Net Neutrality And Creative Freedom (Tim Wu at re:publica 2010) by 
Anna Lena Schiller (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Net Neutrality And Creative Freedom (Tim Wu at re:publica 2010) by Anna Lena Schiller (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Net Neutrality

neutralidad by portal gda (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 9: Why it Violates Canadian Net Neutrality Rules

Of all the claims that accompanied the launch of the Bell coalition’s website blocking plan – piracy rates (weak evidence) and claims of harm (unsupported by the data), inferences that the absence of a court order is commonplace (it isn’t), that the blocking will be strictly limited (unlikely), and that site blocking is effective (considerable data says otherwise) – the most audacious is surely the repeated assurances that site blocking does not raise net neutrality issues. Given that the starting principle for net neutrality is the right for users to access content and applications of their choice, blocking content is prima facie a net neutrality violation.

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February 23, 2018 10 comments News
Speak up, make your voice heard by Howard Lake (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Thousands Slam Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Proposal in Submissions to the CRTC

If the Bell coalition’s website blocking proposal was designed to garner attention, it achieved its goal as the proposal attracted thousands of individual submissions to the CRTC within days of it being posted online. The massive response is overwhelmingly negative, however, with thousands of Canadians registering their objections to the proposal. I wrote about the site blocking plan in a Globe and Mail op-ed and discussed it in an interview with CBC’s As It Happens. I will have many more posts on why the radical proposal should be rejected in the days ahead.

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February 5, 2018 14 comments News
SOPA/PIPA Protest in NYC Yesterday by Andrew Dallos (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Canada’s SOPA Moment: Why the CRTC Should Reject the Bell Coalition’s Dangerous Internet Blocking Plan

Six years ago, then Public Safety Minister Vic Toews was challenged over his plans to introduce online surveillance legislation that experts feared would have significant harmful effects on privacy and the Internet. Mr. Toews infamously responded that critics “could either stand with us or with the child pornographers.” The bill and Mr. Toews’ comments sparked an immediate backlash, prompting the government to shelve the legislation less than two weeks after it was first introduced.

This week, telecom giant Bell led a coalition of companies and associations called FairPlay Canada in seeking support for a wide-ranging website blocking plan that could have similarly harmful effects on the Internet, representing a set-back for privacy, freedom of expression, and net neutrality. My Globe and Mail op-ed notes the coalition’s position echoes Mr. Toews, amounting to a challenge to the government and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the regulator that will consider the plan) that they can either stand with them or with the pirates.

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February 2, 2018 11 comments Columns
2017 Jumping Happy New Year 2018 New Year Design, CC0 Public Domain

Looking Back at 2017: My Top Ten Posts

With 2018 nearly upon us, many sites are taking a moment to reflect back on the past year and the posts and issues that attracted the most attention. On my site, the top issues are easy to spot: net neutrality, privacy, copyright, website blocking and Netflix issues dominate the top ten. My top ten new posts published in 2017:

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December 28, 2017 3 comments News
Kicking Television by Daniel Horacio Agostini (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Fostering a Vibrant Canadian Programming Market: My CRTC Submission Focusing on Net Neutrality and Rejecting New Taxes, Fees or Content Blocking

Last month I posted on the responses to the CRTC’s consultation on the future of Canadian programming, which yielded over 200 submissions that envision extensive Internet regulation and taxation. The CRTC has published a reference document for the second stage of its consultation that runs until January 31, 2018.  My full submission for the first stage of the consultation can be found here.

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December 19, 2017 1 comment News