Post Tagged with: "clement"

open government data (scrabble) by justgrimes (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ddn3jP

What Open Government Hides

Treasury Board President Tony Clement unveiled the latest version of his Open Government Action Plan last month, continuing a process that has seen some important initiatives to make government data such as statistical information and mapping data publicly available in open formats free from restrictive licenses.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes there is much to like about Canada’s open government efforts, which have centred on three pillars: open data, open information, and open dialogue. Given the promise of “greater transparency and accountability, increased citizen engagement, and driving innovation and economic opportunity”, few would criticize the aspirational goals of Canada’s open government efforts. Yet scratch the below the surface of new open data sets and public consultations and it becomes apparent that there is much that open government hides.

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December 1, 2014 8 comments Columns

In Defence of the Government Tracking Social Media Activity

For most of the past decade, many people concerned with digital rights have used the Internet and social media to raise awareness in the hope that the government might pay closer attention to their views. The Canadian experience has provided more than its fair share of success stories from copyright reform to usage based billing to the Vic Toews lawful access bill. Yet in recent weeks, there has been mounting criticism about the government’s tracking of social media. This post provides a partial defence of the government, arguing that it should be tracking social media activity provided it does so for policy-making purposes.

The controversy started with news that the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has written to the government to express concern that an increasing number of government institutions are collecting publicly available personal information from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The initial report generated considerable media attention with claims that the activity may violate the Privacy Act (or at least the spirit of the legislation).

Last week, Treasury Board President Tony Clement told Jesse Brown that the collection was largely in aggregate form to track public sentiment and that a full review of current practices would be undertaken. However, a later report demonstrated that government officials tracking Bill C-30 (the earlier lawful access bill) did identify specific Twitter users and their tweets (many internal documents I’ve obtained under Access to Information suggest that the Public Safety officials have been exceptionally defensive about lawful access and often seem to drift away from a balanced position).

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May 26, 2014 6 comments News

Clement Confirms Canadian Non-Commercial Crown Copyright Licence Still Available

Treasury Board President Tony Clement has confirmed in a tweet that the federal government’s non-commercial crown copyright licence remains available. He indicates that a notice to this effect will be posted shortly. I blogged about the removal of the licence with the change in how the government handles crown copyright […]

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December 2, 2013 2 comments Must Reads

Clement Sets Target Date for Online ATI Disclosures

Treasury Board President Tony Clement has set a deadline of January 1, 2012 for all government departments to post online disclosures of what they have released under the Access to Information Act. The disclosures are part of the government’s open government initiative. I wrote about the delays associated with the […]

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November 17, 2011 6 comments Must Reads

Staying the Course: The Real Significance of the Paradis Digital Economy Speech

Christian Paradis delivered his first public speech yesterday as Industry Minister at the Canadian Telecom Summit. The media and attendees may have been hoping for a sense of the Paradis perspective on many digital economy issues (telecom, foreign ownership, spectrum, digital economy strategy, copyright), but what they got was a very slightly modified version of former Industry Minister Tony Clement’s digital economy speech from November 2010. That includes the government’s yet to be fully articulated position on telecom foreign investment and the forthcoming spectrum auction.

Several reports from the speech have focused on these telecom issues, suggesting that government is sounding “more ambiguous and indefinite” on telecom foreign investment. I don’t see it – the government has been saying the same thing for months. For example, the Globe points to this comment from Paradis calling for a:

predictable regulatory framework that ensures an appropriate balance between competition and investment

as evidence that lobbying from incumbents has had an impact on Conservative thinking.

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June 1, 2011 3 comments News