The Clean Internet Act (Bill C-427) is a private member’s bill which makes one wonder about many things. Since this is not a forum for political discussion, as such, I won’t mention the primarily political, ethical, philisophical, educational, intellectual, educational, and other rational things it makes me wonder about. Since this is a legal forum, I will mention that it makes me a wonder about the nature and extent of the training in law or legal issues possessed by anyone involved in the drafting and presentation of this work.
Read about the presenter’s rationale at the second of the links I’ve listed. The news release describes the purpose of the proposed bill:
“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.”
Then it ends with
“In an age when the Internet is increasingly being used for criminal and exploitive purposes, it is the responsibility of parents and all Canadians to protect our vulnerable citizens”, says MP Smith. “This Clean Internet Act is one more step towards ending violence and exploitation of women and children in Canada and abroad.”
Am I missing something or did MP Smith forget about a significant number of Canadians some of whom, at least, are worth protecting? I might be wrong about this, but I’m reasonably sure that the citizenry of Canada includes males over the age of 18, some of whom are being exploited in ways some might find offensive (even without considering the plight of Maple Leaf fans). Indeed, it’s even reasonably possible that at least one or two of Ms. Smith immediate superiors in the current Canadian government are members of that portion of the Canadian citizenry.
Read all about it at Michael Geist’s Blog and let’s consider ourselves fortunate that (1) it is not a government bill, even though introduced by a member of the party currently in power and (2) given the political constraints under which that party currently operates, the bill will probably never get out of first reading. I’ll simply quote Prof. Geist’s summary:
“Given that this is a private member’s bill, it is very unlikely to become law. That said, this bill would not look out-of-place in countries that aggressively censor the Internet and it makes the dangerous Jennings lawful access bill look positively harmless by comparison.”