Wiertz Sebastien - Privacy by Sebastien Wiertz (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ahk6nh

Wiertz Sebastien - Privacy by Sebastien Wiertz (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ahk6nh

Privacy

Rear-view-mirror-caption by Pratheep P S, www.pratheep.com CC BY-SA 3.0 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rear-view-mirror-caption.jpg

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 207: The State of Digital Law and Policy in Canada as Parliament Breaks for the Summer

Parliament adjourned for the summer last week, meaning both the House of Commons and Senate are largely on hold until mid-September. The Law Bytes podcast focuses intensively on Canadian legislative and digital policy developments and with another Parliamentary year in the books, this week’s episode takes a look back and take stock of where things stand. It features discussion on the implementation of the Internet streaming and news bills (C-11 and C-18) as well as an analysis of the current state of privacy, AI, online harms, and digital tax as found in Bills C-27, C-63, C-69, S-210 and C-27.

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June 24, 2024 0 comments Podcasts
Road To Nowhere by Smoky Dan CC BY-NC 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/6rHeYZ

Road to Nowhere: Parliament Breaks For the Summer With Little Accomplished on Digital Policy

The House of Commons adjourned for the summer yesterday with most committees and House debate on hold until mid-September. The government talked up its accomplishments, but on the digital policy front there was little to promote. The government’s most controversial digital-related bills including online harms (Bill C-63) and privacy and AI regulation (Bill C-27) barely moved during the session, a function of badly bloated legislation that create at least as many problems as they solve. With an election a little more than a year away, the clock is ticking and many legislative proposals will be hard pressed to become law.

Where do things stand on the key pieces of legislation?

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June 20, 2024 2 comments 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
I, HenryLi, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Filibuster of Bill S-210 Confirmed: Conservative MPs Put Privacy and Free Speech Online At Risk Over Release of Report

Last week I posted on concerns that Conservative MPs were engaged in a prolonged filibuster at the committee study of Bill S-210, a bill the government has called “fundamentally flawed” since it contemplates measures that raise privacy concerns through mandated age verification technologies, website blocking, and extends far beyond pornography sites to include search and social media. The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security is charged with reviewing the bill, but thus far repeated attempts to hear from witnesses have been stymied by a filibuster from Conservative MPs resulting in no witness testimony. With requirements to report the bill back the House shortly, the end result could mean no expert testimony and the possibility of an unamended bill that places privacy and freedom of expression online at risk.

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May 24, 2024 2 comments News
Filibusters Waste Time by Marni Soukup https://flic.kr/p/8RJW4C CC BY 2.0

Bill S-210 Study Without Witnesses?: Why a Conservative Filibuster May Lead to New Internet Age Verification Requirements and Website Blocking Legislation

When I first wrote about the arrival of Bill S-210 in the House of Commons back in December, I dubbed it the most dangerous Canadian bill you’ve never heard of and warned that “Senate private members bills rarely become law, but this bill is suddenly on the radar screen in a big way.” Nearly six months later, the bill is closer than ever to becoming law as the Conservatives improbably appear to be doubling down on support and seeking to limit witness testimony through filibuster tactics that could result in a full House vote without any amendments. For those new to the bill, the government has called it “fundamentally flawed” since it contemplates measures that raise privacy concerns through mandated age verification technologies, website blocking, and extends far beyond pornography sites to include search and social media. While the government has opposed it (save for a small number of Liberal MPs), the bill received full backing from Conservative, NDP, and Bloc MPs to send to the Standing Committee on Public Safety for further review. Now that it is there, the Conservative MPs have used filibuster tactics to block all witness testimony on the bill.

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May 16, 2024 13 comments News