Canada’s broadcasting regulator confirms proposed online censorship bill will apply to user-generated content

During a hearing on Canada’s attempt to regulate what users can say on the internet, Bill C-11 (The Online Streaming Act), the head of Canada’s broadcasting and telecommunications regulator again confirmed that the far-reaching regulations will apply to user-generated content.

Ever since the bill was announced, critics have been warning that it empowers the Canadian government to censor the content users post to social media platforms by forcing these platforms to abide by content rules set by Canada’s broadcasting and telecommunications regulator – the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

These fears were confirmed by CRTC Chairman Ian Scott earlier this month when he acknowledged that Bill C-11 would apply to user-generated content. And in an appearance at Tuesday’s Canadian Heritage committee hearing, Scott reaffirmed that Bill C-11 allows the CRTC to regulate “user uploaded content.”

CRTC General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director Rachelle Frenette subsequently attempted to downplay the CRTC powers under Bill C-11 by insisting that the regulations apply to platforms, not users. However, she admitted that the CRTC could “issue rules with respect to discoverability.”

Dr. Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, noted (link) that Frenette’s admission is “entirely consistent with the concerns of digital creators, namely that platforms will be required to develop outcomes that result in some content being prioritized in the name of discoverability.”

The critics of Bill C-11 include politicians, creators, and even pro-censorship Big Tech platforms.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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