Archive for October, 2019

Conservative Party Mailer

Why Political Parties + Mass Data Collection + Religious Targeting + No Privacy Laws = Trouble

Earlier this week, I opened my mailbox to find the above pictured campaign flyer from the Conservative Party. The flyer asks “Who Is the Real Friend of Israel and the Jewish Community in Canada” on the outside and tries to make the case for the Conservatives on the inside. The flyer was personally addressed to my family and was apparently sent to many Jewish households (or presumed Jewish households). As I noted in a tweet yesterday, I don’t know how my family made it into the Conservative party list. The party might have visited the house, saw a mezzuzah on the door, and made the connection. Maybe it bought a list with the name from a community organization or publication. Or perhaps it just guessed based on geographic areas or names.

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October 11, 2019 5 comments News
#closetlefty No.1, Nov 2, 2011: "Never Miss A Good Crisis" by Anna Lena Schiller (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/aBitkE

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 26: There Is No Crisis – Dwayne Winseck on the State of Canadian Communications, Media and Cultural Policy

The future of Canadian communications law has emerged as political hot potato in recent weeks with political parties engaged in finger pointing over who is acting – or failing to act – on issues closely aligned to cultural policy. Just prior to the election call, Dwayne Winseck, a professor at Carleton who has been one of Canada’s most prominent experts on communications and cultural policy, joined the podcast to provide his take on the initial report from the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel, the tech-lash against companies such as Google and Facebook, and what the numbers tell us about the state of media and advertising in Canada.

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October 7, 2019 1 comment Podcasts
ReadMySign by A McLin (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/6iEz7o

Why Do Canada’s Political Parties Have a Hard Time Saying No to New Internet and Wireless Taxes?

The question should be an easy, slam-dunk: will you implement new Internet or wireless taxes to support the creation of Canadian content? Given that Canada has some of the highest Internet and wireless costs in the world, rejecting new fees or taxes that would further increase those costs should not require any hedging or attempts to change the subject. In fact, while the Canadian Heritage committee and the CRTC have proposed new wireless fees and taxes, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clearly rejected the approach. For example, minutes after the Heritage report was released, he told the press:

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October 3, 2019 2 comments News
La_Fête_à_Macron,_5_mai_2018_—_74 by Jules Xénard [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

From Innovation to Regulation: Why the Liberals Have Lost Their Way on Digital Policy

The 2015 Liberal campaign platform that vaulted the party from third place to a majority government made a big economic bet that focusing on innovation would resonate with voters and address mounting concern over Canadian competitiveness. Innovation would serve as a guiding principle over the years that followed: The Minister of Industry was reframed as Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, millions were invested in innovation superclusters and global leadership on artificial intelligence was touted as a national priority.

My Globe and Mail op-ed notes that four years later, the 2019 Liberal party platform does not include a single mention of innovation or AI. Instead, it is relying heavily on ill-fitting European policies to turn the Canadian digital space into one of the most heavily regulated in the world. Rather than positioning itself as the party of innovation, the Liberals are now the party of digital regulation with plans for new taxes, content regulation, takedown requirements, labour rules and a new layer of enforcement commissioners.

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October 2, 2019 3 comments Columns