Melon Farmers Original Version

Internet Censorship in Canada


Proposal for opt in intenet blocking


 

Hating the people...

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


Link Here 25th 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 Here 5th 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-DechÍne, 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 Here 24th 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-Dechêne, 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 Here 12th 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.

 

 

Age of censorship...

An internet porn age verification bill progresses in Canada


Link Here 19th March 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
A bill has passed 2nd reading in the Canadian Senate that would require porn websites to implement age verification for users.

Bill S-203, An Act to restrict young persons' online access to sexually explicit material, will now be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

 

 

Harming democratic expression...

The misleadingly titled Canadian Commission on 'Democratic Expression' bizarrely calls for internet censorship


Link Here 27th January 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking

Following nine months of study and deliberations, the Canadian Commission on Democratic Expression has settled on a series of principles and recommendations that can lead to a practical course of action. What we set forth is a series of functional steps to enable citizens, governments and platforms to deal with the matter of harmful speech in a free and democratic, rights-based society like Canada. We recognize the complexity of the issues at play and offer these as a path forward and with the knowledge they will be subject to further debate and molding.

PRINCIPLES

  • Free speech is fundamental to a democratic society and that the internet enables more people to participate in public discussions and debates.

  • The rise of hatred, disinformation, conspiracies, bullying and other harmful communications online is undermining these gains and having a corrosive impact on democratic expression in Canada.

  • The status quo of leaving content moderation to the sole discretion of platforms has failed to stem the spread of these harms and that platform companies can find themselves in conflict between their private interests and the public good.

  • We find fault with the notion that platforms are neutral disseminators of information. Platforms curate content to serve their commercial interests and so must assume greater responsibility for the harms they amplify and spread.

  • Government must play a more active role in furthering the cause of democratic expression and protecting Canadians from online harms.

  • Any policy response must put citizens first, reduce online harms and guard against the potential for over-censorship of content in putting forth remedies. This requires a balanced and multi-pronged approach.

These principles have led the Commission to an integrated program of six scaffolding recommendations.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. A new legislated duty on platforms to act responsibly.

Establishment by Parliament of a statutory Duty to Act Responsibly imposing an affirmative requirement on platforms under legislation and regulation, including social media companies, large messaging groups, search engines and other internet operators involved in the dissemination of user-generated and third-party content. In addressing harms, the details of this duty must take account of principles such as the fundamental nature of free speech.

2. A new regulator to oversee and enforce the Duty to Act Responsibly.

Creation of a new regulatory body, operating within legislated guidelines, that represents the public interest and moves content moderation and platform governance beyond the exclusive preserve of private sector companies. The regulator would oversee a Code of Conduct to guide the actions of parties under its supervision, while recognizing that not all platforms can be treated in precisely the same manner. Regulatory decisions will be judicially made, based in the rule of law and subject to a process of review.

3. A Social Media Council to serve as an accessible forum in reducing harms and improving democratic expression on the internet.

Ensuring an inclusive dialogue on ongoing platform governance policies and practices, including content moderation, through a broadly based social media council that places platforms, civil society, citizens and other interested parties around the same table.

4. A world-leading transparency regime to provide the flow of necessary information to the regulator and Social Media Council.

Embedding significant, world-leading transparency mechanisms at the core of the mandate for the regulator and Social Media Council -- on data, ads, bots and the right to compel information. This will also assist researchers, journalists and members of the public with access to the information required for a publicly accountable system.

5. Avenues to enable individuals and groups to deal with complaints of harmful content in an expeditious manner. An e-tribunal to facilitate and expedite dispute resolution and a process for addressing complaints swiftly and lightly before they become disputes.@

Creating rapid and accessible recourse to content-based dispute settlement by a dedicated e-tribunal charged with addressing online content disputes in a timely manner. And creating a process that enables targets of harms to compel platforms to make creators aware of a complaint.

6. A mechanism to quickly remove content that presents an imminent threat to a person.

Development of a quick-response system under the authority of the regulator to ensure the rapid removal of content -- even temporarily -- that creates a reasonable apprehension of an imminent threat to the health and safety of the targeted party.

