The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression has filed an intervention with the CRTC expressing concern with the Bell coalition’s website blocking plan, which he confirms “raises serious inconsistencies with Canada’s obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and related human rights standards.” Special Rapporteurs are independent human rights experts with mandates from the Human Rights Council to report and advise United Nations Member States on human rights issues. While many supporters of the blocking plan have dismissed freedom of expression concerns, David Kaye, the expert the U.N. has tasked with making recommendations to member states warns that it may violate Canada’s human rights obligations in several ways.
Archive for March, 2018
UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression: Website Blocking Plan “Raises Serious Inconsistencies” With Canada’s Human Rights Obligations
After nearly two months of public debate, today marks the deadline for submissions to the CRTC on the Bell coalition website blocking plan. On the eve of the deadline, MPs from both the Conservative and NDP parties have begun placing the issue on the political agenda. NDP MP Brian Masse […]
Few policy issues have proven as frustrating as the state of Canadian wireless pricing. For the better part of a decade, Conservative and Liberal governments have grappled with overwhelming evidence that Canadian consumers pay some of the highest prices for wireless services in the world. The solution has always seemed obvious: more competition. Yet despite repeated efforts to nudge the market and regulator toward a more competitive environment, the needle has barely moved.
My Globe and Mail op-ed notes that the latest failed effort was sparked by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains’ June 2017 request to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to reconsider a decision on how regional and smaller wireless companies access wholesale roaming services from larger providers.
Coalition Featuring Google, Amazon, GoDaddy and CogecoPeer1 Warn Against Canadian Site Blocking Plan: Lost Jobs, Stifled Innovation
The Internet Infrastructure Coalition, which features key players from across the Internet infrastructure industry including hosting and cloud service providers, domain registries, domain registrars, data centers, payment processors, and software developers, has filed a submission with the CRTC strongly opposing the Bell coalition website blocking plan. The coalition features a who’s who of some of the Internet’s biggest names: Google, Amazon, GoDaddy, and Verisign. There is also a notable Canadian presence including Tucows, Tuangru, and CogecoPeer1 (the inclusion of CogecoPeer1, which is owned by Cogeco Communications, is particularly interesting since Cogeco Connexion, a fellow subsidiary, is a member of the site blocking coalition).