#CyberFLASH: The Year in Tech Law and Digital Brouhaha, from A to Z

tablet610pxWith new trade agreements, a new government, new court cases, and new rules governing the Internet, law and technology issues garnered headlines all year long. A look back at 2015 from A to Z:

A is for the Ashley Madison data breach, which affected millions of people and placed the spotlight on online privacy.

B is for Bill C-51, the anti-terrorism bill, which became a flashpoint political issue on striking the right balance between surveillance and civil liberties.

C is for CBC v. SODRAC, a Supreme Court of Canada decision released in November that reinforced the significance of technological neutrality in copyright. The court sided with SODRAC, a copyright collective, on the need for payment for certain uses of music but ruled that an earlier rate-setting exercise had failed to account for the technological neutrality principle.

D is for Dot-Sucks, one of hundreds of new top-level domains that launched in 2015. The new domains generally failed to garner significant market share, though they created a host of new legal and policy concerns.

E is for Equustek Solutions, a B.C.-based company that succeeded in obtaining a court order requiring Google to remove search results from its global index.

F is for Facebook, which won a B.C. Court of Appeal decision to stop a class action lawsuit over its now defunct Sponsored Stories service. The court ruled that the social media giant’s terms and conditions trumped the provincial privacy laws.

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#CyberFLASH: Omnibus Bill C-13 tackles cyberbullying by eroding digital privacy


Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, was developed in response to the recent tragic suicides of Canadian teens as a result of online bullying and harassment. Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons serve as reminders of the destructive power of cyberbullying. This bill is an omnibus piece of legislation that plans to criminalize forms of cyberbullying while slipping through provisions that would expand police surveillance. Despite calls to split the bill into cyberbullying and lawful access parts, the debate is moving forward on the two separate issues: how to reduce the worst forms of cyberbullying, and our rights in the digital age.

Bill C-13 makes it a crime to knowingly share intimate images of a person without explicit consent for distribution from the subject. According to Member of Parliament Charmaine Borg, New Democratic Party (NDP) Critic for Digital Issues, “[This clause is] widely supported from all sides of the house regardless of the party colour […] but the main problem with this bill is that there are only three pages on cyberbullying and the rest is essentially about lawful access.”

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Lawful Access is Dead (For Now): Government Kills Bill C-30


Bill C-30 may be dead, but lawful access surely is not.  On the same day the government put the bill out its misery, it introduced Bill C-55 on warrantless wiretapping. Although the bill is ostensibly a response to last year’s R v. Tse decision from the Supreme Court of Canada, much of the bill is lifted directly from Bill C-30.  Moreover, there will be other ways to revive the more troublesome Internet surveillance provisions. Christopher Parsons points to lawful intercept requirements in the forthcoming spectrum auction, while many others have discussed Bill C-12, which includes provisions that encourage personal information disclosure without court oversight.  Of course, cynics might also point to the 2007 pledge from then-Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to not introduce mandatory disclosure of personal information without a warrant. That position was dropped soon after Peter Van Loan took over the portfolio. 

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Ontario police chiefs say Anonymous attack won’t change their minds on C-30

OTTAWA – A cyber attack on the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police has not dissuaded police from supporting a controversial federal bill on Internet surveillance, an association spokesman said Saturday.

Joe Couto said the website of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police had been hacked by Anonymous late Friday afternoon because of the association’s support of Bill C-30.

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Vic Toews – New Scandal Revealed in 7 Days

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Anonymous’ update 7 days after its first video to Public Safety minister Vic Toews.

Please consider signing the online petition to stop Bill C30 from being passed in the House of Commons. 

To be redirected to OpenMedia.ca’s Stop Online Spying campaign visit here.

Rick Mercer rants about the online spying bill

YouTube Preview Image Visit http://StopSpying.ca to oppose warrantless online spying (Bill C-30). Help stop Vic Toew’s disgusting campaign against Canadians by contributing here: http://openmedia.ca/nototoews.



Canadians Stop Online Spying, petition bill C-30

CANADA    More than 118,000 people have signed OpenMedia.ca‘s campaign to Stop Online Spying; a petition against bill C-30, which threatens to give law enforcement and government officials lawful access to Canadians’ telephone and internet records and other personal information without warrant or disclosure. 


The Stop Online Spying petition can be found here.
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