Archive for July, 2014

Cross Border Action: The People's Round on the Trans Pacific Partnership by Caelie_Frampton (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Why The Secrecy on the TPP Talks in Ottawa This Week? Because There is Something to Hide

Trade agreements have emerged in recent years as one of the federal government’s most frequently touted accomplishments. Having concluded (or nearly concluded) free trade deals with the likes of the European Union and South Korea, senior government ministers such as International Trade Minister Ed Fast and Industry Minister James Moore have held dozens of events and press conferences across the country promoting the trade agenda.

The next major agreement on the government’s docket is the Trans Pacific Partnership, a massive proposed trade deal that includes the United States, Australia, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Vietnam, Japan, Peru, and Chile. While other trade talks occupy a prominent place in the government’s promotional plans, the TPP remains largely hidden from view. Indeed, most Canadians would be surprised to learn that Canada is hosting the latest round of TPP negotiations this week in Ottawa.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) argues the secrecy associated with the TPP – the draft text of the treaty has still not been formally released, the precise location of the Ottawa negotiations has not been disclosed, and even the existence of talks was only confirmed after media leaks – suggests that the Canadian government has something to hide when it comes to the TPP.

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July 7, 2014 17 comments Columns

Why the Secrecy on Canada’s TPP Talks? Because There is Something to Hide

Appeared in the Toronto Star on July 5, 2014 as Why the Secrecy on Canadian Trade Talks?  Because There’s Something to Hide Trade agreements have emerged in recent years as one of the federal government’s most frequently touted accomplishments. Having concluded (or nearly concluded) free trade deals with the likes […]

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July 7, 2014 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive
By K. Latham (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Enforcing CASL: How To Report Spam Violations

With Canada’s anti-spam law now in effect, many are starting to ask about enforcement of the law. While no one should expect the law to eliminate spam, the goal much more modest: target the bad actors based in Canada and change the privacy culture by making opt-in consent the expected standard for consumer consents. The CRTC, the lead regulatory agency, has made it clear that the fear-mongering of million dollar penalties for inadvertent violations is not going to happen. Chair Jean-Pierre Blais recently stated:

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July 4, 2014 9 comments News
Did you consent to your involvement in this process? by Quinn Dombrowski (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Benefits of Consent

Commercial email did not grind to a halt the day after Canada’s anti-spam legislation took effect and neither did the coverage about the law’s impact (I appeared on CBC’s The Current to debate the issue). Coverage included Microsoft backtracking from its earlier decision to stop security update emails, apparently taking the time to actually read the legislation and find the exception for security notification. There was also a CBC story about the Canadian Avalanche Centre, which stopped an email service after hundred of customization options became “too much of a hassle to maintain”, but the CBC used the timing to link the decision to CASL.

But what really caught my attention was this tweet from Jason Faber, the marketing manager at BoldRadius.

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July 3, 2014 1 comment News
New Look by duncan c (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Welcome to the New

Welcome to the new look Months in the making, the site is new in just about every way: a new cleaner, more colourful design, new content management system (from Joomla to WordPress), updated content, new topic pages for the most popular issues discussed on the site, and better search and social media functionality. The new site still uses a Creative Commons licence and now adds dozens of photos that are also CC licensed.

My thanks to Willy Karam for his years of assistance on the old site, to Amanda Lutz for her work in transitioning to the new site, to students such as Emily Murray and Alexandra Lyn for their help updating content, and to the many creators who use Creative Commons to make their work available to others.

While we have worked hard to ensure a seamless transition, any major website overhaul that transfer thousands of posts and tens of thousands of comments is bound to have unforeseen issues. Readers are invited to provide feedback and to notify me know of anything they encounter that does not work as it should.

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July 2, 2014 7 comments News