Cyberbullying vs Privacy

Bell Canada customers have just received noticed stating their internet bills will be raised by $5 per month, effective June 1st,2014. And of course people who are unaware of the issue would not know why I have just mentioned this in relation to cyberbullying and privacy.

Unfortunately people are unaware that Bill C-13 calls for an extensive amount of record keeping in relation to cyberbullying and other crimes than can be performed online. And this will require equipment and staffing by internet providers, whose associated costs will be handed down to customers.

As a victim of harassment online you might think that I would support such a measure but the costs to Canadians is not only limited to these higher rates. Bill C-13 proposes questionable leniencies in regards to privacy and even cyberbullying victims like Carol Todd are concerned about privacy :

“I don’t want to see our children to be victimized again by losing privacy rights. I am troubled by some of these provisions condoning the sharing of Canadians’ privacy information without proper legal process.” – Carol Todd, mother of Amanda Todd.

Carol Todd has asked a Parliament committee on Bill C-13 to separate to more controversial portions of the bill to "allow this bill to be free of controversy and to permit a thoughtful and careful review of the privacy related provisions that have received broad opposition". And I agree because these more questionable parts of the bill may be challenged legally, causing the whole bill to fail.

Harassment should be addressed as should the distribution of illegal photographs and video recordings. But other issues have been added to the bill to justify the loss of privacy and none of the proponents of this bill appear to want to address the possibly failures in the technicalities of this bill.

In interview after interview they deny it will cost Canadians their privacy yet are unable to explain why certain parts of the bill cannot be rewritten to address the concerns.

Warrants can be invalidated in law if certain conditions are not met and this bill proposes that no warrants are required to collect, share and store information, circumventing the conditions imposed on warrants. 

Warrants in no way facilitate luring and the creation and distribution of child pornography so why is it necessary to bypass warrants ? And warrants can address cases of cyberbullying that involve death threats, threats of bodily harm and threats to property because of our current criminal code.

Internet providers can also implement their own policing on other cases by enforcing their own terms of service agreements on their customers, some of which restrict the use of their services to impede the use of the internet by others and include provisions allowing them to provide information to the authorities when a crime is alleged.

Could they not restrict the use of their services to send unsolicited requests for a recipient’s suicide or threats involving the distribution of an image or recording of the recipient ? Could they not state that such acts would result in information being shared with law enforcement, with or without an account holder’s consent or knowledge ?

As a person who has never asked someone to commit suicide or threatened someone with death, bodily harm or with the distribution of an image or recording, my privacy would remain intact under a split Bill C-13. And a guilty party would be convicted under the conditions of a properly issued warrant, without the more controversial portions of the bill, so why am I being asked to sacrifice my privacy ? 

Security Flaw Found In IE

Microsofticon is currently working on fixing a bug that has been found in versions 6 to 11 of Internet Explorer and the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team has issued a press release asking individuals to use alternative browsers until the bug is fixed :

Click here to download Firefox

Click here to download Chrome

Click here to download Opera

This bug is exploited by malicious web sites so IE users can continue to use their browsers by avoiding potentially dangerous sites. XP Users should use alternative browsers.

No Royalties On Music Previews

The Supreme Court Of Canada has ruled that music previews comply to the definition of Fair Dealing in the Copyright Act and cannot therefore be subjected to the collection of royalties.

“Research” need not be for creative purposes only. Permitting only creative purposes to qualify as “research” would ignore the fact that one of the objectives of the Copyright Act is the dissemination of the works themselves. Limiting “research” to creative purposes would also run counter to the ordinary meaning of “research”, which includes many activities that do not require the establishment of new facts or conclusions. The fair dealing exception must not be interpreted restrictively and “research” must be given a large and liberal interpretation.

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, Canadian Recording Industry Association and CMRRA-SODRAC Inc had wished to collect royalties from internet providers for both previews and full music downloads, the latter also having been dismissed by another ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada today.

These royalties would have resulted in major expenditures for internet providers, who would have passed these on to the consumer.

Wi-Fi With Your Double Double ?

Tim Hortons has announced yesterday that it will be introducing free wireless internet access to 90% of their stores by September.

This service will be provided by Bell. Additional details can be found in the July 5th, 2012 press release.

Cisco Predicts Online Video Explosion

Cisco has released their Visual Networking Index Mobile Forecast for 2011-2016 and it predicts that mobile data traffic will explode because of online video.

The report predicts that in Canada “mobile data traffic will reach 219,897 Terabytes (0.22 Exabytes) per month in 2016” because more Canadians are using their mobile devices to watch movies, television programs, music videos and other content from sites like Youtube.

In 2011, Canada’s mobile data traffic was clocked by Cisco at 10,773 Terabytes (11 Petabytes) per month, “the equivalent of 3 million DVDs each month or 30 million text messages each second.” And their 2016 prediction would equal “55 million DVDs each month or 606 million text messages each second”.

Cisco reported that in 2011 only 57% of that year’s mobile data traffic was video. But predicts that 75% of this traffic will be video by 2016, at 162,179 Terabytes per month.

Attention Bell Customers

Bell has announced price “updates” on their home phone and internet services, effective January 1st, 2012.

click here for additional details