Post Tagged with: "website blocking"

copy culture by Will Lion (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Dialling Up the Bell Lobbying Playbook: Production Company Website Blocking Submissions Using Identical Script

With just over a week left in the CRTC’s comment period on the Bell coalition website blocking proposal, the Commission has now received thousands of comments with the vast majority opposing the plan. While supporters of the site blocking approach have dismissed the opposition, Bell’s tactics in drumming up support deserves further examination. Last month, I blogged about its astroturfing campaign, which involved encouraging employees to submit comments without any reference to the need to disclose their corporate affiliation.

In addition to the internal efforts, Bell has clearly reached out to others with template language that can be used for submissions. Some customize their submissions, but many simply copy the supplied language verbatim.

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March 20, 2018 0 comments News
Stopping online piracy by Anthony Farris (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, The Finale

Nearly one month ago, I set out to outline the case against the Bell coalition’s website blocking plan. Sixteen instalments later (plus bonus posts on Bell’s astroturfing campaign and the remarkable success of the day of action opposing the plan), I have examined the myriad of problems with the proposal. The objective was never to justify piracy. Rather, it was to conclusively demonstrate that the proposal is disproportionate, harmful, offside international standards, violates Canadian norms, and does not come close to meeting the CRTC’s requirements for approval of website blocking. This post summarizes the key points for each of these five sources of concern. The CRTC is accepting interventions until March 29th, leaving Canadians with several more weeks to speak out to the Commission, their Member of Parliament, and the Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains.

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March 8, 2018 2 comments News
Internet Access Here Sign by Steve Rhode (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 16: The CRTC as the Internet Content Regulatory Authority

In Canada, services that broadcast over the Internet don’t need a licence from the CRTC, as we exempted them from this obligation. We do not intervene on content on the Internet.

This statementwe do not intervene on content on the Internet – appears on the CRTC site at the very beginning of a page devoted to TV shows, movies, music and other content online. It may not be a regulatory statement, but it reflects how the CRTC sees itself and how it wants to be seen. Bell and other companies associated with the coalition have regularly tried to drag it into various forms of content regulation under the Telecommunications Act. Yet the Commission has rightly rejected those efforts, emphasizing that it does not licence or judge Internet content nor is it empowered by legislation to do so.

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March 7, 2018 1 comment News
CC BY-SA 3.0 Nick Youngson / Alpha Stock Images

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 13: It is Inconsistent With the CRTC Policy Direction

Having examined the foundational weaknesses of the Bell coalition’s website blocking plan (existing Canadian law, weak piracy evidence, limited impact) and its negative effects (lack of court orders, overblocking, ineffectiveness, violation of net neutrality, vulnerability on freedom of expression grounds, higher Internet costs, privacy risks), the case against the plan enters the final phase with several posts on how it fails to meet the requirements under the Telecommunications Act.

In 2006, then-Industry Minister Maxime Bernier led the push for a new policy direction to the CRTC on implementing Canadian telecommunications policy objectives. The direction states:

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March 2, 2018 3 comments News
priVacy by Lee Harkness (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 12: Increasing Privacy Risks for Canadians

The Bell website blocking coalition cites privacy protection as a reason to support its plan, noting the privacy risks that can arise from unauthorized streaming sites. There are obviously far better ways of protecting user privacy from risks on the Internet than blocking access to sites that might create those risks, however. Further, with literally millions of sites that pose some privacy risk, few would argue that the solution lies in blocking all of them. In fact, the privacy argument is not only weak, it is exceptionally hypocritical. Bell is arguably the worst major Canadian telecom company on user privacy and its attempt to justify website blocking on the grounds that it wants to protect privacy is not credible.

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March 1, 2018 2 comments News