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    Toronto Star: Liberal shift may assure Net neutrality

    Tech law expert Michael Geist writes in the Toronto Star about possible changes to laws on the Internet in Canada.

    Yet by the end of the day, a trio of events unfolded that could help shape the Internet in Canada for years to come.

    The first took place mid-morning, with the introduction of new lawful access legislation.

    The bills would dramatically change the Internet in Canada, requiring Internet service providers to install new surveillance capabilities, force them to disclose subscriber information such as name, address and email address without a court order, as well as grant police broad new powers to obtain Internet transmission data. […]

    Liberal Industry critic Marc Garneau surprised Internet watchers by emphasizing the importance of an open Internet and declaring that the Liberal party now firmly supports net neutrality. The party has adopted a position opposing the management of Internet traffic that infringes privacy and targets specific websites, users and legitimate business applications. […]

    [T]he standing committee on industry held its final hearing before the break on the Electronic Commerce Protection Act, Canada’s new anti-spam bill. Some business groups have sought to water down the legislative proposal, implausibly arguing that Canadian privacy law is sufficient to address persistent spamming activities and that the ECPA’s tough penalties could dissuade talented business leaders from taking on corporate directorship positions for fear of potential liability.

    Representatives from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Competition Bureau and CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein firmly put those fears to rest. Assistant Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham rejected the view that current privacy laws are up to the task of countering Canadian spam and welcomed the clarity of the anti-spam bill.

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