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The Great Firewall of Canada 399

Posted by Zonk
from the didn't-know-they-could-build-things-up-north dept.
engtech writes "Canadian carriers Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, MTS Allstream, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, TELUS, and Videotron have all opted in to a blacklist, dubbed Project Cleanfeed Canada, provided by Cybertip.ca, the Canadian tip-line against child exploitation. The idea of having a national blacklist sends shivers down my spine. I'm a pessimist, I believe that any form of censorship will eventually be abused despite it's good intentions." Besides engtech's post on the subject, Dr. Michael Geist has some considered comments about this issue. From that post: "Critics are quick to draw parallels to Internet censorship in countries such as China. However, those countries involve state-based content blocking, with no transparency or legal recourse. In fact, several democracies — most notably Australia — have established limited blocking rules, while British Telecom, the UK's largest ISP, voluntarily blocks child pornography as part of its CleanFeed program. Even with various legal safeguards, many Canadians would undoubtedly find the blocking of any content distasteful. Yet to do nothing is to leave in place an equally unpalatable outcome that silences those would speak out against unlawful hate speech for fear of personal harm."
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The Great Firewall of Canada

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  • australia (Score:5, Informative)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Friday November 24, 2006 @01:50AM (#16970922)
    "several democracies - most notably Australia - have established limited blocking rules" completely untrue. the family first party of australia, a right wing christian fundamentalist group who unfortunately got a senator into our government was pushing a proposal, but nothing has been put into law or implemented to my knowledge.
  • by nickos (91443) on Friday November 24, 2006 @01:53AM (#16970942)
    A Danish court recently ruled against a Danish ISP and ordered it to block all access to the site Allofmp3.com. According to the ruling, the ISP is willingly infringing copyright if it's customers use AllofMP3 to download music.

    The verdict could have very strong implications for the future. It clearly states that an ISP can be held liable for temporarily (milliseconds) storing infringing data on their routers. This means that ISPs can be forced to block websites, if the court decides that these sites are mainly used to spread "illegal" content.

    Read more here [torrentfreak.com] and here [slyck.com]...
  • Re:australia (Score:2, Informative)

    by thedarknite (1031380) on Friday November 24, 2006 @01:54AM (#16970948) Homepage
    It hasn't only been Family First. Blocking legislation has been pushed by various politians from all the parties.
  • Re:Um, come again? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Atlantis-Rising (857278) on Friday November 24, 2006 @02:04AM (#16971010) Homepage
    What many people (usually americans, I find, although that in no way implies you are one) mistake about Canada is that hate speech is illegal. It is not. Hate speech inciting violence or hate speech advocating genocide is illegal.
    There is a substantial difference. You are perfectly free to walk around street-corners yelling about how much you hate the jews; but when you start yelling "SOMEONE SHOULD KILL THE JEWS" and their speech...
    ...incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace...

    That's when they can be punished. Even when Canada did not have a written constitution or bill of rights, this speech was still protected extensively.

    Hate speech is in fact legal. it is inciting violence which is not legal, and, to my knowledge, is not legal in the US either.
  • Re:australia (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2006 @02:13AM (#16971066)
    Brian Harradine got such proposals passed and implemented in the late 1990s.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2006 @02:31AM (#16971148)
    hardly a trusted source, I realize, but check out: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/08/04/12 19223 [slashdot.org]
    and
    http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/25/10 48247 [slashdot.org]
  • by malsdavis (542216) * on Friday November 24, 2006 @02:36AM (#16971176)
    while British Telecom, the UK's largest ISP, voluntarily blocks child pornography as part of its CleanFeed program

    Actually, NTL/Telewest is the UK's largest ISP.

    from a recent BBC article http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6039740.stm [bbc.co.uk]:
    "The UK's largest residential internet provider is currently NTL, which has 2.9 million home customers, followed by BT on 2.2 million."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2006 @03:18AM (#16971406)
    You have no idea what you're talking about.

    Yeah, I guess the law I am reading is wrong, LOL.

