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By Jessicadaly (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 7: The Likely Expansion of the Block List to Non-IP Issues

The case against the Bell coalition website blocking proposal has already identified at least two sources of likely expansion and over-blocking: expanding the scope of piracy sites and the over-blocking of legitimate sites that has frequently occurred with site blocking systems around the world. There is a third source worthy of examination, however, namely pressure to expand the block list to non-intellectual property issues (other posts in the series include the state of Canadian copyright, weak evidence on the state of Canadian piracy, the limited impact of piracy, and why the absence of a court order would place Canada at odds with virtually all its allies).

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February 21, 2018 0 comments News
read the fine print by unreal estates https://flic.kr/p/bncbwt (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Canada Releases Most of the Updated TPP Text…But the Side Letters Are Still Missing

The Canadian government and other TPP partners released the text of most of the CPTPP yesterday. The release contained few surprises as the TPP remains intact and a new annex identifies the suspended provisions. The list of suspended provisions was revealed several months ago and is particularly notable for the suspension of IP provisions such as copyright term extension, patent term adjustment, technological protection measures, biologics protection, and Internet safe harbour rules.

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February 21, 2018 0 comments News
Bell corporate message

Bell to Employees: Click Here To Support Our Website Blocking Proposal at the CRTC

A source has provided screen shots of internal Bell corporate correspondence encouraging employees to file interventions at the CRTC in support of its website blocking proposal. The effort to drum up support is not unique: ACTRA posted an advocacy page when the proposal launched complete with suggested language to use at the CRTC and OpenMedia has begun supporting Unfairplay.ca, which allows Canadians to learn more about the issue and make their voices heard. However, internal corporate messaging from Bell to its employees telling them “you can let the CRTC know you support FairPlay Canada” is likely to raise concerns Bell will participate in the CRTC process on its own behalf and provide behind-the-scenes encouragement to employees to add supportive interventions. In fact, iPhoneinCanada quickly ran a story on the issue calling the approach “disingenuous.”

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February 20, 2018 5 comments News
Blocked websites by Tactical Technology Collective (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/8KDGTc

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 6: Over-Blocking of Legitimate Websites

As the public concern over the Bell coalition website blocking plan continues to grow (both the Canadian Press and CBC this weekend covered the thousands of interventions at the CRTC), the case against the plan resumes with a review of why it is likely that it will lead to over-blocking of legitimate websites. Last week’s post highlighted the probable expansion of the scope of piracy for blocking purposes, a theme that continues today with a look at the many incidents over-blocking of legitimate sites sparked by website blocking (other posts in the series include the state of Canadian copyright, weak evidence on the state of Canadian piracy, the limited impact of piracy, and why the absence of a court order would place Canada at odds with virtually all its allies).

The danger of over-blocking legitimate websites raises serious freedom of expression concerns, particularly since experience suggests that over-blocking is a likely outcome of blocking systems. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report in 2014 on the rule of law on the Internet in the wider digital world, noting:

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February 20, 2018 2 comments News
iphone-vpn-pptp-l2tp by tua ulamac (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/NUSKTU

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 5: The Inevitable Expansion of the Block List Standard for “Piracy” Sites

The Bell coalition website blocking proposal downplays concerns about over-blocking that often accompanies site blocking regimes by arguing that it will be limited to “websites and services that are blatantly, overwhelmingly, or structurally engaged in piracy.” Having discussed piracy issues in Canada and how the absence of a court order makes the proposal an outlier with virtually every country that has permitted site blocking, the case against the website blocking plan now turns to the inevitability of over-blocking that comes from expanding the block list or from the technical realities of mandating site blocking across hundreds of ISPs for millions of subscribers. This post focuses on the likely expansion of the scope of piracy for the purposes of blocking and the forthcoming posts will discuss other sources of blocking over-reach.

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February 16, 2018 13 comments News