Post Tagged with: "online harms act"

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The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 199: Boris Bytensky on the Criminal Code Reforms in the Online Harms Act

The Online Harms Act – otherwise known as Bill C-63 – is really at least three bills in one. The Law Bytes podcast tackled the Internet platform portion of the bill last month in an episode with Vivek Krishnamurthy and then last week Professor Richard Moon joined to talk about the return of Section 13 of the Canada Human Rights Act. Part three may the most controversial: the inclusion of Criminal Code changes that have left even supporters of the bill uncomfortable.

Boris Bytensky of the firm Bytensky Shikhman has been a leading Canadian criminal law lawyer for decades and currently serves as President of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association. He joins the podcast to discuss the bill’s Criminal Code reforms as he identifies some of the practical implications that have thus far been largely overlooked in the public debate.

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April 15, 2024 5 comments Podcasts
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 The Human Rights Act changes include the return of Section 13 on hate speech, which was repealed by the Harper government after criticisms that it unduly chilled freedom of expression.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 5 comments Podcasts
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
Technologize Responsibly by Wesley Fryer CC BY-SA 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/2qaY4b

My First Take on the Online Harms Act: Worst of 2021 Plan Now Gone But Digital Safety Commission Regulatory Power a Huge Concern

After years of delay, the government tabled Bill C-63, the Online Harms Act, earlier today. The bill is really three-in-one: the Online Harms Act that creates new duties for Internet companies and a sprawling new enforcement system, changes to the Criminal Code and Canada Human Rights Act that meet longstanding requests from groups to increase penalties and enforcement against hate but which will raise expression concerns and a flood of complaints, and expansion of mandatory reporting of child pornography to ensure that it includes social media companies. This post will seek to unpack some of the key provisions, but with a 100+ page bill, this will require multiple posts and analysis. My immediate response to the government materials was that the bill is significantly different from the 2021 consultation and that many of the worst fears – borne from years of poorly thought out digital policy – have not been realized. Once I worked through the bill itself, concerns about the enormous power vested in the new Digital Safety Commission, which has the feel of a new CRTC funded by the tech companies, began to grow.

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February 26, 2024 27 comments News