    Read Zundel's trial, for example.

    You said yourself that Zundel's trial was about slander or some other non-sense, not hate speech.

    You are not allowed to incite violence. Period.

    Are you illiterate? I just quoted a phrase where it says you can be prosecuted for hate speech, even if it can be shown that it will not incite violence.

    Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences

    I didn't ask for a lesson in civics.

    Moreover, the section you are referencing is a rehash of a law that was struck down (In Zundel's trial, ironically enough), by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. It won't stand up to a constitutional challenge the next time, either.

    No, I am actually reading from the current law, not the struck down law.

    Are you really this dense or are you just being a fucking idiotic troll?
  • by monsted (6709) on Friday November 24, 2006 @06:00AM (#16972312)
    This is the exact same thing that was put into service by most major ISPs in Denmark in late 2005. The list is maintained by Red Barnet ("Save the child") and the danish police.

    It is now being "abused" by our version of the RIAA to block access to allofmp3.com.
  • by Husgaard (858362) on Friday November 24, 2006 @06:27AM (#16972502)

    When looking for a link, I was shocked to see a new development in this case: Yesterday the ISP in question announced that they decided not to appeal as they had announced they would, and all other major danish ISPs have started blocking allofmp3.com too.

    You can read more about this in danish at Piratgruppen [piratgruppen.org].

    The court decision is available in PDF format in danish here [www.dr.dk], and I found an unofficial english translation of the conclusion of the court decision here [propiracy.org].

    Further analysis of the court decision in danish can be found here [itpol.dk].

  • Re:Um, come again? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2006 @09:17AM (#16973356)
    Why do so many uninformed Canadians say that but do not read the Criminal Code of Canada?

    Let me blockquote the thing:

    319 (2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

    (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

    (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


    You do not need me to put that into English. It is very clear: Promoting hate in public is illegal. Period. Think flyers, quoting the bible, or just standing on a street corner with a sign a-la Bruce Willis in Die Hard 3.

    As someone who has attempted to prosecute using this section of the law, allow me to assure you, the judge agrees with me, public communication of hatred is not legal here. While it is incredibly rare for a judge to feel the will to prosecute under this law (most likely because it has Charter implications) and because such prosecutions normally end up at the supreme court, it is rarely, if ever tested. BUT TO SAY IT DOES NOT EXIST... that is a lie.

    You are wrong, and you are going to put someone in jail by informing them improperly. How can you sleep at night knowing that?
  • by RealGrouchy (943109) on Friday November 24, 2006 @11:01AM (#16974376)
    Yes, we live in Canada, so we're the benevolentest of all countries and our governments can do no wrong.

    That's why our government holds people in jail without charging them [wikipedia.org] (federal), and denies access to representation by those who cannot afford it themselves [www.cbc.ca] (Ontario) because we are too busy charging more and more people of crimes.

    It is at best naïve, and at worst xenophobic, to trust every action of your country's government simply because it is your government. It is every government's duty to serve its citizens and to act in the names of its citizens; it is every citizen's duty to ensure that his or her government does not abuse the power that is used in his or her name.

    - RG>
  • Re:Slippery slope (Score:2, Informative)

    by Noishe (829350) on Friday November 24, 2006 @01:54PM (#16976276)
    The reason they blocked the website was because the union was posting pictures of every worker that crossed the picket line and advocating violence against them. Stop the SCABS!!! As soon as the union removed the pictures, the website had it's access restored.
  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Friday November 24, 2006 @05:27PM (#16978156) Homepage
    This is Canada. The power of the lobbyists is *greatly* reduced, thanks to laws which limit things like campaign financing (in fact, all financing for parties comes from a central pool, calculated using some formula based on the size of the membership (IIRC)). Thus, the danger of copyright cartels manipulating the system is significantly less than what you'd see in the United States.

    Further, the ISPs have already fought back against the copyright cartels (ie, they refuse to release customer information to such organizations), and so I'm not yet concerned.

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