Barry Sookman reports that a CRTC official advised a conference that the Industry Canada anti-spam regulations are now final and should be publicly available in about two weeks. The law will come into force in 2014.
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Industry Canada unveiled long-awaited revised anti-spam regulations on Friday for the Canadian Anti-Spam Law. The regulations are in draft form and comments can be submitted to the government until February 3rd. Given the intense lobbying by business groups to water down the legislation passed in 2010 and the initial draft 2011 regulations, it comes as little surprise to find that the proposed regulations include several significant loopholes and exceptions that undermine the effectiveness of the law. The key new regulations include:
third party referrals: the regulations include a broad new exception for third party referrals that will allow businesses to send commercial electronic messages without consent based merely on a referral from a third party. This issue was hotly debated when the bill was being drafted and, at the time, the government rejected claims that such an exception was warranted. In the face of intense lobbying, however, the opt-in approach to electronic marketing is being dropped and replaced by a system that allows for unsolicited commercial electronic messages based on third party referrals.
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My post yesterday on a secret government – telecom lawful access working group
attracted considerable attention with many understandably focused on the revelations that virtually all major Canadian telecom companies (with the notable exception of Shaw) actively worked with the government for months on lawful access legislation. Yet perhaps the most important document is a lawful access regulations policy document
that offered guidance on plans for the extensive regulations that will ultimately accompany the Internet surveillance legislation. The specific document obtained under Access to Information is dated October 2010 and was created to support an earlier version of the lawful access bill. However, the same government documents indicate that the policy document was provided to telecom providers last fall, including disclosure to the Canadian Network Operators Consortium
in December 2011 after CNOC was at an event a month earlier with Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and expressed support for the lawful access bill.
The regulations policy document are not the regulations per se, but rather a clear indication of planned regulations under the guise of a policy document. The document contains several key sections:
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