Can We Please Have Politicians Understand The Internet Before They Regulate It?

from the would-that-be-so-difficult? dept

Lots of folks have been submitting the story that a Canadian MP has introduced "The Clean Internet Act" which is a bizarre bit of proposed legislation that is typical of other "protect the children!" laws that politicians love to propose without actually understanding what they're talking about. This one is pretty ridiculous, basically requiring anyone who provides internet service (including if you have a WiFi connection) to register with the government (hello, bureaucracy). Then it includes all sorts of impossible to obey rules about censoring and blocking users and content. ISPs won't be allowed to allow "past offenders" to access the internet. They have to block all sites "that promotes violence against women, promotes hatred, or contains child pornography." Failure to do so can result in jail time. Also, they have to (of course!) allow easy access for the government to search records of what users are doing. We're almost surprised he also didn't include in the bill demands that the earth stop spinning and the tides stop rising and falling. The MP in question probably would have found it more effective to have written a bill that just said "I demand all bad stuff on the internet go away." With that in mind, is it really that much to ask that those who are regulating the internet actually have some clue about the thing that they're trying to regulate?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    jerry, Apr 20th, 2007 @ 8:09pm

    What an idiot

    Usually the Canadians have more sense than this.

     

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  2.  
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    Brian, Apr 20th, 2007 @ 8:15pm

    Holy maple!

    I don't want to be a Canadian anymore.

     

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  3.  
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    Nick D (profile), Apr 20th, 2007 @ 8:25pm

    I propose...

    "Authorized Internet Law Proposer Act" and Canadians can adopt it too if they want.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2007 @ 9:36pm

    Damn, where did free speech and a whole host of other constitutional rights go??? (I'm assuming that Canada has some form of these things... I mean they have some funny comedians and good bacon, but they do send those bad drivers from Quebec down to south Florida every year... I digress) I have an idea, stop making fucking new laws. Enforce the ones we have. I'll bet that law makers in the U.S. will start trying to import this "protect the children" bill pretty soon, while Canadian drugs are "bad"... mmkay

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 20th, 2007 @ 9:42pm

    "Canuck, canuck!" "Who's there?"

    Hey, don't be so quick to jump on the Canadians. This is just one idiot politician who has introduced one idiot bill. If it passes into law, then you can call the Canadians idiots. :)

     

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    Sanguine Dream, Apr 20th, 2007 @ 9:43pm

    Now really...


    They have to block all sites "that promotes violence against women, promotes hatred, or contains child pornography."


    So does that mean that men aren't going to be protected under this act? Violent acts are performed against men as well.

     

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  7.  
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    Jacob Buck, Apr 20th, 2007 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Holy maple!

    holy maple lol

     

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  8.  
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    Ari, Apr 20th, 2007 @ 10:40pm

    Assasination before its too late!

    We may need to eliminate these people before they get too far. What ever happened to just not letting your kid get on the internet, what happened to the parents responsibility. When does the government get to tell parents how to raise their kids. And child porn, we cant do much for other countries but what happened to children services. Shows they are not doing as well as they should.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2007 @ 11:44pm

    Re:

    Hey, don't be so quick to jump on the Canadians. This is just one idiot politician who has introduced one idiot bill. If it passes into law, then you can call the Canadians idiots. :)

    17 000 people voted for her :(

     

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  10.  
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    Dav, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 12:31am

    looks like china's great firewall idea is becoming popular the world over

     

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  11.  
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    David, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 12:43am

    My representative?

    Yup. Her office is a five minute walk from my house... I didn't vote for her, wasn't of age last election. Don't intend to in the future either. But I intend to show up at her office the next time she's in town and perhaps try to arrange a meeting if I can. This is silly... And I think she oughta no.

    On behalf of my representative and the area she covers... sorry.

     

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    The Swiss Cheese Monster, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 1:58am

    politicians don't understand much of anything - this is why they are in politics. They aren't qualified to hold any other job.

    PS: Don't take that the wrong way and assume that I'm saying that this makes them qualified to be politicians either.

     

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    ThreeToedSloth, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 6:15am

    They may or may not know what they're talking about. Really doesn't matter. The whole motivator for these folks is to put forth a political platform that sounds good and makes it look like they're doing good in the eyes of the voters.

    Kinda like here in America.... lot's of politicians who know jack squat about education, always pushing new regulations and requirements to "fix the educational system", and all they end up doing is choking our teachers and poor kids to death on outrageous new standards.

     

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    Michael, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 11:55am

    snowballs chance in hell

    This is a private members bill from a backbencher, in other words, the odds of this ever going anywhere are slim to none. she has no support for it even in her own party.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 12:38pm

    So.... somethingawful, maddox, pretty much every webcomic ever etc....

