Post Tagged with: "freedom of expression"

Program by Marcin Wichary https://flic.kr/p/7hCjkK (CC BY 2.0)

Bill C-11’s Foundational Faults, Part Two: The Regulate-It-All Approach of Treating All Audio-Visual Content as a “Program”

My first post in a series on foundational faults in Bill C-11 focused on the virtually limitless reach of the CRTC’s jurisdictional power over audio-visual services. The starting point in the bill is that all audio-visual services anywhere in the world with some Canadian users or subscribers are subject to the Canadian jurisdiction and it will fall to the Commission to establish thresholds exempting some services from regulation. However, even with some exemptions, the Canadian approach will require registration and data disclosures, likely leading many services to block Canada altogether, reducing choice and increasing consumer cost.

The expansive approach in Bill C-11 isn’t limited to its jurisdictional reach, however. Not only does the law have few limits with respect to which services are regulated, it is similarly over-broad with respect to what is regulated, featuring definitions that loop all audio-visual content into the law by treating all audio-visual content as a “program” subject to potential regulation.

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February 23, 2022 6 comments News
Age Verification Station by Nock Forager (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4H67D7

Age Verification Requirements for Twitter or Website Blocking for Reddit?: My Appearance on Bill S-210 at the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Bill C-11, the government’s online streaming bill, is rightly garnering increasing attention, but there is a private member’s Senate bill that should also be on the radar screen. Bill S-210, a follow-up to S-203, is a bill that purports to restrict underage access to sexually explicit material. Sponsored by Senator Miville-Dechêne, a former CBC journalist appointed to the Senate in 2018, the bill would require age verification requirements for sites (likely backed by face recognition technologies) and mandated website blocking for sites that fail to comply with the verification requirements.

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February 10, 2022 4 comments News
reset_21jan2009_0160 by Patrick Lauke https://flic.kr/p/5UsyVA (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Time to Hit the Reset Button: Canadian Heritage Releases “What We Heard” Report on Online Harms Consultation

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez released a “What We Heard Report” on the government’s consultation on online harms earlier today. To the government’s credit, the report is remarkably candid as it does not shy away from the near-universal criticism that its plans sparked, including concerns related to freedom of expression, privacy rights, the impact of the proposal on certain marginalized groups, and compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The report provides a play-by-play of these concerns, leaving little doubt that a major reset is required. The government telegraphed a change in approach with the Rodriguez mandate letter, which explicitly stated that the online harms legislation “should be reflective of the feedback received during the recent consultations.”

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February 3, 2022 3 comments News
free consultation by russell davies  https://flic.kr/p/4jxLPq (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The (Still Secret) Online Harms Consultation: What the Government Heard, Part One

The results of this summer’s online harms consultation remains largely shrouded in secrecy as the Canadian government still refuses to disclose the hundreds of submissions it received. Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez now leads the file, but he has said little about his department’s plans or explained why a public consultation should not feature public availability of the submissions. I have maintained an ongoing blog post with links to dozens of submissions that have been independently posted. While even a cursory review reveals widespread criticism, I’ve worked with the University of Ottawa law student Pelle Berends to do a deeper dive on the available submissions. This first post identifies the common concerns raised in the submissions with a chart breaking down the positions posted below. A second post will highlight frequently raised recommendations.

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December 15, 2021 5 comments News
Citizens' Assembly on Democratic Expression by Michael Geist (CC BY 4.0)

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 109: Striking the Balance on Misinformation and Freedom of Expression – My Examination of Canadian Policy Solutions

The Canadian Parliament is set to resume this week and it’s a safe bet that Internet regulation will be part of the legislative agenda in the coming months. One of the toughest policy issues involve misinformation, which can be difficult to define and potentially to regulate. The Canadian Commission on Democratic Expression was established in spring 2020 with a three-year mandate to better understand, anticipate, and respond to the effects of new digital technologies on public life and Canadian democracy. As part of its work, it created a Citizens’ Assembly comprised of Canadians from across the country who recently gathered for several days to debate disinformation online. Last week, I was honoured to deliver a dinner speech to the group followed by a facilitated discussion. This week’s podcast features a recording of that lecture with the slides posted here.

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November 22, 2021 6 comments Podcasts