Post Tagged with: "bill c-63"

No violence no hate speech by John S. Quarterman https://flic.kr/p/aDkJbi CC BY 2.0

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 198: Richard Moon on the Return of the Section 13 Hate Speech Provision in the Online Harms Act

The public debate surrounding Bill C-63, the Online Harms Act, has focused primarily on Human Rights Act and Criminal Code reforms. The Human Rights Act changes include the return of Section 13 on hate speech, which was repealed by the Harper government after criticisms that it unduly chilled freedom of expression. To help understand the history of Section 13 and its latest iteration, this week Professor Richard Moon, Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at the University of Windsor joins the Law Bytes podcast. The Canadian Human Rights Commission asked Professor Moon to conduct a study on Section 13 in 2008 and his report is the leading source on its history and application. In this episode, we discuss that history and consider the benefits and risks of inserting it into Bill C-63.

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April 8, 2024 2 comments Podcasts
Arif Virani, MP for Parkdale-High Park by Nicole Contois https://flic.kr/p/ThAyBg CC0 1.0

Government Gaslighting Again?: Unpacking the Uncomfortable Reality of the Online Harms Act

The Online Harms Act was only introduced two weeks ago, but already it appears that the government is ready to run back the same playbook of gaslighting and denials that plagued Bills C-11 and C-18. Those bills, which addressed Internet streaming and news, faced widespread criticism over potential regulation of user content and the prospect of blocked news links on major Internet platforms. Rather than engage in a policy process that took the criticism seriously, the government ignored digital creators (including disrespecting indigenous creators) and dismissed the risks of Bill C-18 as a bluff. The results of that strategy are well-known: Bill C-11 required a policy direction fix and is mired in a years-long regulatory process at the CRTC and news links have been blocked for months on Meta as the list of Canadian media bankruptcies and closures mount.

Bill C-63, the Online Harms Act, offered the chance for a fresh start given that the government seemed to accept the sharp criticism of its first proposal, engaging in a more open consultative process in response. As I noted when the bill was first tabled, the core of the legislation addressing the responsibility of Internet platforms was indeed much improved. Yet it was immediately obvious there were red flags, particularly with respect to the Digital Safety Commission charged with enforcing the law and with the inclusion of Criminal Code and Human Rights Act provisions with overbroad penalties and the potential to weaponize speech complaints. The hope – based on the more collaborative approach used to develop the law – was that there would be a “genuine welcoming of constructive criticism rather than the discouraging, hostile processes of recent years.” Two weeks in that hope is rapidly disappearing.

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March 13, 2024 22 comments News
Internet Safety by Alan Levine https://flic.kr/p/aupWJP (CC BY 2.0)

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 195: Vivek Krishnamurthy on What You Need to Know About the Online Harms Act

The Online Harms Act is the culmination of years of public debate over whether – or how – the government should establish a regulatory framework for Internet platforms in dealing with online harms. Bill C-63 is already attracting considerable controversy, particularly over proposed changes to the Criminal Code and the Human Rights Act. To help unpack the bill, Vivek Krishnamurthy, an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Law School, joins this week’s Law Bytes podcast. Vivek is a former colleague and Director of the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic and he served as a Commissioner on the Canadian Commission on Democratic Expression and was a member of the government’s Expert Panel on Online Harms.

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March 11, 2024 10 comments Podcasts
Taking Action Against Antisemitic Hate: When Content Moderation, Self-Regulation, and Legislation Fail

Taking Action Against Antisemitic Hate: When Content Moderation, Self-Regulation, and Legislation Fail

The explosive growth of antisemitism in Canada since October 7th is well documented with shooting at schools, the need for a regular police presence at synagogues and community centres, arrests on terrorism offences, and protests targeting Jewish owned businesses and communities. So in that context, some antisemitic graffiti at a bus stop in Toronto over the weekend might have been just one more incident to add to the list that now runs into the hundreds. Yet I found the image of “No Service For Jew Bastards” particularly chilling, evoking memories of the holocaust and of similar hateful messages that have frequently targeted minority communities over the years. I proceeded to post a tweet and a LinkedIn post with the photo and a caption:

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March 5, 2024 11 comments News
Say No to Hate Crime! by Mike Gifford CC BY-NC 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/Nc2Xsb

Why the Criminal Code and Human Rights Act Provisions Should Be Removed from the Online Harms Act

Having a spent virtually the entire day yesterday talking with media and colleagues about Bill C-63, one thing has become increasingly clear: the Criminal Code and Human Rights Act provisions found in the Online Harms Act should be removed. In my initial post on the bill, I identified the provisions as one of three red flags, warning that they “feature penalties that go as high as life in prison and open the door to a tidal wave of hate speech related complaints.” There is no obvious need or rationale for penalties of life in prison for offences motivated by hatred, nor the need to weaponize human rights complaints by reviving Human Rights Act provisions on communication of hate speech. As more Canadians review the bill, there is a real risk that these provisions will overwhelm the Online Harms Act and become a primary area of focus despite not being central to the law’s core objective of mitigating harms on Internet platforms.

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February 28, 2024 21 comments News