Post Tagged with: "digital rights"

free consultation by russell davies (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4jxLPq

Too Much of a Good Thing: What Lies Behind Canada’s Emerging Consultation Crisis

After years of often feeling excluded from the policy making and legislative process, many civil society groups were excited by the prospect of a new government committed to public consultations and feedback. The Liberal government moved quickly to consult on all manner of issues, providing hope that an emphasis on participatory democracy would lead to better policies and an opportunity to incorporate a broader range of perspectives.

My op-ed in today’s Hill Times notes that two years into the Liberal mandate, the consultative process is now a well-established part of how policy is developed. It is nice to be asked for your opinion, but Canada is increasingly facing a consultation crisis as the sheer volume of hearings, notices, and consultations can be overwhelming.

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October 25, 2017 4 comments Columns

The Web We Want: Could Canada Lead on a Digital Bill of Rights?

Last week marked the 25th anniversary of the drafting of Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal to combine hypertext with the Internet that would later become the World Wide Web. Berners-Lee used the occasion to call for the creation of a global online “Magna Carta” to protect the rights of Internet users around the world.

The desire for enforceable global digital rights stands in sharp contrast to the early days of the Web when advocates were more inclined to tell governments to stay away from the burgeoning medium. For example, John Perry Barlow’s widely circulated 1996 Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, asked governments to “leave us alone”, claiming that conventional legal concepts did not apply online.

While the notion of a separate “cyberspace” would today strike many as inconsistent with how the Internet has developed into an integral part of everyday life, the prospect of a law-free online environment without government is even more at-odds with current realities. Rather than opposing government, there is a growing recognition of the need for governments to ensure that fundamental digital rights are respected.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that building on Berners-Lee’s vision of global online protections, the World Wide Web Foundation, supported by leading non-governmental organizations from around the world, has launched a “Web We Want” campaign that aims to foster increased awareness of online digital rights. The campaign focuses on five principles: affordable access, the protection of personal user information, freedom of expression, open infrastructure, and neutral networks that do not discriminate against content or users.

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March 19, 2014 30 comments Columns

The Web We Want: Could Canada Lead on a Digital Bill of Rights?

Appeared in the Toronto Star on March 15, 2014 as The Web We Want: Could Canada Lead on a Digital Bill of Rights? Last week marked the 25th anniversary of the drafting of Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal to combine hypertext with the Internet that would later become the World Wide Web. […]

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March 18, 2014 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Podcast on the Fight for Digital Rights

I appeared on CJSR’s Think to discuss the Fight for Digital Rights. Listen to this podcast or download it in iTunes.

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December 19, 2013 Comments are Disabled Podcasts

Inside the Fight for Digital Rights in Canada

I presented the closing keynote address at the Parkland Institutes 17th Annual Conference: Facts, Fictions and Truth. In recent years, the fight over digital rights, including online privacy, digital copyright, internet surveillance, and fair access, has captured the attention of a growing number of Canadians. I examined the emerging digital rights movement in Canada and its close connection to freedom of speech and privacy.

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November 23, 2013 Comments are Disabled Conferences, Video