The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sparked international condemnation and a race to levy sanctions and undo longstanding connections to the country. Responses have included demands that Russia Today, a television network backed by the Russian government, be removed from cable and satellite systems. Companies such as Bell, Rogers, Telus and Shaw have dropped the service, but the desire for a longer-term regulatory solution has brought the issue to the CRTC. Working with a strict two week deadline, last week the CRTC ruled that RT and RT France can no longer be distributed by Canadian television service providers. Monica Song is a partner with the law firm Dentons and one of Canada’s leading telecom and broadcast lawyers. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to unpack the case before the Commission and assess the broader implications around due process and content regulation.
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The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 122: Monica Song on Banning Russia Today From the Canadian Television System
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 121: The Law Is No Longer Fit For Purpose – My Appearance Before the ETHI Committee on Canadian Privacy and Mobility Data
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics spent much of February conducting a study on the collection and use of mobility data by the Government of Canada. The study stems from reports that the Public Health Agency of Canada worked with Telus and BlueDot, an AI firm, to identify COVID-19 trends based on mobility data with questions about whether there was appropriate disclosures, transparency and consent from the millions of Canadians whose data may have been collected. I appeared before the committee toward the end of the study, emphasizing that while the activities were arguably legal, something still does not sit right with many Canadians. This week’s Law Bytes podcast goes inside the hearing room for my appearance, where I made the case that Canada’s outdated privacy laws are no longer fit for purpose.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 120: Vass Bednar, Ana Qarri and Robin Shaban on Fixing Canada’s Competition Law Problem
The proposed Rogers – Shaw merger has placed Canada’s competition law and policy back into the spotlight as consumers frustrated by high wireless prices and a market that many believe already suffers from insufficient competition face the prospect of even less competition should the deal be approved. Last week, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology agreed, issuing a recommendation that “the Committee believes the merger should not proceed” and identifying the need for conditions in the event that it does.
Vass Bednar, Ana Quarri, and Robin Shaban recently conducted an extensive study for the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Industry on competition in data driven markets in Canada. Vass, the Executive Director of McMaster University’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) in Digital Society Program, Ana, a recent graduate of McGill University Faculty of Law, and Robin, co-founder and senior economist at Vivic Research, join me on this week’s Law Bytes podcast to discuss their study, the intersection between competition and digital and telecom policy, and their proposed reforms to reshape Canadian competition law.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 119: Canada’s Zombie Policy Proposal – Christopher Parsons on the Never-Ending Debate Over Lawful Access
The political and policy battles over lawful access have been going on for decades, cutting across multiple governments both Liberal and Conservative. The so-called zombie policy proposal resurfaced again last summer as then Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault included elements of lawful access within his online harms consultation. The government plans to revisit its plans for online harms, but the lawful access issue is sure to return.
Dr. Christopher Parsons is a Senior Research Associate at the Munk School’s Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, where his research focuses on third-party access to telecommunications data, data privacy, data security, and national security. He previously appeared on the podcast to discuss the questions about the use of Huawei equipment in Canada’s telecom networks and returns to talk about the history of the lawful access debate, the implications of warrantless access to subscriber data, and the recent revival of the lawful access issue.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 118: Leah West on the Canadian Government’s Invocation of the Emergencies Act
After several weeks of protests, occupation, and border crossing blocking, the Canadian government took the unprecedented step last week of invoking the Emergencies Act. The situation is rapidly evolving and still being debated in the House of Commons. Dr. Leah West is an Assistant Professor of International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and one of Canada’s leading experts on national security law. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss rules surrounding the Emergencies Act and the implications of the government’s recent move to invoke it.