Appeared in the Toronto Star on February 9, 2013 as Businesses Think Anti-Spam Law Should Protect Them, Not Consumers For the past month, business groups from across the country have waged an extraordinary campaign against Canada’s anti-spam legislation. With the long overdue law likely to take effect by year-end, groups […]
Archive for February, 2013
The IIPA, the umbrella lobby group that represents the major movie, music, and entertainment software lobby groups, released its recommendations for the U.S. piracy watch list last week. Those that thought passing Bill C-11 – the Canadian copyright reform bill that contained some of the most restrictive digital lock rules in the world – would satisfy U.S. groups will be disappointed. The IIPA wants Canada back on the piracy watch list, one notch below the Special Watch List (where the US placed Canada last year).
NDP MP Charmaine Borg, the party’s digital issues critic, has written to Industry Minister Christian Paradis to express concern over the draft anti-spam regulations, noting that they appear to circumvent the will of Parliament. The letter cites testimony from Industry Canada officials in 2010, who told the Industry Committee “what the legislation is trying to do is not allow a third party to give express or implied consent on behalf of another person.” Yet despite that position, the department has now proposed a third party referral exception. Borg notes:
After defending their decision to exclude a third party referral exception from the bill, Industry Canada officials, two-years later, introduced the very same exception into the regulations. Yet it was the text of Bill C-28 – explicitly excluding a third-party referral exception – that received multi-partisan support in the House, Industry Committee and the Senate. It appears that in the intervening two years since Bill C-28 received Royal Assent, Industry Canada has decided to regulate around the will of Parliament.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced yesterday that the government will not be proceeding with Bill C-30, the lawful access/Internet surveillance legislation:
We will not be proceeding with Bill C-30 and any attempts that we will continue to have to modernize the Criminal Code will not contain the measures contained in C-30, including the warrantless mandatory disclosure of basic subscriber information or the requirement for telecommunications service providers to build intercept capability within their systems. We’ve listened to the concerns of Canadians who have been very clear on this and responding to that.
This shift in policy is remarkable, particularly for a majority government that has used crime as a legislative wedge issue. Almost one year ago to the day – on February 13, 2012, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews infamously told the House of Commons that critics of his forthcoming bill could stand with the government or with the child pornographers. Bill C-30 was introduced the following day, but within two weeks, a massive public outcry – much of it online – forced the government to quietly suspend the bill and now a year later openly acknowledge that it is dead.