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Why Internet Privacy Should be a Key Election Issue

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law
Canada’s controversial anti-terrorism bill, Bill C-51, has emerged as a key talking point in the current election campaign. Pointing to its big implications for privacy and surveillance, the NDP sees political opportunity by emphasizing its opposition to the bill, while the Liberals have been forced to defend their decision to support it (but call for amendments if elected). The Conservatives unsurprisingly view the bill as evidence of their commitment to national security and have even floated the possibility of additional anti-terror measures.

BC Court Ruling Offers Strong Defence of Internet Keyword Advertising

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law Trends
The success of Internet giant Google has largely been based on something small: Internet advertising that use tiny keyword-based ads to generate billions of dollars in revenue. Given Google’s massive audience, advertisers have been willing to pay for search-based ads that deliver clicks back to their websites. Those ads appear as sponsored results alongside the organic, relevancy-based search results.

You’re on Your Own: How the Government Wants Canadians To Sacrifice Their Personal Security

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Security Technology law
Another week, another revelation originating from the seemingly unlimited trove of Edward Snowden documents. Last week, the CBC reported that Canada was among several countries whose surveillance agencies actively exploited security vulnerabilities in a popular mobile web browser used by hundreds of millions of people.

Canadian Cellphone Freedom Day: Wireless Consumer Protections Now Apply to All

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Mobility Technology law
Today [June 3, 2015] is “Cellphone Freedom Day”, the day that most Canadian consumers can say goodbye to three year cellphone contracts. With the Federal Court of Appeal recentlyrejecting an attempt by the major carriers to stop the retroactive applicability of wireless code as of June 3rd (the two year anniversary of the code), consumers with cellphones that have run for more than 24 months can now cancel their contracts without penalty.

Why the CRTC Fell Short in Addressing Canada’s Wireless Woes

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law Wireless
The competitiveness of Canadian wireless services has been the source of an ongoing and contentious debate for years. Last week, Canada’s telecom regulator concluded that there is a competitiveness problem, yet in a decision surprisingly applauded by many groups, declined to use much of its regulatory toolkit to address the problem. Instead, it placed a big bet on the prospect of a smaller wireless carrier somehow emerging as a fourth national player.

The Copyright Notice Flood: What to Consider If You Receive a Copyright Infringement Notification

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law
For the past few months, I’ve received daily emails from people who have been sent a copyright infringement notification as part of Canada’s notice-and-notice system. Most of the notifications come from CEG-TEK, a U.S.-based anti-piracy firm. 

CRTC, Competition Bureau Enforcement Actions Show Anti-Spam Law Has Teeth

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law
As the launch of the Canadian anti-spam law neared last spring, critics warned that enforcement was likely to present an enormous challenge. Citing the global nature of the Internet and the millions of spam messages sent each day, many argued that enforcement bodies such as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Competition Bureau were ill-suited to combating the problem.

We Can’t Hear You: The Shameful Review of Bill C-51 By the Numbers

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law
The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security will hold its clause-by-clause review of Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism bill, this morning. The government is expected to introduce several modest amendments thatexperts note do little to address some of the core concerns with the bill. 

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