Thursday, February 8, 2007

Internal Documents Suggest Canadian Government to Drop Net Neutrality

It appears that, in spite of the advertised consumer-centric platform, the current Canadian administration is slowly and carefully positioning itself behind major telecoms Videotron and Telus.

The documents talk about suggested changes to the way that the government is involved in internet law and to the statutes that currently ensure a lack of discrimination between large sites and small sites. They also talk about a lack of legislation (now and in the future) protecting consumer information flow rights in Canada.

"These documents reveal that in Canada, the industry minister and his policy people appear unlikely to provide Canadian Internet users with similar protections to those being offered in the United States," Michael Geist, law professor at the University of Ottawa, said Tuesday. "Indeed, the materials would not be out of place in a lobbying document crafted by the telecommunications companies."

In response to these documents, the office of the Prime Minister has maintained that he (Bernier) has "not made up his mind about net neutrality."

The documents state that public policy must consider consumer protection and choice, but it should also "enable market forces to continue to shape the evolution of the Internet infrastructure, investment and innovation to the greatest extent feasible."
This type of language doesn't communicate a "consumer-centric" platform, at least not in the conventional sense. In fact, it really looks like the Canadian government is looking to let consumer rights to go the wind and allow the big Telecos control the way that the internet infrastructure works.

With all the positive action taking place in the US, it looks like we're forgetting our friendly neighbors up north. This is a really big deal all over the world, and if things don't go well in countries other than the United States we could start seeing trends.

(via cbc news)

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