Groups warn of dangers of liberal internet censorship bill
More and more groups across Canada are warning that a Liberal bill to censor the Internet is “aggressive”, “punitive” and “disturbing”.
The Blacklock Reporter says Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault will reintroduce the bill that lapsed in the last legislature and penalize bloggers, Facebook users and Internet publishers for legal content deemed harmful.
“The proposals fail to take into account the importance of protecting the types of expression that are most essential to a free and democratic society, including journalism, academic studies and public interest research, debate, creation artistic, critical and political dissent, ”said the University of Toronto. Citizen Lab wrote in a submission to the Heritage Department.
Bill C-36 would prohibit legal content “likely to promote the detestation or defamation of an individual or a group” under penalty of a fine of $ 70,000 or house arrest.
Internet content would be controlled by a federally appointed digital security commissioner.
The Citizen Lab called the bill “comprehensive”, “too broad and inconsistent” and “potentially exploitative (sic) and unconstitutional” without “clear safeguards against abuse of process” and restriction of freedom of movement. expression.
Even public consultation was “grossly inadequate” after Guilbeault’s department held “a series of private, invitation-only meetings” with advocates for internet controls, he said.
Access Now, a human rights group, wrote that Bill C-36 contained provisions to block websites and order content removal and reflected the worst internet regulation in the world.
“Canada must ensure that its policies and laws do not restrict the right to freedom of expression,” Access Now wrote.
“Unfortunately, the government’s proposal reflects the most damaging aspects of the worst middleman liability regimes in the world.”
“The proposed framework threatens fundamental freedoms and human rights. Web blocking is a brutal measure that interferes with freedom of expression and has been condemned as a human rights violation by the United Nations.
The Heritage Department, in a July 29 discussion guide, proposed appointing a security commissioner with the power to investigate anonymous complaints about websites and conduct closed-door hearings on legal content but wounding.
Any anonymous complainant could trigger a federal investigation into websites deemed to “distort the free exchange of ideas by discrediting or silencing targeted voices” or “by threatening national security, the rule of law and democratic institutions” , did he declare.
The Security Commissioner would have the power to block websites or “make content inaccessible” in Canada.
“Social media is used to distribute potentially illegal and abusive content,” Guilbeault said at the time.
“We need consistent and transparent rules. “