Archive for April, 2021

secret plans by Jodi Green (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/58iptn

Why the Government’s Secret Forthcoming Bill C-10 Amendment Confirms Its Plans to Regulate User Generated Content

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault and the Liberal government’s response to mounting concern over its decision to remove a legal safeguard designed to ensure the CRTC would not regulate user generated content has been denial. The department’s own officials told MPs that all programming on sites like Youtube would be subject to regulation, yet Guilbeault insisted to the House of Commons that user generated content would be excluded from regulation as part of Bill C-10, his Broadcasting Act reform bill.

However, based on new documents I recently obtained, it has become clear that Guilbeault and the government have misled the Canadian public with their response. In fact, the government effectively acknowledges that it is regulating user generated content in a forthcoming, still-secret amendment to Bill C-10. Amendment G-13, submitted by Liberal MP Julie Dabrusin on April 7th and likely to come before the committee studying the bill over the next week, seeks to amend Section 10(1) of the Broadcasting Act which specifies the CRTC’s regulatory powers. It states:

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April 29, 2021 24 comments News
free speech parklet podium by Liz Henry https://flic.kr/p/xJQwLH (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Why Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s Own Department Officials Don’t Support His Claims on Regulating User Generated Content

Days after the government removed legal safeguards designed to ensure the CRTC would not regulate user generated content as part of Bill C-10, its Broadcasting Act reform bill, the public and political world have awoken to the troubling implications for freedom of expression. Political columnists are comparing Canada to China in censoring the Internet and opposition MPs have launched petitions with promises to fight back against the bill. The issue unsurprisingly became a major talking point during Question Period in the House of Commons yesterday. While Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault retreated to his usual talking points, it is notable that his claims are not even supported by his own department officials.

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April 28, 2021 5 comments News
040:365 Free Speech. by John Nakamura Remy https://flic.kr/p/7HRYFm (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Knowing Who to Stand Up For: Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault and the Regulation of Free Speech

The Liberal government’s stunning, dangerous, and inexcusable decision to rescind legislative safeguards for user generated content in Bill C-10 has rightly sparked media attention, political opposition, and anger from Canadians. The Broadcasting Act reform bill is problematic for many reasons, but last week’s decision to treat all user generated content as a program subject to regulation by the CRTC was a giant step too far. As a result of the decision, the CRTC will determine what terms and conditions will be attached the speech of millions of Canadians on sites like Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, and hundreds of other services should the bill become law.

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April 27, 2021 11 comments News
EP-085982A_Article17_Panel_1 by European Parliament Article 17 TFEU (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/2fr43BT

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 85: Céline Castets-Renard on Europe’s Plan to Regulate Artificial Intelligence

Last week, the European Commission launched what promises to be a global, multi-year debate on the regulation of artificial intelligence. Several years in development, the proposed rules would ban some uses of AI, regulate others, and establish significant penalties for those that fail to abide by the rules. European leaders believe the initiative will place them at the forefront of AI, borrowing from the data protection framework of seeking to export EU solutions to the rest of the world. Céline Castets-Renard is a colleague at the University of Ottawa, where she holds the University Research Chair on Accountable Artificial Intelligence in a Global World. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the EU plans, their implications for Canadian AI policy, and the road ahead for the regulation of artificial intelligence.

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April 26, 2021 2 comments Podcasts
The App Store by Glen Bledsoe https://flic.kr/p/9rCQw8 (CC BY 2.0)

Not Just User Generated Content: Liberal Government Also Want the CRTC to Regulate Apps Under Bill C-10

Earlier tonight, I posted on the government’s attack on freedom of expression with its astonishing plans to regulate all user generated content posted to sites such as Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. But the danger doesn’t stop there. For months, the government insisted that it was not going to regulate video games as part of Bill C-10.  In fact, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault told the House of Commons:

Bear in mind that we are imposing a number of guardrails. As I said earlier, user-generated content, news content and video games would not be subject to the new regulations.

It turns out none of this is accurate. I’ve blogged about how news is caught by the legislation and the Heritage committee just eliminated the guardrail on user generated content. Now it appears that the government plans to introduce a motion to bring apps under the scope of CRTC regulation.

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April 23, 2021 12 comments News