    Man, if this ever went through, there'd be only be porn sites left.

    None-extreme porn sites, too. The net would suck.

     

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  16.  
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    sendeth, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 4:36pm

    once again

    i have said this over and over and over again. we need term limits on senators because most are fossils being elected on name recognition, and what does that get us????

    IT GETS US PEOPLE MAKING LAWS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

     

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    sendeth, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 4:39pm

    once again

    i meant my comment in a more general term for all governments, but the us is included. no one should have a lifetime position anywhere.

     

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  18.  
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    IronChef, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 5:48pm

    Don't Legislate my life.

    Children need to LEARN right from wrong, usually this is done by PARENTING.

    Protecting kids from an invisible predator (which could easily dissappear by a simple yank of a cord) from experiencing Right from Wrong does little more than create a mentality of folks who can't synthesize creativity, and ultimately grow up having a deterministic view of the world

    I am growing increasingly annoyed with people who simply legislate something that looks helpful on the surface but in the end limits people's ability to experience free will.

     

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  19.  
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    Iron Chef, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 6:18pm

    More Ranting from The Chef

    By removing the challenges and obsticales from a person's life, (like legislating the internet) one would think that they would have less effort and be able to accept criticism more effectively. This isn't the case. In fact, it makes it much more difficult, even those in a growth mindset, to accept success. You need to have embraced challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks to truly have learned something, and apply it to the next thing.

    Legislation is happening without understanding the root issues, and how to empower people. With the growth of the internet, we should start asking our politicians to include a Program Evaluation aspect to evaluate legislation before introduction.

    There's great ideas out there, and a million stupid ones. How come the stupid ones always seem to get traction is beyond me.


    I'm filing a patent on this on Monday. I'm going to call it "Program Evaluation for Legislation".

     

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  20.  
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    Darkk Inferno, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 7:00pm

    Email Her and Let her Know

    I recently emailed her to explain that this bill is ridiculous. I advise anyone who feels this way to email her as well. Her email is smithj@parl.gc.ca and we need to be heard.

    It'd take maybe five seconds to fire off an email stating that you disagree with the Clean Internet Act (Bill C-427). Please for the love of God help get this woman out of a position where she can even come close to changing things she doesn't understand.

     

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  21.  
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    Dash, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 8:23pm

    But...

    But the internet is easy to understand. Everyone knows it's just like a series of tubes.

     

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  22.  
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    Charles Griswold, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 9:08pm

    You're Kidding, Right

    Can We Please Have Politicians Understand The Internet Before They Regulate It?

    No, apparently not.

     

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  23.  
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    Shocked and Awed, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 10:28pm

    Wow, that has to be at the top or damn near the most incredibly stupid bills ever. What scares me the most is the thought of her just assuming everything she wants is easily maintained. I have to deal with some absolute clueless people at work, and they think in ways I can't even imagine. I picture her being like those coworkers....scary.

     

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  24.  
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    Jordan, Apr 21st, 2007 @ 10:49pm

    I guess the Canadians have begun to take political advice from the government in "1984". This also begs the question "Why the hell is America listening to the canadians?"

     

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  25.  
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    TW Burger, Apr 22nd, 2007 @ 9:54am

    Re: Email Her and Let her Know

    Thanks, this is what the Internet is for; sharing ideas and discussing issues, not providing government with a reason for another layer of bureaucracy.

    I'll send an email immediately after researching her bill so I don't start off by acting on prejudice, misinformation and ignorance like she did.

    I do wonder why politicians try to completely control everything that makes living in a democracy so good while ignoring everything that makes it bad. It must be a mental illness.

     

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  26.  
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    August West, Apr 22nd, 2007 @ 7:46pm

    Re: But...

    As a matter of fact, someone sent me an internet the other day and it took me three days to get it. Why? Because all those tubes were full of other peoples internets, and regulations like this will help solve it, right?

     

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  27.  
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    Moonman337, Apr 22nd, 2007 @ 9:48pm

    Re: Term Limits

    I agree with term limits....
    Back in the early ninties ('94 I think) the Republicans vowed to get term limits for senate seats.
    NOT!!!
    Another reason to vote in a third party strong enough to disembowl the big power brokers that run the political engine right now on both sides of the aisle.
    If everyone that believes this government system has become too corrupt voted these people out we might have a chance at surviving for another hundred years.
    If this corruption continues, I don't think we will survive as a nation for even 50 years!

     

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  28.  
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    Anony, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 5:30am

    Hmm

    The only people that this would cater to would be the old fart conservatives who don't even know how to use the internet anyway.

