Latest Posts

Net Neutrality rally by Alistair (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4RFiJd

Not Neutral: Why the Broadcast Panel Report Weakens Net Neutrality in Canada

Net neutrality featured prominently in the launch of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel in 2018 with the government release stating “the review will be guided by the principle of net neutrality and will explore opportunities to further enshrine in legislation the principles of net neutrality in the provision and carriage of all telecommunications services.” The panel report includes a section on net neutrality which affirms support for the principle and which features two recommendations – one calls for a policy objective in the Telecommunications Act “to reflect the duty to safeguard open Internet access in Canada” and a second that calls on the CRTC to increase data gathering and reporting on open Internet access policies.

Read more ›

February 5, 2020 5 comments News
Registration desk sign by NHS Confederation (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/9YxwXp

Weak Walk-Back: Why Steven Guilbeault’s Reversal on Government Licensing News Sites Still Leaves a Huge Regulatory Structure in Place

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault yesterday attempted to walk-back comments from the weekend in which he said regulating news sites “was no big deal.” Guilbeault now says the government does not intend to require licences or registration from “news agencies.” When asked repeatedly how to draw the line between “news agencies” (which is not a term used in the Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel report) and other news sources, Guilbeault was unable to provide a clear answer. Despite the lack of specifics, Guilbeault maintains that he still intends to introduce legislation within months.

While the decision to reject mandatory licensing or registration of some news services is a good step, it is nowhere near enough. The BTLR envisions a massive regulatory structure with the CRTC empowered to regulate Internet sites and services worldwide. There are few limits to what is covered: social media services, online streaming services, news aggregators, communications services such as Skype, podcasting sites, app stores, operating systems, and device manufacturers are all somehow considered part of the “system” and potentially subject to regulation and mandated payments.

Read more ›

February 4, 2020 10 comments News
President Donald J. Trump at the G20 Summit by the White House https://flic.kr/p/R8swU7 Public domain

Conservative MP Dan Albas on Copyright Term Extension in USMCA: Government Needs to Mitigate Damage to Copyright Law

The House of Commons has been debating Bill C-4, the implementation bill for the US-Canada-Mexico (USMCA) Trade Agreement. The copyright term extension has begun to attract attention. Green MP Paul Manly called it an “unnecessary change” and Conservative MP Dan Albas, who participated in the copyright review, used his time to make a strong case against extension. Albas’ comments are a must-read as he warns of the danger of term extension, welcomes the chance to mitigate the harm, and encourages the government to use the copyright review as its road map for the issue:

Read more ›

February 4, 2020 5 comments News
Free Speech * Conditions Apply by Fukt by Chris Christian (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/i3wYGf

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault on Regulating Foreign News Sites: “What’s the Big Deal?”

In June 2017, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage committee recommended implementing tax on Internet services in a report on media. Within minutes, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about the proposal at a press conference in Montreal. Trudeau’s answer – which literally came as committee chair Hedy Fry was holding a press conference on the report – was unequivocal: No. The government was not going to raise costs of Internet services with an ISP tax. The committee recommendation was minutes old and the government wasted absolutely no time in killing the proposal.

Read more ›

February 3, 2020 11 comments News
Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Daniel Therrien, https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/about-the-opc/who-we-are/the-privacy-commissioner-of-canada/

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 37: The Future of Privacy in Canada – A Conversation with Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien

The Lawbytes podcast resumes for another season with a special episode on privacy as I’m joined on the podcast by Daniel Therrien, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Commissioner Therrien recently used Data Privacy Day to deliver a speech at the University of Ottawa focused on privacy reforms and a new consultation on AI and privacy. He joined me on the podcast to talk about his term as commissioner, the major challenges he’s faced, the state of Canadian privacy law, and the prospect for reform. Following our conversation, the podcast features audio of the Commissioner’s bilingual speech at the law school.

Read more ›

February 3, 2020 0 comments Podcasts