Feds Introduce Child Porn Reporting Bill

On May 6th, the federal government introduced Bill C-22, the Protecting Children From Online Sexual Exploitation Act. If passed, the Act will impose a duty on persons who provide an “internet service” (internet access, e-mail or internet content hosting) to report child pornography offences in certain circumstances. This includes when a service provider has reasonable grounds to believe its service is being used to commit a child pornography offence. Fines and offences range from $1,000 to $100,000 for repeat offenders.

This adds to duties embodied in legislation in Manitoba (in force since April 2009), Nova Scotia (in force since last month), Ontario (passed in December 2008 and, according to the Canadian HR Reporter, expected to come into force in January 2011) and Alberta (coming into force on July 1, 2010). These provincial statutes impose duties that apply to “persons” writ large, while Bill C-22 imposes duties that apply only to internet service providers. Bill C-22 specifies that a person who has reported information in compliance with an obligation to report child pornography under the laws of a province will be deemed to have reported in compliance with the provisions of Bill C-22.

For Yosie Saint-Cyr’s related post, see here. For a critique of the prior version of Bill C-22 by Michael Geist, see here.

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