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Canadian Government Quietly Pursuing New ISP Code of Conduct

With the cost of cybercrime in Canada on the rise - a new report released last week by Symantec, a security software vendor, pegged the cost at $3.1 billion annually - my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) reports that the Canadian government is quietly working behind-the-scenes to create a new Internet service provider code of conduct. If approved, the code would be technically be voluntary for Canadian ISPs, but the active involvement of government officials suggests that most large providers would feel pressured to participate.

The move toward an ISP code of conduct would likely form part of a two-pronged strategy to combat malicious software that can lead to cybercrime, identity theft, and other harms. First, the long-delayed anti-spam legislation features new disclosure requirements for the installation of software along with tough penalties for non-compliance. Recent comments from Industry Minister James Moore suggest that the government is ready to bring that law into effect. Second, the code of conduct would require participants to provide consumers with assistance should their computers become infected.

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Who Is Watching the Watchers?: A Panel on Canadian Privacy and Surveillance

The University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law will be hosting a panel featuring University of Ottawa faculty on Canadian privacy and surveillance on October 16th from 11:30 - 1:00 titled Who Is Watching the Watchers? I'll be participating on the panel along with Craig Forcese, Ian Kerr, Valerie Steeves, and Wesley Wark. Admission is free. Details here.
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