Bell Leads on Radical Proposal for CRTC-Backed Mandatory Website Blocking System

Michael Geist, Dec 06, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Michael Geist has a couple of posts on "a coalition that plans to file a proposal with the CRTC that would lead to the creation a mandatory website blocking system in Canada." It would be run not by the courts but by "a new “Internet Piracy Review Agency”, envisions the creation of mandatory block lists without judicial review to be enforced by the CRTC." This is a bad idea, he writes, for several reasons, not the least of which is that the purpose of such a blocking mechanism would evolve from obvious cases. "Recent history suggests that the list will quickly grow to cover tougher judgment calls." Also, "the creation of a blocking system will invariably lead to demands that it expand to other areas. Whether fake news, hate speech or unlicensed content, if blocking websites without even court oversight is viewed as fair game, the CRTC will face a steady stream of demands for more." I'm in agreement with Geist on this.

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