Home > Internet > Will Bill C-51 turn ISPS into Internet Gatekeepers?

Will Bill C-51 turn ISPS into Internet Gatekeepers?

My most recent column for the online technology section of Globe &Mail came out Tuesday. It is available here.

The article builds on some recent posts that I have done considering the mounting pressures being put on Internet Service Providers to act more like gatekeepers rather than gateways to the Internet. Four such forces, I suggest, are pushing in this direction:

  • a strong push from the ‘copryight’ industries, especially the music industries, to make ISPs and search engines extensions of the copyright enforcement regime. This has become especially strong since 2008, when the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) turned to such measures more forcefully, while backing off somewhat from Digital Rights Management (DRM) (see page 3 of the IFPI’s Digital Music Report, 2008);
  • the near universal adoption of usage based billing and bandwidth caps by Canada’s ‘big six’ ISPs — Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Quebecor, Telus and Cogeco — and now the mid-sized Atlantic region player, Bragg/Eastlink (although with some recent significant developments from Shaw).
  • the fact that all of the major ISPs, except Telus, are vertically integrated and appear to be using usage based billing and bandwidth caps as a kind of ‘television business protection plan’ for their interests in the television industry.
  • and finally, the focus of yesterday’s column in the Globe and Mail, the push from national security and law enforcement agencies to build in increasing monitoring and surveillance capacities into their networks, and to conduct ‘warrantless searches’ if proposed new legislation is passed.
A fuller treatment of the issues covered in Tuesday’s column can be found in my earlier post here, and another that places things in a larger, global context here.
  1. June 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Mr. Winseck,

    Thank you for your insights! Stephen Harper is a paranoid control freak and will stop at nothing to crush political opposition.

    Yesterday I wrote my MP, Eve Adams. Her ridiculous response is below.

    I look forward to following and fighting this war on Canadian democracy to the end.

    From: Michael Lucid
    Sent: Thu, June 16, 2011 10:31:42 AM
    To: Adams, Eve – M.P.
    Cc: Layton, Jack – M.P.; Rae, Bob – M.P.; Comartin, Joe – M.P.
    Subject: Bill C-51

    That is the most pathetic answer I have ever heard.

    GOVERNMENT NEEDS BIG BROTHER NOT CANADIANS.

    ****

    From: “Eve.Adams@parl.gc.ca”

    Michael,

    I cannot say at this time if the Bill will be reintroduced or not. Our government values consumer safety and product safety, and will continue to strive to ensure Canadians are protected from harmful products.

    Thank you,
    Dan White
    Executive Assistant
    Office of Eve Adams, M.P.
    Mississauga-Brampton South
    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

    From: Michael Lucid
    Sent: June 16, 2011 9:12 AM
    To: Adams, Eve – M.P.
    Subject: Re: Bill C-51

    Dan,

    Are you suggesting this bill is not going to be re-introduced?

    Thanks,
    Michael

    From: “Eve.Adams@parl.gc.ca”

    Good Morning Michael,

    Bill C-51 was defeated by the call of the 41st Election in March, as a result this piece of legislation no longer exists.

    Thank you for your inquiry about this important matter.

    All the best,
    Dan White
    Executive Assistant
    Office of Eve Adams, M.P.
    Mississauga-Brampton South
    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

    From: Michael Lucid
    Sent: June 16, 2011 1:25 AM
    To: Adams, Eve – M.P.
    Cc: Layton, Jack – M.P.; Rae, Bob – M.P.; Comartin, Joe – M.P.
    Subject: Bill C-51

    Hi Eve,

    Bill C-51 poses a great threat to personal privacy.

    This is the equivalent of police tapping your phone without a warrant! This is not CHINA.

    Where does it stop? Who is going to pay for this? And how is this new “Harper Nanny State” going to improve my quality of life?

    Michael Lucid
    Mississauga, Ontario

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