column notes (Toronto Star version, homepage version) in the months leading up to the introduction Bill C-30, Canada’s telecom companies worked actively with government officials to identify key issues and to develop a secret Industry – Government Collaborative Forum on Lawful Access.

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May 22, 2012 31 comments Columns

Athabasca, Winnipeg, & Windsor Will Not Sign Access Copyright Model Licence

Following UBC’s announcement that it will not sign the Access Copyright model licence, three additional universities have followed suit – Athabasca, Windsor, and Winnipeg. The four universities demonstrate that the licence raises concerns in all types of universites – big, medium, small and distance-focused.

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May 22, 2012 3 comments Must Reads

European Union Set To Provide 80 Billion Euro Boost to Open Access

Reports indicate that the European Union is set to provide an 80 billion euro boost to open access by making open access publishing the norm for its Horizon 2020 research program.

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May 22, 2012 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Romania Will Not Ratify ACTA

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta says his country will not ratify the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement unless the European Parliament modifies the agreement. Since the EP does not have the power to amend ACTA, that makes ratification unlikely.

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May 22, 2012 1 comment Must Reads