In Defence of Foreign Telecom Players

Derek DeCloet in the Globe and Mail features a column calling for greater Canadian telecom consolidation and an end to foreign ownership restrictions.


  1. An interesting concept
    My main concern: depending on how it is implemented, the American government, using the PATRIOT act, could access my phone records from an American owned telecom company. While specifically mentioning an American company, this concern would apply to any telecom company that operates in Canada but is foreign owned. Canadian companies are forced to operate under Canadian privacy laws; we could hope that a foreign owned company would do the same, but can the government realistically enforce it?

  2. re: An interesting concept
    Anon-K, Canadian Law has already demonstrated that it is willing and able to enforce Canadian Privacy laws to foreign companies that service Canadians. See the recent facebook privacy decisions. For facebook to offer it’s service to Canadians they must comply with Canadian Law.

    Another example is a recent ruling that will demand that ebay, a foreign to Canada company, release information on Canadian users of their service. This is being done at the request of the Canada Revenue service in order to collect/audit the income via ebay of Canadian Citizens.

  3. @Anon-L
    Agreed, Facebook did agree to take that into consideration, in particular with its dealings with the application developers (and this had been a bone of contention, in many jurisdictions, not just in Canada, for some time). However, that is not what I am referring to. My point was about regulatory and legislative obligations put in place by the country where the company is registered.

    I am not so sure about your point with respect that “For facebook to offer it’s service to Canadians they must comply with Canadian Law”. It is pretty much impossible to prevent them from offering the service to Canadians. Ditto for eBay, so, if eBay should have decided to ignore the ruling, what could have been done? Historically, the Canadian government is unwilling to prosecute foreign nationals and corporations, operating outside of Canada, for breaking Canadian “mail order”-type laws, unlike the US (see Marc Emery).