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Internet Bills Pose Continued Threat to Canadian's Liberty of Expression
by Todd Howe
Federal buffoonery spiked recently around the February introduction of Bill C30, cynically titled the "Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act". Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, stood in the house to accuse a member opposite of being with the bill or with the predators (or words to that effect). Oddly enough, the bill itself makes no reference to children, and on the heels of a massive public outcry has since disappeared into committee. Internationally and most particularly in the US, similar initiatives are in the pipeline with SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and its predecessor DOPA (Delete Online Predators Act), a fight publicized by website Wikipedia when it went dark in protest on January 18th sparking global controversy.
The real story is in how these bills (C30, C11) could trammel privacy and restrict access to knowledge and expression online. Those on both sides say the stakes are high - Open Media, an organization leading the charge against the bills claim "media conglomerates are lobbying for internet lockdown powers". They quote Canada research chair Michael Geist on the new powers sought, including website blocking and extrajudicial internet termination. The very ability to post links to content - the building block of the Internet's power to host public dialogue, libertarian or otherwise, is being questioned by a state-corporate compact. Conservatives may identify with alliances of that sort, but libertarians maintain a commitment to individual rights and should oppose these bills.
To learn more, visit openmedia.ca/lockdown.