The Communications Security Establishment Commissioner released his annual report yesterday with findings that some Canadians may have been the subject of surveillance activities in violation of the law. The finding states: I had no concern with respect to the majority of the CSEC activities reviewed. However, a small number of […]
Archive for August, 2013
Does it matter where your computer data such as email, digital photos, personal videos, and documents resides? The Canadian Chamber of Commerce apparently doesn’t think so. It recently joined forces with its U.S. counterpart to argue for new rules in the Trans Pacific Partnership – a proposed new trade agreement that includes Canada, the U.S., Japan, Australia and many other Asian and South American countries – that would create barriers to privacy protections designed to require that personal data be stored locally.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that for many years, the issue was largely irrelevant to most computer users since their data was typically kept on computer hard drives within their own homes or offices. While there was always a security risk associated with malware or hackers, using reasonable security precautions provided some protection and there was little risk of warrantless access to the data.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on August 17, 2013 as Does it Matter Where Your Data Lives? Does it matter where your computer data such as email, digital photos, personal videos, and documents resides? The Canadian Chamber of Commerce apparently doesn’t think so. It recently joined forces with its U.S. […]
Coverage of last week’s Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ruling on mandatory carriage of a couple of dozen channels may have focused on the future of the Sun News Network (no mandatory carriage that would have guaranteed payment from all cable and satellite subscribers) and the monthly cost of cable and satellite bills (a very small increase since virtually all new proposals were rejected), but the decision really represents a small step toward a complete overhaul of Canadian broadcasting regulation that is likely to unfold over the next ten years.
The Commission will hold a further hearing on how to treat news channels, telegraphing that it plans to adopt a must-carry approach so that all Canadians can subscribe to the news channels of their choice. Yet the entire process harkened back to a different world, when space on the television dial was scarce, access to Canadian content scarcer still, and consumer choice for broadcast content largely unknown.
The reality of the current environment is that none of these conditions exist. Cable and satellite providers have virtually unlimited space (my provider currently features a trio of channels that continually display a fireplace, aquarium, and sunset in high definition), Canadian content can be found through a multitude of venues including video-on-demand and Internet-based streaming services, and consumers can access broadcast content from anywhere on any device.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) argues the upcoming battle will not be about which channels benefit from regulatory handouts, but rather over whether there is a need for any broadcast regulation beyond basic principles of non-discrimination on what consumers can access through conventional broadcast and the Internet. These principles, now found in the Commission’s policies on vertical integration and Internet traffic management, will become an increasingly important part of the regulatory process.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on August 10, 2013 as CRTC Television Ruling a Small Step Toward Broadcast Overhaul Coverage of last week’s Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ruling on mandatory carriage of a couple of dozen channels may have focused on the future of the Sun News Network (no […]