Post Tagged with: "freedom of expression"

University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario by Ken Lund https://flic.kr/p/yToGyh https://flic.kr/p/yToGyh

Abandoning Institutional Neutrality: Why the University of Windsor Encampment Agreements Constrain Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression

The University of Windsor’s agreements with encampment protesters and a student group have rightly raised concerns about antisemitism given their double standard treatment of Israeli institutions and impact on academic freedoms. While much of the initial emphasis has focused on the ill-advised decision to effectively establish a ban on agreements with Israeli institutions and establish conditions not required for any other country, there is another aspect that deserves attention since it undermines the university’s position as a neutral forum for discussion, debate and learning. In light of the diversity of views on campus and the desire for mutually respectful dialogue and engagement, many universities have tried to remain neutral on matters of sensitive politics post-October 7th. But by committing to engage in political advocacy, including issuing a political letter to the governments, lobbying other universities, and releasing a highly charged public statement, Windsor has abandoned the widely accepted fundamental principle of institutional neutrality, thereby constraining academic freedom and freedom of expression on campus.

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July 18, 2024 1 comment News
Game of Thrones - House Targaryen and House Lannister banners by Heather Paul CC BY-ND 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/a81kM3

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 204: What Could Have Been for the Bill S-210 Hearings

Bill S-210, the mandated age verification bill for pornography sites that in reality targets everything from Google Search to Netflix, was expected to be the subject of extensive hearings by the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. But after a Conservative filibuster, it appears that there will be only one hearing and that the bill will be reported back to the House unamended. Before that vote, this week’s Law Bytes podcast offers up a “what could have been” hearing on the bill. It features my mock opening statement alongside responses to some of the actual questions raised by MPs on issues such as privacy, website blocking, and poorly defined terms in the bill.

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June 3, 2024 4 comments Podcasts
Demeure Chaos - La liberté d'expression est un droit by mattt.org https://flic.kr/p/8C9TG2 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The Latest Bill C-11 Debate: Sacrificing Freedom of Expression for Quebec Culture Lobby Support

The Bill C-11 debate continued for hours in the House of Commons yesterday with a dispiriting discussion featuring MPs from all sides ignoring or exaggerating the implications of the bill. The debate often seemed to gravitate to two polar opposites: either the bill is China or North Korea-style censorship or it has no implications for freedom of expression and the regulation of user content. Both are false. To the claims of censorship, Bill C-11 is not China, Russia or Nazi Germany. As I’ve stated many times, it does not limit the ability to speak, but could impact the ability to be heard. That raises important implications for freedom of expression but it does not turn Canada into China. To the claims that user content regulation is excluded from the bill, Section 4.‍1(2)‍(b) and 4.2.2 clearly scope such content into the bill, an interpretation that has been confirmed by dozens of experts and the former Chair of the CRTC. Liberal and NDP MP claims to the contrary should be regarded as disinformation, a deliberate attempt to spread false information. Indeed, the Senate proposed a fix. The government rejected it. That was supposed to be the focus of the debate, yet Liberal MPs such as Kevin Lamoureux falsely claimed that there is no there there.

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March 28, 2023 11 comments News
Freedom of expression by Harald Groven https://flic.kr/p/6Qy66z (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A Tax on Freedom Of Expression: Report Suggests Bill C-18 Could Be Expanded Even Beyond Mandated Payment for Links

Google was scheduled to appear before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage yesterday to discuss Bill C-18 and its test of the removal of links to Canadian news services for a small percentage of its users, but the meeting was postponed due to technical difficulties. That ensured that the big Bill C-18 news of the day did not come from the hearing, but rather from an exceptional Ricochet Media article featuring comments from Senator Paula Simons that should heighten concern about the government’s intent with Bill C-18. Senator Simons, a longtime journalist and Trudeau appointee to the Senate, raises many concerns with the bill (and a great line that “honest to god, I feel that this is written by people who have never used the Internet”), but I think this is the key passage, which opens the door to targets beyond Google and Facebook:

Then there’s the question of what would happen down the road if Google and Facebook were no longer profitable? Simons told Ricochet that when she raised that question with staff in the Heritage ministry, she was told they “would turn to TikTok.”“I said, ‘Wait a minute! TikTok doesn’t share news links,’” Simons recalled. “And staff said, ‘TikTok shares news stories in other ways. It talks about the news.’ I said, ‘Woah, wait a minute! That’s a fair-use argument.’…Then the official said to me, ‘Lots of Canadians get their news from TikTok.’” But, she pointed out, if a content creator on TikTok talks about something they read, that’s not the same as actually sharing a news story.

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March 7, 2023 5 comments News
Musk Twitter takeover by duncan cumming https://flic.kr/p/2nW7efB (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Elon Musk’s Twitter Linking Restrictions May Have Been Short-Lived, But Bill C-18 is Based on a Similar Approach to Links

The dismantling of Twitter over the past six weeks has been incredibly distressing for millions of users who have come to rely on the platform. From the mass layoffs to journalist suspensions to this weekend’s seemingly short-lived policy blocking some links to rival services, it has been a head-spinning stretch since Elon Musk assumed ownership of the service in late October. In response, many have established a presence on various alternatives: you can now also find me on Mastodon, Post, and Substack. As Twitter users promote these alternatives, on Sunday the company briefly unveiled a new policy that involved removing “accounts created solely for the purpose of promoting other social platforms and content that contains links or usernames for the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post.” From an operational perspective, this would have meant blocking some links to rival platforms big (Facebook, IG), growing (Mastodon), and small (Post).

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December 19, 2022 8 comments News