Topic - Internet law basics

“Lawful” Access Shenanigans!

Vic vic vic [sigh]It’s been my dream to use the word “shenanigans” in a blog post for a long time. I really love the word; it’s got such a nice old-timey feel to it. So what would you call a bunch of ISPs, telecom companies, and industry groups getting together with the government in secret before the introduction of Vic Toews’ old friend, Bill C-30, The Catching Sexual Predators / Internet Spying / “Lawful” Access Bill? You are correct, sir. SHENANIGANS.

So Michael Geist (or more likely his army of students) did some yeoman’s work in filing an Access to Information request. They hit the motherload. Let Mr. Geist explain what they found:

in the months leading up to the introduction Bill C-30, Canada’s telecom companies worked actively with government officials to identify key issues and to develop a secret Industry – Government Collaborative Forum on Lawful Access.

Lovely! So in January 2012, a bunch of industry types and government reps sat down for a meeting. All the big boys were there – Rogers, Bell, Vidéotron. After some coffee and delicious muffins (or so I assume, maybe they were danishes), they sat around and figured out how to fuck over their subscribers at the government’s request. Fun! Just so you know they were serious:

representatives have been granted Government of Canada Secret level security clearance and signed non-disclosure agreements

So we’ve got the country’s oligopolisitic media / telecom companies and the government colluding in secret to try to pass legislation no one in the public wants. Just another day at the office.

Posted in: Internet law basics, Privacy, Regulatory regime in Canada
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“Happy” 4/20: Weed, the internet, and the law

Gotta love Willie!Whoa, duuuuude. It’s, like, 4/20 today. Recently, much has been made of florida marijuana laws in the ever-growing struggle for legalization, but the war seems to be going in the right direction. While you’re out there joining Willie and Woody and all our weed heroes celebrating, I’m here to like, totally bum you out man. Better turn on some Bob Marley or something while you read about all the ways you can get into trouble at the crossroads where weed and the internet meet. But first, if you are looking for a new pipe to enhance your cannabis smoking experience, then go to https://fatbuddhaglass.com/ to take a look at some of the latest products. There is no time like the present when it comes to celebrating 4/20 after all!

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Posted in: Internet law basics
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Everything about Bill C-30 Vic Toews doesn’t want you to know

Check @Vikileaks30So, Bill C-30. Man that shit really blew up last week, didn’t it? It was such a disaster, respectable news organizations like CTV Montreal have turned to your barely respectable blogger for an interview today on the noon news (update – check the video player on the right at montreal.ctv.ca and click on Newsmaker: Allen Mendelsohn for the vid). Want a preview of what I am going to say? Join me for a tour through the Bill after the jump.

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Posted in: Internet law basics
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Hot Parliamentary action this week

It looks so civilisedHoo boy, big week for internet law in Canada, in the House of Commons. Two important things are happening / have happened:

1. Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act that I’ve written so much about, passed second reading and was sent off to Committee. As there was never a Canadian Schoolhouse Rock, you probably don’t know how a bill becomes law in this country. Here’s the process. The point is that C-11 is one step closer to law, and the Conservatives are making good on their promise / threat to get this done with as little further discussion and debate as possible.

2. Today, the government introduced Bill C-30 to the House, with the official title of the Act to enact the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act and to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts. You may hear it referred to as “lawful access legislation.” You may also hear it referred to as “internet surveillance” or “online spying” legislation. Ominous! And it is. Basically it will allow the police to get customer info from ISPs and telephone companies without a warrant. This means that they can find out you’ve been on https://www.fuckvideos.xxx/ even though you’ve done nothing wrong or illegal. Oh, and also force the ISPs to install technology that will let the cops monitor online activities in real time. The government says if you are against that kind of thing, you are pro child-porn. Well that’s a little harsh, just because someone wants to watch a little porn online doesn’t mean they’re going to watch child porn, there are thousands of legal adult porn sites online like https://www.fuckedtube.xxx/ to name just one of them.

I’m going to actually read C-30 and will prepare a more detailed post about it in the coming days. In the meantime, Geist has a good primer, and here’s the Parliament page about it. Let’s all not jump to conclusions. I am sure internet surveillance in real time can’t be that bad, can it?

EDIT: This post has been edited to reflect the correct name and number of the second piece of legislation, Bill C-30. In fact, I was looking at an older version of the bill that did roughly the same thing. It was misreported in the first story I had linked to, but that link has now been updated as well. I sincerely regret the error and apologize to my 3 readers.

Posted in: Copyright, Internet law basics
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How much more black could this be? None. None more black. SOPA/PIPA blackout tomorrow

smell the glove of SOPAThe internet is a-protesting! Tomorrow, many many important sites will go black to protest the SOPA and PIPA legislation in front of the House and Senate respectively. This blog will join them, leaving all three of my readers in the dark, so to speak. Why should a Canadian protest American legislation you ask? Damn good question. Read this. If you don’t want to read all of that, the simple fact is that the American legislation will have extra-territorial effects. That’s a fancy way of saying that any Canadian site with a .com address could be targeted. Like this one.

Fight the power. Fade to black. See you on Thursday.

Posted in: Internet law basics, United States internet law
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http://allen.mendelsohn = $185,000

hey stick guy can you spare $185,000?As of today, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the internet’s governing body, in a sense), is accepting applications for new generic Top Level Domains, or gTLDs. Don’t worry, I’m out of acronyms. These new gTLDs could be just about anything. What is this and why is this important and / or stupid? You’ll have to find out after the jump. Don’t worry, there’s video to make it fun!

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Posted in: Internet law basics
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SCC FTW!

Next up on MTV CribsSo recently we praised the CRTC; today we praise the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). What is up with these institutions? Yesterday the Court granted some kick-ass protection to anyone who has ever linked to defamatory content on their site. Check out the details after the jump.

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Posted in: Defamation, Internet law basics, The Courts
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Here’s a little internet law primer of sorts

Embedded below are the slides I used for a presentation to a Montreal law firm about internet law and advice for their corporate clients. Of course, you don’t get all my witty banter and brilliant oration skills just looking at some dumb slides, but maybe it’s interesting anyway. Though I doubt it.

Law firm Presentation

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