Bills C-11 and C-30: Sad times for Canadians

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Between the new copyright bill, C-11, and the sweeping lawful access bill (C-30) that is set to be announced this week, it is a fraught time to be a Canadian on the web.

C-11 starts out very well, outlining many excellent concessions that reflect the realities of today, such as time shifting, ripping media, etc. It then proceeds to take everything away by throwing out all exceptions and accepted use for any technology that employs a digital lock. This last move is very similar to the US DMCA law that has been a thorn in the side of many legitimate users over the years. Bills such as the DMCA and C-11 really only punish and inconvenience users who are already playing by the rules. Digital locks generally only serve to punish paying customers, as cracked versions of media are not subject to the same limitations as the legally acquired but hobbled locked versions.

However, of far more concern is the proposed lawful access legislation that will give law enforcement sweeping new powers, put a tremendous strain on smaller ISPs, and put all Canadians at risk of inappropriate and unnecessary surveillance. This 1984-like legislation is very clearly explained over at Michael Geist’s blog. This is a piece of legislation that has been in the works in one form or another since 1999.  It seeks to add far more warrantless Internet surveillance options for law enforcement officers.  While I very much respect and support our fine police men and women, the information that the proposed bill will grant, without warrant or or oversight, should concern all privacy-loving citizens.  Ontario’s fantastic privacy commissioner, Ann Cavoukian, outlines her concerns eloquently in an interview with Search Engine’s Jesse Brown.

Anyone interested, and we should all be interested, should read up on the details, listen to what others are saying, and let your MP know how you feel about this potential invasion of our privacy.  If you feel strongly about this, you may also want to fill out the Open Media petition.

The Internet is what we make it.  We should all be active participants.

GoSaBe Blog - Feb 13, 2012 | Security