Archive for September, 2021

2017 Freedom of Expression Awards by Elina Kansikas for Index on Censorship https://flic.kr/p/Uvmaie (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Failure to Balance Freedom of Expression and Protection from Online Harms: My Submission to the Government’s Consultation on Addressing Harmful Content Online

The government’s consultation on its proposed approach to address harmful content online concluded over the weekend. The consultation was one of several consults that ran during the election period and which raise questions about whether policy makers are genuinely interested in incorporating feedback from Canadians. I submitted to all the various consultations and will be posting those submissions this week.

I start with my online harms submission. The full submission, which touches on issues such as 24 hour takedowns, website blocking, proactive monitoring, and enforcement, can be found here. To learn more about the issues, catch my Law Bytes podcast episode with Cynthia Khoo or listen to a terrific discussion that I had together with Daphne Keller on the Tech Policy Press Podcast. The submission opens with eight general comments that I’ve posted below:

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September 28, 2021 20 comments Committees, News
COVID-19 Vaccine Record Card by NIAID (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/2maPFYd

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 102: Colleen Flood on the Legal, Ethical and Policy Implications of Vaccine Passports

Vaccine passports or certificates launched in Ontario last week, a development welcomed by some and strongly opposed by others. The launch raises a myriad of legal, ethical, privacy, and policy issues as jurisdictions around the world grapple with the continued global pandemic and the unusual requirements of demonstrating vaccination in order to enter some public or private spaces.

Professor Colleen Flood, a colleague at the University of Ottawa, has been writing and thinking about these issues for many months. Later today, she will be part of a panel discussion that explores the policy challenges hosted by the University of Ottawa Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, and the Centre for Law, Technology and Society. She joins the Law Bytes podcast with an advance preview as we discuss the legal balancing act, models from around the world, and the concerns that governments should be thinking about in this next stage of dealing with COVID-19.

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September 27, 2021 2 comments Podcasts
I Just Did. by Dennis Sylvester Hurd https://flic.kr/p/2hykFqz Public Domain

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 101: OpenMedia’s Laura Tribe on Digital Policy and the 2021 Canadian Election

It is election day in Canada following a late summer campaign in which the focus was largely anything but digital issues: COVID, climate change, Afghanistan, and affordability all dominated the daily talking points. The digital policy issues that grabbed attention throughout the spring – Bill C-10, online harms, wireless pricing – were largely absent from the discussion and in some cases even from party platforms. Laura Tribe, the executive director of OpenMedia, joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss digital policies and the 2021 election campaign. Our conversation walks through a wide range of issues, including the surprising omission of wireless pricing from the Liberal platform, the future of Bill C-10, and the failure of privacy reform to garner much political traction.

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September 20, 2021 7 comments Podcasts
Video in Honour of Prof. David Vaver’s Induction to the Order of Canada and Royal Society of Canada by Osgoode Hall Law School, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmqVHrBdZ_Y

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 100: David Vaver With a Masterclass on Copyright and User Rights

The role of the public and the public interest has factored prominently into many of the Law Bytes podcast conversations. For the 100th episode, Osgoode Hall Law School Professor David Vaver, widely viewed as Canada’s leading IP expert, joins the podcast. The recipient of the Order of Canada, Professor Vaver provided the scholarly grounding for the emergence of user rights in copyright in Canada and around the world. In this episode, he gives a masterclass on the history of copyright, the emergence of user rights, Supreme Court copyright jurisprudence, and potential future copyright reforms.

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September 13, 2021 15 comments Podcasts
Arrival of Leaders by NATO https://flic.kr/p/2m5z5hJ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Liberal Election Platform: Government Picks Internet Regulation Over Internet Affordability

The Liberal party released its election platform yesterday and perhaps everything you need to know can be gleaned from the fact that Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault posted multiple tweets about plans for new cultural spending initiatives and Internet regulations in French without a single English language tweet. This is surely not a coincidence since the government’s digital policies have long been designed to curry favour in Quebec, even at risk of angering voters in the rest of Canada. Based on decision to forge ahead with Internet regulations with enormous implications for freedom of expression, alienating voters in the rest of Canada that have raised concerns with policies such as Bill C-10 is not a worry for the Liberal government.

Neither, it would seem, is the affordability of Internet and wireless services, which do not receive a single mention or direct policy measure. In doing so, the party has seemingly abandoned wireless competitiveness as an issue and unequivocally sided with the big telecom companies despite presiding over some of the world’s most expensive wireless services. The party platform is titled “Forward for Everyone” but not everyone moves forward in quite the same way with big telecom companies moving further ahead than Canadian consumers.

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September 2, 2021 14 comments News