By Stephanie Schoenhoff Canada’s cyberbullying legislation, Bill C-13, has been a point of great debate and contestation over the past year. Positioned as a bill to protect children from online bullying, C-13 actually poses a substantial threat to your free expression and digital privacy, and would make it easier for law enforcement to access your personal communication information without your knowledge. Fortunately, it appears that Canadians have the right to be hopeful that this bill will not go forward in its current state. Last month the Supreme Court ruling in the case of R. v. Spencer was unanimous in its decision to protect Internet users’ privacy. An important outcome of this decision is that the Canadian government may need to finally acknowledge the privacy problems contained within Bill C-13. A recent poll by Forum Research revealed that 73% of Canadians are opposed to Bill C-13. Steve Anderson of OpenMedia noted that, “This poll reflects how Canadians have come together from right across the political spectrum to oppose Peter MacKay’s reckless and irresponsible spying bill.” As it currently stands, Bill C-13 still threatens free expression in Canada. If the anti-cyberbullying legislation were to pass in its current state, Canadian citizens would face severe hits to privacy and protection if free expression online. The Canadian government must protect the rights of Canadians online.
See the infographic below for some of the ways that Bill-C13 threatens free expression, and ways that you can get involved.For a more detailed analysis of the facts on Bill C-13, read Paula Todd’s article "We're Watching You" from this year’s Review of Free Expression in Canada.
More news on Bill C-13CBC | Privacy concerns raised about new cyberbullying legislation Toronto Star | Bill C-13: Tories trying again to open door to undue state intrusion Huffington Post | Canada’s telecoms have built databases for police spying: Geist The Globe and Mail | Privacy czar questions cyberbullying bill’s accountability measures
Stephanie Schoenhoff is CJFE’s Research and Communications Assistant, currently completing her degree in Media and the Public Interest at Western University.
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