The Commission considered imposing takedown requirements on platforms as some nations have done. These generally identify offending categories of content, provide a fixed window, such as 24 hours, for it to be removed and may levy significant penalties. We are concerned that such systems could create incentives for over-censorship by platform companies. Our recommendations do less to circumscribe speech in recognition of the fact that harmful speech and the unjustified denial of freedom of expression are both problematic.

The standards of the Duty to Act Responsibly are purposely left vague at this point to give government, the regulator, and the Social Media Council an opportunity to flesh it out as part of a Code of Conduct. To be sure, we are not recommending the creation of a self-standing new tort as the basis for a cause of action, but rather imposing affirmative requirements on the platforms to be developed under legislation and regulation. We expect the Code will evolve given the recentness of the problem and the rapid evolution of the internet.

 

 

On the hate bandwagon...

Canadian government to introduce new internet censorship laws in the name of 'hate speech'


Link Here 16th January 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
The Canadian government plans to introduce new internet censorship laws in the name of targeting hate speech on social media platforms. The laws will reportedly be tabled in 2021.

A briefing note on the new regulations from Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault's department stated:

We are working to introduce regulations to reduce the spread of illegal content, including hate speech, in order to promote a safer and more inclusive online environment. We want to protect Canadians online.

The briefing added that:

Social media platforms can also be used to threaten, intimidate, bully and harass people, or used to promote racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, misogynist and homophobic views that target communities, put people's safety and risk and undermine Canada's social cohesion or democracy.

 

 

'I'm not on a crusade against porn. I just want to protect kids'...

Anti-porn crusader introduces Canadian private members bill to require strict age verification for porn sites


Link Here23rd November 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
Independent Quebec Senator Julie Miville-DechÍne is calling for censorship of online porn through new legislation that would force porn sites to verify the ages of all users.

Miville-DechÍne has introduced a bill, S-203, that would make porn sites like the Canadian-owned PornHub criminally liable for failing to check a user's age before they browse.

Miville-DechÍne, who was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2018, spouted anti porn rhetoric saying that children and teenagers must be protected against graphic material that she said can pollute their minds. She continued:

I'm not on a crusade against porn. I just want to protect kids from porn that is shown widely on these websites that is not at all the soft kind of stuff. It's hardcore, it's tough and it's violent.

Her bill would make it a Criminal Code offence to make sexually explicit material available to a minor on the internet. A first offence would be punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a corporation. Fines for subsequent offences would be more substantial.

 

 

Update: Canadian Losers...

Quebec seeks to censor the internet in the name of preserving a state monopoly of gambling


Link Here4th April 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
A little-publicized bill that is making its way through Quebec's legislative process will put an end to the concept of a free and open Internet.

Bill 74 includes a provision that seeks to force Internet service providers to block Quebecers' access to online gambling sites that aren't approved by the government.

The province's finance minister claims the bill is necessary to protect the health and safety of Quebecers because illegal sites don't apply the same responsible gaming rules as sites run by the government and pose a risk to the population.

Critics explain that the Internet-censoring legislation is a way for Quebec's state-owned gambling authority to block competition and could lead to governments across the country deciding what citizens can and can't view online. Law experts say the legislation violates freedom of expression, contradicts federal telecommunications law and will likely be challenged in court by Internet companies and civil rights groups.

Quebec's government-run gambling authority, Loto-Quebec, has been losing money to online gaming competitors, according to the 2015-16 budget documents.

 

 

Update: Claims of a public health emergency situation...

Canadian MP introduces private members bill to require ISPs to block adult content by default


Link Here11th December 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
As Britain enacts laws forcing Internet companies to block access to adult content unless customers opt in, a fledgling movement is under way to bring similar laws to Canada.

If we can get a man on the moon, certainly we can figure out a way to protect children from unwanted porn, said Winnipeg Conservative MP Joy Smith, who is formulating a private member's bill that would automatically block access to online pornography. Anyone wanting to access porn would have to contact their ISPs.

Smith hosted a recent meeting for parliamentarians and other stakeholders in Ottawa, with speakers including PC extremist Gail Dines who founded the Stop Porn Culture group, and Julia Beazley, policy analyst at the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

They warned about the increasingly violent nature of modern pornography and its effects on young users, which Dines described in an interview as a public health emergency situation.




 

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