Post Tagged with: "conservatives"

The Conservatives Commitment to Internet Surveillance

This post, which focuses on the Conservatives commitment to pass lawful access legislation that would fundamentally reshape the Internet in Canada within the new Parliament’s first 100 days if it wins a majority, requires two caveats. The first is to emphasize that I believe digital policies are not a partisan issue. Developing a digital economy strategy, introducing balanced copyright, addressing cybercrime while preserving privacy is not a left or right, Liberal or Conservative, issue.

The second is to note that all the major parties have strong and weak points on digital issues:

  • the Conservatives passed anti-spam legislation, defended fair dealing reform on C-32, and pressured the CRTC on the usage based billing issue (they also failed to strike a balance on digital locks and include a digital economy strategy in their platform)
  • the Liberals made a strong commitment on digital policies in their platform, were the first to focus on open government, and called for changes to the digital lock rules (they also failed to take a stand on foreign investment in telecommunications and had MP Dan McTeague openly working with CRIA on an anti-consumer copyright policy)
  • the NDP were the first to draw attention to consumer issues on copyright, to commit to net neutrality, and to take a stand on UBB (they also are strong supporters of an iPod levy).

While there are good and bad with each party, the Conservatives new commitment to lawful access – new laws that would establish massive Internet surveillance requirements and the potential disclosure of personal information without court oversight – is incredibly problematic for the Internet, privacy, and online freedoms. It requires real debate yet seems likely to slip under the public radar.

Read more ›

April 9, 2011 70 comments News

Conservatives on their Digital Economy Strategy: Wait Until After the Election

The Conservatives released their policy platform this morning and for those hoping to compare their digital economy strategy with the one promoted by the Liberals, they will have to wait. The platform devotes one page to the digital economy strategy, but it primarily re-iterates previously announced policy goals. These include […]

Read more ›

April 8, 2011 24 comments News

Copyright and Canada’s Trade Agreements: Point of Disagreement Between the Parties?

The Globe and Mail is reporting that the Conservatives will announce their commitment to completing new trade agreements with the European Union and India at an event this morning in Halifax. The focus on the EU deal – CETA – is noteworthy because there may be a divide between the […]

Read more ›

March 31, 2011 4 comments News

Why Canada’s Fair Dealing Rules May Impede Free Speech: The Conservative Ads, the CBC, and Copyright

This week the Conservative party began airing a series of ads criticizing the opposition, including three that included short video clips from a CBC program.  The CBC has objected to the use of the footage, stating that its material should not be used in partisan advertising and noting that the Conservatives did not ask for permission to use the clip.  The Conservative party has responded by arguing that the use is covered by fair dealing and that no permission was needed.  According to the Fred DeLorety, the director of communications for the party, “It’s free speech. It’s free use.” To support its position, the Conservatives point to the use of a similar clip by C-SPAN in the United States under its fair use rules.  The argument seems to be that if it is fair use in the U.S., surely it is fair use (or dealing) in Canada (Stephen Taylor makes the same point in criticizing the CBC for not having a better grasp of fair use).

The problem with this argument is that is mistakenly presumes that the U.S. fair use provision covers the same ground as Canadian fair dealing.  It doesn’t.  Indeed, this is precisely why many have argued for a flexible fair dealing provision, which unfortunately is not found in current Copyright Act or in Bill C-32.

Read more ›

January 19, 2011 32 comments News

UK Conservatives Promise 100 Mbps Broadband By 2017

The UK Conservatives have promised 100 Mbps broadband service to the majority of homes in the country by 2017.

Read more ›

February 1, 2010 1 comment Must Reads