In a previous post, Evaluating the Industry Canada CASL regulations: why they are needed, I suggested that close scrutiny needs to be given to Industry Canada’s new draft Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations. CASL’s “ban all” structure makes it imperative that generous regulations be adopted to ensure that the goal’s of Canada’s new anti-spam/anti-malware law (CASL) are met. In another post, Evaluating the Industry Canada CASL regulations: how to assess them, I proposed a framework for assessing the regulations. I then evaluated the proposed family and personal relationships exception in the post, Evaluating the Industry Canada CASL regulations: family relationships and personal relationships, finding them very troubling and materially failing to meet CASL’s objectives.
Archive for the ‘Free Speech’ category
In a previous post, Evaluating the Industry Canada CASL regulations: why they are needed, I suggested that close scrutiny needs to be given to Industry Canada’s new draft Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations. CASL’s “ban all” structure makes it imperative that regulations be adopted to ensure that the goal’s of Canada’s new anti-spam/anti-malware/spyware law (CASL) are met. Their adequacy and appropriateness should be measured against these and other generally recognized objectives. In this post I propose to lay out the framework for assessing the regulations.
Information wants to be free. But, helping people to steal access to it is still a crime as an Oregon man just found out after being convicted of wire fraud for helping thousands steal internet service.
The defendant, Ryan Harris, ran a company called TCNISO. It distributed software and hardware tools that enabled customers to modify their cable modems to mask themselves as paying customers. In his defense Harris claimed assisting customers in their cable modem hacking activities was justified because it facilitated access to the internet. According to a report:
Over the holidays I got an email from one of my relatives visiting Toronto. She asked me to recommend a dental surgeon for an unexpected tooth extraction. She also asked me to refer her to other dentists to get additional recommendations. I sent her an email with a recommendation to get treatment from a dental surgeon who I encouraged her to see and also provided the name of a family dentist who could make other recommendations. My email included a link to a website of the clinic operated by the dental surgeon. My wife sent a similar email when I told her my relative was looking for a dentist. Later that day I started wondering whether responding to this type of inquiry would be legal or illegal under Canada’s anti-spam law (CASL), once it is proclaimed into force.
Recently, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression released a controversial report in which he stated he was
“alarmed by proposals to disconnect users from Internet access if they violate intellectual property rights. This also includes legislation based on the concept of “graduated response”, which imposes a series of penalties on copyright infringers that could lead to suspension of Internet service, such as the so-called “three strikes-law” in France and the Digital Economy Act 2010 of the United Kingdom.”
In a blog post yesterday, How IP Enforcement Can Be Used To Suppress Dissent, Prof. Geist argues that “tougher enforcement measures” of IP laws are connected with civil rights abuses by governments to quell political dissent. He further claims that the USTR Special 301 report was connected to the recent Russian raids against advocacy groups and news organizations in Russia. He also postulates that enforcement of IP rights under ACTA would increase such abuses and accordingly would be “a dangerous and misguided approach that is apt to cause more problems than it solves”.
Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave an important speech on the importance of freedom of speech on the Internet. Her speech touched upon the remarkable potential of the Internet as a communications medium as well as the difficult policy issues associated with protecting it.
A key message was the importance of keeping the internet open to permit a free exchange of ideas and knowledge: