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  • May 15, 2021

Exclusive: Canadian Government Accused of Trying to Introduce Internet Censorship

 Exclusive: Canadian Government Accused of Trying to Introduce Internet Censorship

“After more than 25 years of Canadian governments pursuing a hands-off approach to the online world, the government of Justin Trudeau is now pushing Bill C-10, a law that would see Canadians subjected to the most regulated internet in the free world,” argues the Vancouver Sun (in an article shared by long-time Slashdot reader theshowmecanuck):

Although pitched as a way to expand Canadian content provisions to the online sphere, the powers of Bill C-10 have expanded considerably in committee, including a provision introduced last week that could conceivably allow the federal government to order the deletion of any Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Twitter upload made by a Canadian. In comments this week, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh indicated his party was open to providing the votes needed to pass C-10, seeing the bill as a means to combat online hate…

The users themselves may not necessarily be subject to direct CRTC regulation, but social media providers would have to answer to every post on their platforms as if it were a TV show or radio program. This might be a good time to mention that members of the current Liberal cabinet have openly flirted with empowering the federal government to control social media. In a September Tweet, Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna said that if social media companies “can’t regulate yourselves, governments will.” Guilbeault, the prime champion of Bill C-10, has spoken openly of a federal regulator that could order takedowns of any social media post that it deems to be hateful or propagandistic…

Basically, if your Canadian website isn’t a text-only GeoCities blog from 1996, Bill C-10 thinks it’s a program deserving of CRTC regulation. This covers news sites, podcasts, blogs, the websites of political parties or activist groups and even foreign websites that might be seen in Canada…

The penalties prescribed by Bill C-10 are substantial. For corporations, a first offence can yield penalties of up to $10 million, while subsequent offences could be up to $15 million apiece. If TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are suddenly put in a situation where their millions of users must follow the same rules as a Canadian cable channel or radio station, it’s not unreasonable to assume they may just follow Facebook’s example [in Australia] and take the nuclear option.

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Reporters Team

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