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Canadians Finally Waking Up: A Brief Discussion on Bill C-11 and Bill C-30

Canadian freedoms are under attack on all fronts these days. Whether it’s new copyright legislation in bill C-11 or online spying/surveillance in bill C-30, the federal Conservatives are trying to take away our freedoms.

For the uninformed, C-11 is the current version of the governments attempt at copyright reform. Previous bills include 2005’s bill C-60, 2008’s bill C-61 and 2010’s bill C-32.

This latest version of the bill, which is essentially the same as C-32, received it’s second reading and was referred to a legislative committee a few days ago, moving it closer and closer to becoming law. To be fair to the Conservative party, the bill isn’t entirely bad. Michael Geist considered C-32 flawed but fixable and has stated that he still believes this about C-11, though he has raised concerns that SOPA like provisions could end up in bill C-11.

Bill C-30 is a new piece of legislation introduced just yesterday. The bill is an attempt to force ISPs to handover customer information to law enforcement agencies without a warrant. This of course is all being done under the guise of protecting children from child pornographers.

The response to bill C-30 by Canadians has been incredible. With more than 95,000 signatures on OpenMedia’s Stop Online Spying petition (which I urge you all to sign, we need to keep up the pressure and momentum) and Vic Toews, Canadian MP and currently Minister of Public Safety, the man behind the bill coming under heavy fire on Twitter for comments made in the days leading up to the introduction of this legislation, as well as for the legislation itself. The Conservatives have already begun backpedaling on this legislation, indicating that they are open to changes.

This is the type of response we need to see from Canadians for C-11. While there has been some resistance, we simply need more. It’s not just C-11 we need to fight either. Canada has already signed ACTA and the Canadian music, movie and entertainment software industries continue to lobby for harsher copyright legislation. If Canadians don’t fight back harder, this is a battle we simply cannot win.

I urge everyone to visit OpenMedia’s No Internet Lockdown petition and contact your local Member of Parliament to let them know how you feel. It is imperative that we do not give up our rights to entertainment industry lobbyists who are refusing to adapt their distribution model in our digital world.

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