Feeds

Canada's internet future at stake in Monday election

Conservatives v The Open Interwebs

Security for virtualized datacentres

The future of the Internet is at stake in Monday's Canadian election.

Candidates representing all major political parties have declared themselves "pro-internet Candidates" by pledging support for an open internet on the grassroots website Openmedia. Only one candidate among the dominant Conservative party has signed. Other parties are more strongly represented, with the NDP having 50 signed candidates; the Greens, 64; and the Liberals, 83.

Openmedia's agitation on digital policy issues gained attention earlier this year when almost half a million Canadians signed an online petition decrying punishingly low bandwidth caps and Usage Based Billing (UBB). The campaign went viral, forcing a climbdown on the issue by Canada's major ISPs. Those ideas, however, have since been revived.

As a response to the massive public outcry, Canada's major political parties made their digital policies clear. The NDP, Liberals, and Greens have taken a populist approach. Universally accessible broadband, net neutrality, copyright reforms, and transparency of the country's telecommunications regulatory body (the CRTC) are all recurring themes.

The Conservative platform differs. The Conservatives have announced no plans to review the transparency of the CRTC. They strongly oppose any and all calls for functional separation (unbundling of incumbents' infrastructure from retail operations) of Canada's telecommunications. Conservative Industry Minister Tony Clement considers functional separation "completely unrealistic," citing the telecommunications industry's current momentum towards greater integration, not less.

In conjunction with an overall "tough on crime" platform, Conservative digital policy is strongly focused on digital security. The Conservatives support stronger copyright laws and are opposed to fair-use format shifting. The right to break "digital locks" has become an election issue in at least one contentious riding.

The Conservatives have vowed that should they obtain a majority they will bundle together a series of crime bills – including many digital-policy items – and push through tougher laws within 100 days of election. These laws include a commitment to internet surveillance in the form of three "lawful-access" bills. Several of Canada's privacy commissioners have already expressed deep reservations over the content of these bills.

The lawful-access bills would require Canadian ISPs to purchase and maintain deep packet–inspection equipment. ISPs would be required to disclose personal information – including names, physical addresses, email addresses, and IP identifiers – without court oversight. These bills would create new police powers including data-transmission warrants allowing real-time access to data as well as retention of data for up to 90 days.

This is not the first time lawful access has been proposed. Liberal MP Dan McTeague proposed similar legislation in 2009, with the NDP demonstrating strong resistance. Lawful access is not currently addressed in the published digital policies of the NDP, Green, or Liberal parties. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.