     

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  29.  
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    OKVol, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 6:59am

    Yet another waste of time

    LET IT GO! This MP may be intelligent, like other folks I know, but know nothing of the Internet.

    She's been told by some lobbyist that this would make her look good, and the lobbyist is representing some entity that would profit from this legislation.

    Stupidity is not the question, this is gullibility.

     

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  30.  
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    Rstr5105, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 8:15am

    Sent her an email

    Alright I sent her the following email:

    Hello,

    I've spent the last 20 minutes reading through your proposed bill C-427. Although I am an American I feel compelled to tell you that this bill is a bad Idea for several reasons.

    1. An Act to prevent the use of the Internet to distribute child pornography, material that advocates, promotes or incites racial hatred, and material that portrays or promotes violence against women

    You seem to have forgotten men in that clause. Further no where throughout the entire bill have I seen mention of violence against men. Although I do not have exact figures on hand, (again, I am American, I do not know how your constituents fall across the gender gap) it seems that this would alienate a rather large segment of your constituents.

    2. “Internet service provider” means a person who provides a service that facilitates access to the Internet, whether or not the service is provided free or for a charge.

    By grouping all people who allow access to the Internet in as a ISP (Internet Service Provider) and then later on holding them accountable for what their users do eliminates a lot of freedoms provided by the free world.

    For example, if my friend comes over my house to say house-sit for two weeks while my spouse and I are away and goes online, he may access web-sites which violate this law. According to your bill the fact that I allowed him to use my computer to access the Internet makes me an ISP and therefor accountable for his actions while I was away.

    Here in the united states we have the communications decency act which exonerates any service provider should users post illicit, inappropriate, or illegal material.

    Here is section C of the Communications decency act

    (c) Protection for “Good Samaritan” blocking and screening of offensive material
    (1) Treatment of publisher or speaker
    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.
    (2) Civil liability
    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—
    (A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or
    (B) any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).

    This allows the Internet to flourish and grow because service providers do not have to be afraid of punitive actions against them should their users act inappropriately. Your bill will stifle Canadian Internet growth and usage as service providers will be in a constant state of fear of punitive actions.

    3. 4. (1) No person may offer the services of or operate as an Internet service provider unless the person has been granted a license to operate as an Internet service provider in accordance with subsection (2).

    By requiring people with so much as a wireless hot-spot to register as a licensed ISP you also inadvertently limit their use of current technology. If in order to run a wireless network I must first walk through miles of "red-tape" it is going to cause me to A) Not want said technology or B) remove said technology from my presence. This is also going to have a butterfly effect on the manufacturers of such technology.

    Although I've only covered a few points here, I will await your response (and rebuttal if you should choose to make one) to cover any further points on this subject. I just wanted to shed some light on the more negative aspects of your proposed bill and I deeply hope for my northern friends that you strongly reconsider this bill.

    You may reply to me at RSTR5105@gmail.com .

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Robert Straitt II

    And I am awaiting her reply.

     

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  31.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 9:51am

    Re: Sent her an email

    You think she knows how to use e-mail!?

     

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  32.  
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    Maple-olitics, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 10:42am

    Definingn backbencher

    (from wikipedia): ... In most parliamentary systems, backbenchers individually do not have much power to influence government policy.

    Therefor she knows she's spinning her wheels politically, but look at all the attention she's getting! My son does the exact same thing this politician is doing by screaming in the Walmart toy aisle.

     

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  33.  
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    Kevin Dupuy, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 5:39am

    P word...

    P... P... P....
    Parenting...
    Who are these kids parents? The politicians? No, the parent. If the parent regulates what the kid can watch, then good. If not, then , well, that's that.

     

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  34.  
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    bobb cobb, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 6:03am

    So if I buy a wireless router I have to register with the government? If I, stupidly, decide to not use WEP or WPA that makes me a hotspot. I would also be held accountable for any website my neighbor when to, no thanks!

     

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  35.  
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    Drakkenfyre, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 8:34am

    Re:

    "If I, stupidly, decide to not use WEP or WPA that makes me a hotspot."

    You are a Hotspot simply by having the wireless connection, reguardless if you have WEP or WPA enabled or not. Letting people freely access your connection without encryption does not make you a Hotspot, you are a Hotspot reguardless.

    -Drakk )))

     

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  36.  
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    Marcus Christian, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    Nope, no rough sex either...that's "violence against women". No BDSM, no S&M....

     

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  37.  
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    Borgatt, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: But...

    as long as it doesn't clog your UBS port or yout symanty anti-norton.

     

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  38.  
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    jeffery, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 10:45am

    very urgent

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