Given that few would have predicted that Internet protests last year would have led to the defeat or delay of legislation in the United States (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and Canada (Internet surveillance legislation) as well as spell the end for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in Europe, a new round of predictions for what lies ahead amounts to little more than guesswork. With that caveat in mind, my weekly technology law column (homepage version, Toronto Star version) provides a month-by-month look at what 2013 may have in store for technology law and policy.
January. The government opens the New Year by releasing proposed anti-spam regulations with promise that the long-delayed law will take effect by 2014. The regulations leave no one satisfied as they water down the law with a host of new exceptions and exclusions that limit requirements for businesses to obtain consent before sending unsolicited marketing materials.