Canadian government advocates widespread use of strong cryptographyELECTRONIC FRONTIER CANADA (EFC) --- PRESS RELEASE
Electronic Frontier Canada, this country's premier online civil liberties organization, strongly opposes regulation of content on the Internet by the CRTC. David Jones, the organization's co-founder and President, testified today in Ottawa at CRTC hearings on new media.
"The Internet has flourished in the absence of government regulation", Jones noted. "A CRTC-regulated Internet would not be desirable or constitutional."
Jones quoted from a speech given by the late Canadian Supreme Court Justice John Sopinka in November 1994. Sopinka remarked,
"We must be very careful not to unduly restrict free speech simply because it is difficult to control the illegal use of information technologies. Systems such as [the] Internet can enhance an individual's ability to promote truth, political and social participation, and self-fulfilment. Since these goals lie at the core of free speech, one might expect that it would be very difficult for the government to legitimately pass any regulations prohibiting [or limiting] the use of Internet.""There is no need, and indeed we think no authority, for the CRTC to enforce content restrictions with respect to obscenity, hate propaganda, defamation, or copyright infringement, since these issues already fall under the Criminal Code and other laws", Jones observed.
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Jones cast doubt on the CRTC's understanding of the guarantee of freedom of expression in the Charter, and discussed the CRTC's heavy-handed tactics to suppress the Dalhousie University radio station, CKDU, in 1994.
EFC is also opposed to new taxes imposed on Internet users or service providers, and to "Canadian content" laws being applied to the Internet, Jones said.
Jones read a humorous list of the "Top Ten" changes Canadians would notice if the CRTC were to begin regulating the Internet. Highlights include: