Weekly News (July 31, 2017)

Communication Governance in the News

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Week of July 31st- August 6th

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News, Decisions, & Releases

CRTC Decisions

Canadian Intellectual Property Office

Innovation, Science, and Economic Development

Top News Canada

Top News International

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Weekly News (July 7th)

Events

Week of July 10-16th
  • No planned events happening this week
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Government News, Decisions, & Releases 

CRTC Decisions

  • [TELECOM] Telecom order 2017-230: Streamlined order – The Commission approves on an interim basis the following tariff application: Northwestel Inc. TN 996
  • [BROADCASTING]: Broadcasting Decision 2017-236: Ethnic Channels Group Limited – Across Canada – APPROVED – Application to add Kino Polska Muzyka, a non-Canadian third-language service, to the List of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution
  • [TELECOM] Telecom Decision CRTC 2017-233: Sogetel inc. – Implementation of local competition for CoopTel, on behalf of Câble Axion Digitel inc.
  • [TELECOM] Telecom Order Regulatory Policy 2017-235: Disconnection  Practices between Telecommunications Service Providers
  • [TELECOM] [TELECOM] Telecom Order 2017-239: Bell Canada – Local Network Interconnection and Component Unbundling
  • [BROADCASTING] Broadcasting Decision 2017-237: Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. (the general partner) and Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. (the limited partner), carrying on business as Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership – Various locations in Alberta and British Columbia – APPROVED – Applications to renew the broadcasting licences for the commercial radio stations set out in the decision 

    Canadian Intellectual Property Office

Innovation, Science, and Economic Development

Top News Stories

Canada

International

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Weekly News Roundup (June 23)

By: Brittany Green

Top Stories this Week

 Ottawa appoints Judith LaRocque as interim chair of CRTC ; A career public servant, LaRocque will step in for Jean-Pierre Blais, whose five-year term ended on Saturday (CRTC)

Ms. LaRocque will step in for Jean-Pierre Blais, whose five-year term as chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ended on Saturday. The federal Department of Canadian Heritage, which is responsible for naming the CRTC chair, began its search for a candidate in January and extended the deadline for applications twice, but still has not found a permanent replacement.

How Blais shook up telecom industry (CRTC)

Industry players may clash over the success of his policies and his leadership, but no one could accuse Jean-Pierre Blais of anything but a dogged pursuit of his agenda during his five years as chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Liberal government tables bill to reform Access to Information (Access to Information Canada)

The Trudeau government plans to cap the spring sitting of Parliament with long-awaited legislation on Access to Information and national security — bills unlikely to be debated by MPs in a serious way until the fall.

CBC ordered probe into nepotism complaints (Access to Information Canada)

The CBC hired an external investigator to probe two top television executives after receiving complaints that at least 13 contracts were handed to production companies owned by their spouses. Although the investigator found no breaches of the public broadcaster’s conflict of interest policy, the legal counsel for one anonymous complainant said the findings are “inconsistent with the facts” and the contracts present the appearance of conflict of interest.

Canadian media have continued to uphold whiteness at work (CRTC) (Access to Information Canada)

Editorial: The institutional refusal by Canada’s media companies (with some exceptions) to deal with diversity, and its pesky twin, equity, in a transparent and accountable way is concerning. As journalists, we flock to cover gender-equal cabinets and to criticize “diversity is our strength” while rarely mentioning our own failures on race and gender. On matters of identity, representation and equity, we are hypocrites.

Top International News

Supreme Court Rejects Expansion of Government-Speech Doctrine In Tam Case (Freedom of Expression)

The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Matal v. Tam striking down the trademark non-disparagement requirement as unconstitutional is a big victory for the First Amendment. First, the Court strongly pushed back against the expansion of the government-speech doctrine, perhaps the biggest current threat to free speech jurisprudence. Second, the Court strengthened a position EFF has long advocated—that intellectual property rights and First Amendment rights must be balanced against each other rather than weighted in favor of the former.

On the mark: The Supreme Court says offensive trademarks are protected speech (Freedom of Expression)

“HATE speech”, activists on college campuses like to say, “is not free speech”. Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, Oregon, made the point last month in reference to a man who uttered anti-Muslim slurs before killing two people who challenged him.

Reload: Another debate about net neutrality in America

An Attack on Net Neutrality Is an Attack on Free Speech (Freedom of Expression International)

Several US senators spoke out this week on the importance of net neutrality to innovation and free speech. They are right. The Internet has become our public square, our newspaper, our megaphone. The Federal Communications Commission is trying to turn it in something more akin to commercial cable TV, and we all have to work together to stop it.

Coal company sues HBO’s John Oliver for defamation (Defamation International)

Coal company Murray Energy has sued HBO and its Sunday-night host, John Oliver, for what it says was a “false and malicious broadcast” last Sunday evening. It’s seeking financial damages and a court order barring rebroadcasts of the segment’s “defamatory statements.”

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Weekly News Roundup (June 15)

By: Brittany Green

 Top Stories this Week

 Canada envoy to U.S. embarrassed by delays in Parliament over preclearance bill (Privacy Canada)

Canada’s envoy to the United States says he is embarrassed it is taking so long for Parliament to pass a new law that would pave the way for greater pre-clearance at the border. Ambassador David MacNaughton says he leaned on U.S. lawmakers to pass a law that would allow passengers to be pre-cleared at a greater number of airports to allow the speedy flow of people across the 49th parallel.

Ottawa’s push to address competition in our wireless market is long overdue; Last week, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains addressed the weak competitive landscape of wireless services that form the backbone of modern communications and commerce (CRTC)

If the first step toward solving an issue comes from admitting there is a problem, Canada took a big leap forward last week in addressing the weak competitive landscape of wireless services that form the backbone of modern communications and commerce. Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, used a keynote speech to the telecom industry to kick-start government action and remove any doubt about its frustration with the competitive state of the sector.

BoC urges banks to co-operate on cybersecurity (Access to Information Canada) Canada’s interconnected banks are vulnerable to a cascading series of cyberattacks that could undermine broad confidence in the financial system, the Bank of Canada warns.The structural vulnerability could allow for the easy spread of an initial attack that ripples into other sectors such as energy or water systems, says the bank’s June financial review.

CRTC will ‘need to act’ to boost wireless competition, Blais says; Outgoing head of Canada’s telecom regulator says direct intervention may be necessary to deliver more competition (CRTC)

Days before the end of his term, the chairman of Canada’s telecom regulator is warning that his successor may need to intervene directly in the wireless market to deliver more competition and lower prices for consumers.

U.S. could stand in way of armed drones for Canada; Preferred model comes with tight restrictions (Access to Information Canada)

The Liberal government’s plan to buy armed drones could face major delays because obtaining such technology needs approval from the U.S., according to documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen.

Top International News

University eases guidelines on chalk sidewalk messages (Censorship International)  Pennsylvania university has eased rules about messages written in chalk on sidewalks following protests from an anti-abortion group.

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Weekly News Roundup (June 8)

By: Brittany Green

 Top Stories this Week

 FCC head defends net neutrality policy in Canadian speech; In his speech, Ajit Pai outlined his reasons for proposing to reverse rules that classify Internet providers as a public utility (CRTC)

In an address to representatives from across the Canadian telecom industry, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission defended his stance on net neutrality, an issue on which the two countries have recently diverged.

Former CBC executive Richard Stursberg voted new president of Pen Canada (Feeedom of Expression Canada)

The non-partisan organization works to defend freedom of expression as a basic human right at home and abroad. Stursberg was voted in as the new president at an annual general meeting on Monday, succeeding novelist and academic Randy Boyagoda.

 Get your business ready for the latest anti-spam restrictions; Provisions of Canada’s anti-spam law coming into effect on July 1 significantly increase restrictions on who you can send marketing e-mails to (CRTC)

Provisions of Canada’s three-year-old anti-spam legislation that are set to come into effect July 1 will require senders of electronic messages meant to directly or indirectly encourage participation in a commercial activity (CEMs) to have the express consent of the recipients of those messages.

 Top International News

Migrant workers from Myanmar face Thai defamation charges (Defamation International)

Fourteen migrant workers from Myanmar appeared Wednesday in a Thai court on criminal defamation charges brought by their employer, which they accused of grueling, illegal working conditions.

Brits have terrorism experience; Many in Canada harbour unserious views (Censorship International)

Experts in both terrorism and digital media say British Prime Minister Theresa May’s accusations that internet companies are providing a “safe space” for extremism aren’t helpful in the fight against terror attacks.

Twitter users, blocked by President Trump, cry censorship (Censorship International)

President Donald Trump may be the nation’s tweeter-in-chief, but some Twitter users say he’s violating the First Amendment by blocking people from his feed after they posted scornful comments.

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Weekly News Roundup (June 2nd)

By: Brittany Green

Top Stories this Week

 Karla Homolka should be hounded for the rest of her life: DiManno (Privacy Canada) https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/06/02/karla-homolka-should-be-hounded-for-the-rest-of-her-life-dimanno.html

Convicted serial killer has been discovered volunteering at a private elementary school in Montreal. Homolka has been permitted to engage with children as an occasional volunteer at the private Seventh-day Adventist Greaves Academy attended by her children, allowing kids to pet her dog and such. It’s outrageous that Homolka’s name has never appeared among the 40,000 or so individuals on Canada’s sex offender registry. Her crimes pre-date the federal data bank’s creation, and it isn’t retroactive. At the very least, her history would have been red-flagged to a prospective employer or volunteer organization doing background checks

Sex workers can find safety with online marketplaces (Freedom of Expression Canada) https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/backpage-sex-workers-can-find-safety-in-online-marketplace/article35181699/

Over the past few years, there has been a war against online classified-ad websites such as Backpage that carry sex workers’ ads. While this war started in the United States, it has crept across the border to Canada as the discourse around sex trafficking has intensified. But one perspective is consistently missing: that of the sex worker exercising agency and using the Internet as a safety tool.

911 calls to handle text, video by 2020 (CRTC) http://business.financialpost.com/fp-tech-desk/telecoms-must-update-911-system-with-texting-video-capabilities-by-2020

Canadians will soon be able to stream videos of a car crash, text photos of a suspected thief or send personal medical information to 911 instead of dialling the three digits to speak to an operator.

Providers have to invest to meet growing demand for mobile use: Bell CEO (CRTC) http://www.winnipegsun.com/2017/05/30/providers-have-to-invest-to-meet-growing-demand-for-mobile-use-bell-ceo

Internet and mobile providers must invest in infrastructure to keep up with a booming consumer appetite for entertainment both at home and on the go, Bell Canada Enterprises CEO George Cope said Tuesday. High-speed mobile data usage is up 37 per cent from just last year, while the amount of data streaming over the Internet has more than quadrupled in five years, Cope told the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.

Top International News

Nooses showing up more in hate incidents around country (Defamation International) http://www.timescolonist.com/nooses-showing-up-more-in-hate-incidents-around-country-1.20346282

Nooses have appeared recently around the nation’s capital — including the Smithsonian’s new African-American history museum — in a rash of incidents that experts say shows the growing use of hate symbols in the U.S. to try to intimidate minorities.

Lebanon bans the new “Wonder Woman” movie (Censorship International) http://www.torontosun.com/2017/05/31/lebanon-officially-bans-the-new-wonder-woman-movie

Lebanese authorities banned the new “Wonder Woman” movie Wednesday hours before it was due to premiere in the capital and following a campaign against its lead actress, Gal Gadot, who served in the Israeli army, a security official and activists said.

 

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Weekly News Roundup (May 26)

By: Brittany Green

 Top Stories this Week

 Videotron appeals CRTC music decision (CRTC) http://business.financialpost.com/fp-tech-desk/videotron-appeals-crtc-ruling-to-stop-offering-unlimited-music-service

Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron has appealed the federal telecom regulator’s decision to outlaw its mobile phone plans that let customers stream unlimited music without extra data charges, stating it faces irreparable harm if forced to cancel the plans by the imposed deadline.

How Canadians pay for ‘net neutrality’ (CRTC) http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/what-canadians-will-lose-out-on-as-the-u-s-deregulates-the-internet-while-were-stuck-on-net-neutrality

The US announced that it is going to “kill the open Internet”. Can Canada save it?

How the laws on CSIS could change (Access to Information Canada) https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/how-the-powers-of-csis-could-change-under-possible-new-legislation/article35077908/

The government last week announced what cues it is taking from a recently concluded public consultation into security and intelligence issues, and Public Security Minister Ralph Goodale has indicated he may soon announce new legislation.

Top International News

Computer wins 2nd game against Chinese go champion (Censorship International) http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/computer-wins-2nd-game-chinese-champion-47630167

A computer beat China’s top player of go, one of the last games machines have yet to master, for a second time Thursday in a competition authorities limited the Chinese public’s ability to see.

Manchester Attack Will Change British Life for the Worse (freedom of expression International) https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/the-manchester-attack-will-change-british-life-for-the-worse/article35084237/

“Soft targets” are what security and intelligence officials call those busy civilian places where someone might set off a bomb undetected – airports, sporting events, nightspots, concerts – and gain attention by provoking a panicked response.

Facebook’s attempt to moderate content doesn’t address its main problem: Teitel (Censorship International) https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/05/23/facebooks-attempt-to-moderate-content-doesnt-address-its-main-problem-teitel.html

Facebook recently announced plans to hire thousands of new moderators to screen for violent, hateful, and sexually explicit content, a decision many politicians and rights advocates celebrated as a necessary step toward protecting FB’s billion-plus users, namely those who are minors.

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Weekly News Roundup (May 19)

By: Brittany Green

 Top Stories this Week

 Former PCO boss eyes border agency watchdog options for Trudeau Liberals (Privacy Canada) http://www.citynews.ca/2017/05/18/former-pco-boss-eyes-border-agency-watchdog-options-for-trudeau-liberals/

The Trudeau government has hired a former top public servant to study options for more robust oversight of Canada’s border agency — the latest sign the agency could soon have new people looking over its shoulder.

Study cites significant challenge in detecting terrorism financing in crowdfunds (Access to Information Canada) http://www.timescolonist.com/study-cites-significant-challenge-in-detecting-terrorism-financing-in-crowdfunds-1.20015659

Canada’s money-laundering watchdog is studying the use of crowdfunding platforms by suspected terrorists and says in an internal study that the reporting protocol poses a “significant challenge” in trying to identify such transactions.

Anti-spam without the heavy hand (CRTC) https://www.pressreader.com/canada/national-post-national-edition/textview

At face value, Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) can be heralded as a good thing, because who doesn’t want less spam? However, in its current version, CASL is anti-competitive to Canadian businesses, too costly to comply with, and strikes at the heart of our federal government’s goal of keeping “Canada at the leading edge of the digital economy.”

 Top International News

President moves to defend media (Freedom of Expression) https://www.pressreader.com/canada/the-globe-and-mail-bc-edition/20170518/281586650530035

Mexican leader Pena Nieto promises more resources to help journalists under threat in the country. The President’s hastily called meeting with his security cabinet and the country’s governors was meant to show a united response to the slaying of reporters from one corner of Mexico to the other so far this year. On Monday, Javier Valdez in Culiacan, Sinaloa, became the sixth journalist slain in less than three months in six different states.

Resolute U.S. racketeering lawsuit against Greenpeace moved to California (Defamation International) http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/05/17/news/resolute-us-racketeering-lawsuit-against-greenpeace-moved-california

A racketeering lawsuit launched by multinational forestry giant Resolute Forest Products against Greenpeace should be heard in California, an American court has ruled. Amid a ramped-up public relations offensive by both sides, a district court in Augusta, Ga., found that Montreal-based Resolute had failed to show why the $300-million lawsuit should be held in the state.

School district pulls suicide book ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ (Censorship International) http://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/colorado-school-district-pulls-suicide-book-thirteen-reasons-why-1.3415692

As a Colorado community mourns the loss of seven students who recently killed themselves, a school district official ordered librarians to temporarily stop circulating a book that’s the basis for Netflix’s popular new series “13 Reasons Why,” which some critics say romanticizes suicide. The order rankled some librarians who called it censorship, and it appears to be a rare instance in which the book has been removed from circulation — albeit briefly.

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Weekly News Roundup (May 12)

By: Brittany Green

Top Stories this Week

 Mélanie Joly’s Net neutrality stance could spell trouble in Quebec; The day Francophones feel their media has been quietly anglicized by Ottawa’s inaction will be a day of reckoning, new essay posits (CRTC) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/why-canadas-net-neutrality-stance-places-consumers-in-control/article34867805/

Joly’s position on net neutrality and CanCon regulations threaten the francophone cultural identity, her role as an MP, and her party. Criticized for implementing ‘soft policy’, Quebecor’s worry about the future of their media identity and culture.

Saskatchewan premier criticized for using private email to do government work (Privacy Canada) http://globalnews.ca/news/3445253/saskatchewan-premier-criticized-for-using-private-email-to-do-government-work/

Premier Brad Wall is accused by the opposition of using a private email to communicate about government business. According to Wall, nothing of a ‘sensitive’ nature was stated in the alleged emails, and the server they were sent on was ‘secure’.

Pepe croaks: Cartoonist kills off frog turned hate symbol (Defamation Canada) http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/cartoonist-kills-off-pepe-the-frog-after-turned-into-hate-symbol-1.4105948

Popular comic author Matt Furie has killed off his character Pepe from his comic book, “The Boys Club” (2006). During the US presidential election, Pepe’s image became an internet sensation when internet trolls used the character’s images for anti-sematic memes.

 Top International News

UN officials urge India to lift social media ban in Kashmir (Freedom of Expression International) https://www.voanews.com/a/india-social-medias-ban-kashmir/3847713.html

The UN urged India officials on April 27th to life a social media band in Kashmir. The UN stated that the band had a “disproportionate impact on the fundamental rights of everyone in Kashmir” and has the “character of collective punishments”.

Mexico names new prosecutor for crimes against journalists (Freedom of Expression International) http://www.metronews.ca/news/world/2017/05/10/mexico-names-new-prosecutor-for-crimes-against-journalists.html

Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office named a new head of its divisions for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression, Ricardo Sanchez. The announcement comes a week after a delegation by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists met in Mexico City with President Enrique Pena Nieto and top government officials. During the encounter the CPJ voiced concern about what it called prosecutors’ “poor record” on investigating crimes against journalists, most of which go unpunished.

Norman Mailer paramour loses defamation suit over biography (Defamation International) http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/books/norman-mailer-paramour-loses-defamation-suit-over-biography-421901743.html

A Pennsylvania woman who says she had an eight-year affair with author Norman Mailer has lost a defamation lawsuit over a Mailer biography that describes their relationship as “strictly sexual.”A judge dismissed ex-supermodel Carole Mallory’s lawsuit after finding she offered no evidence that biographer J. Michael Lennon or his publisher acted with malice.

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Weekly News Roundup (March 28)

By: Brittany Green 

Top Stories this Week

 Potential parliamentary reforms would strike a blow to democracy: Editorial (Access to Information Canada) https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2017/03/28/potential-parliamentary-reforms-would-strike-a-blow-to-democracy-editorial.html

Does your company have a cyberbreach strategy? Here’s why it should (Privacy Canada) https://digitalguardian.com/blog/data-breach-experts-share-most-important-next-step-you-should-take-after-data-breach-2014-2015

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