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Hating the people...

Canada's government will a ban on politically incorrect speech enforced by a fine of up to $40,000


Link Here25th June 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
Canada's ruling 'Liberal' government has announced that it plans to make online hate speech a crime punishable by as much as $20,000 ($16,250 US) for the first offense and $50,000 ($40,600 US) for the second.

The proposal would punish social media users who broke the law but exempt social media companies that host such content from fines.

Canada's Attorney General David Lametti has claimed that the proposed law would not target simple expressions of dislike or disdain during a virtual press conference. Instead, Lametti said, the law is only designed to punish the most extreme forms of hatred that expresses detestation or vilification of a person or group on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.

The government, headed by Prime Minsiter Justin Trudeau, released a statement outlining the goals of the proposed legislation , known as Bill C-36, as well as other steps being taken in the name of online racial abuse. The government also notes that it will released a detailed technical discussion paper in the coming weeks to inform Canadians about the nitty gritty of this proposed law.

 

 

Verified dangers...

Canada's Privacy Commissioner warns of inadequate privacy protection for a proposed porn age verification law


Link Here5th June 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
Legislation that would require Canadians to verify their age before they could look at online pornography could result in a number of privacy concerns, the country's federal privacy commissioner has said.

Bill S-203, introduced by Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne, doesn't specify what that verification would look like. Options under consideration include presenting some type of ID to a third-party company or organization, or the use of technologies such as biometrics or artificial intelligence to estimate age.

If adequate privacy measures aren't taken, the age verification process could increase the risk of revealing adults' private browsing habits, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien said.

He told the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee that current digital age verification systems are all different, but what they have in common is that the user will ultimately be required to provide some amount of personal information. That brings up questions about how secure that information is.

On the other hand, the use of biometrics or facial recognition to verify or estimate a user's age raises unique privacy concerns, Therrien said, noting biometric technology is generally very intrusive and how accurate it is in verifying an individual's age still hasn't been proven. He said there's a considerable margin of error, and an error of two to three years could be significant depending on the age of the person.

The bill would also introduce fines for those who make available sexually explicit material on the internet to a young person. Individuals could be fined up to $20,000 and face six months in jail, while fines for corporations would range from $250,000 to $500,000. The way to avoid the fine would be to put in place an unspecified prescribed age-verification method.

 

 

Age old practicality problems...

EFF argues against a Canadian impossible to comply with age verification for porn bill


Link Here24th April 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking

Canadian Senate Bill S-203 , AKA the Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act, is another woefully misguided proposal aimed at regulating sexual content online. To say the least, this bill fails to understand how the internet functions and would be seriously damaging to online expression and privacy. It's bad in a variety of ways, but there are three specific problems that need to be laid out: 1) technical impracticality, 2) competition harms, and 3) privacy and security.

First, S-203 would make any person or company criminally liable for any time an underage user engages with sexual content through its service. The law applies even if the person or company believed the user to be an adult, unless the person or company implemented a prescribed age-verification method.

Second, the bill seemingly imposes this burden on a broad swath of the internet stack. S-203 would criminalize the acts of independent performers, artists, blogs, social media, message boards, email providers, and any other intermediary or service in the stack that is in some way for commercial purposes and makes available sexually explicit material on the Internet to a young person. The only meaningful defense against the financial penalties that a person or company could assert would be to verify the legal adult age of every user and then store that data.

The bill would likely force many companies to simply eliminate sexual content

The sheer amount of technical infrastructure it would take for such a vast portion of the internet to implement a prescribed age-verification method would be costly and overwhelmingly complicated. It would also introduce many security concerns that weren't previously there. Even if every platform had server side storage with robust security posture, processing high level personally identifiable information (PII) on the client side would be a treasure trove for anyone with a bit of app exploitation skills. And then if this did create a market space for third-party proprietary solutions to take care of a secure age verification system, the financial burden would only advantage the largest players online. Not only that, it's ahistorical to assume that younger teenagers wouldn't figure out ways to hack past whatever age verification system is propped up.

Then there's the privacy angle. It's ludicrous to expect all adult users to provide private personal information every time they log onto an app that might contain sexual content. The implementation of verification schemes in contexts like this may vary on how far privacy intrusions go, but it generally plays out as a cat and mouse game that brings surveillance and security threats instead of responding to initial concerns. The more that a verification system fails, the more privacy-invasive measures are taken to avoid criminal liability.

Because of the problems of implementing age verification, the bill would likely force many companies to simply eliminate sexual content instead of carrying the huge risk that an underage user will access it. But even a company that wanted to eliminate prohibited sexual content would face significant obstacles in doing so if they, like much of the internet, host user-generated content. It is difficult to detect and define the prohibited sexual content, and even more difficult when the bill recognizes that the law is not violated if such material has a legitimate purpose related to science, medicine, education or the arts. There is no automated tool that can make such distinctions; the inevitable result is that protected materials will be removed out of an abundance of caution. And history teaches us that the results are often sexist , misogynist , racist , LGBT-phobic, ableist , and so on. It is a feature, not a bug, that there is no one-size-fits-all way to neatly define what is and isn't sexual content.

Ultimately, Canadian Senate Bill S-203 is another in a long line of morally patronizing legislation that doesn't understand how the internet works. Even if there were a way to keep minors away from sexual content, there is no way without vast collateral damage. Sen. Julie Miville-DechĂȘne, who introduced the bill, stated it makes no sense that the commercial porn platforms don't verify age. I think it's time to legislate. We gently recommend that next time her first thought be to consult with experts.

 

 

Deserving of insult...

Canadian politician introduces legislation to ban politicians being insulted online


Link Here12th April 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
A Canadian politician has proposed the banning of 'hurtful' language against politicians online. The provision is going to be included in the upcoming internet censorship bill, to be discussed in parliament in the next few weeks.

Steven Guilbeault, a 'Liberal' member of parliament has oftenn been the subject of controversy for favoring internet censorship. He said in a recent podcast:

We have seen too many examples of public officials retreating from public service due to the hateful online content targeted towards themselves.

If the bill passes social media companies will have to remove posts containing hurtful words targeted at Canadian politicians. The provision is a danger to free speech not only in Canada but also the rest of the world as other governments will surely try to get away with similar censorship laws.

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