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The Great Firewall of Canada

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the didn't-know-they-could-build-things-up-north dept.

399

engtech writes "Canadian carriers Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, MTS Allstream, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, TELUS, and Videotron have all opted in to a blacklist, dubbed Project Cleanfeed Canada, provided by Cybertip.ca, the Canadian tip-line against child exploitation. The idea of having a national blacklist sends shivers down my spine. I'm a pessimist, I believe that any form of censorship will eventually be abused despite it's good intentions." Besides engtech's post on the subject, Dr. Michael Geist has some considered comments about this issue. From that post: "Critics are quick to draw parallels to Internet censorship in countries such as China. However, those countries involve state-based content blocking, with no transparency or legal recourse. In fact, several democracies — most notably Australia — have established limited blocking rules, while British Telecom, the UK's largest ISP, voluntarily blocks child pornography as part of its CleanFeed program. Even with various legal safeguards, many Canadians would undoubtedly find the blocking of any content distasteful. Yet to do nothing is to leave in place an equally unpalatable outcome that silences those would speak out against unlawful hate speech for fear of personal harm."

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399 comments

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16970886)

First post! :D

Chilling effect (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970890)

Who is going to take the trip down the road of legal recourse when they're going to be branded a child-exploiter?

Sorry, sir, our records indicate that PEDOS4PEDALS has had several complaints lodged against it and has been blacklisted in accordance with current regulations. If you wish to pursue this further, please see our webpage www.complainhereyousickpervert.ca for more information on how to remove your domain from the blacklist.

Re:Chilling effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16970908)

I hope you're European. Otherwise you're as lonely as I am.

Re:Chilling effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971048)

A fuck-tard milk sop sundae is more chilling. Yes, you are in the sundae. Sorry. ZZZZZZZIRP!

Re:Chilling effect (4, Insightful)

cloricus (691063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971098)

Which is painful because the only people who will challenge this will be legitimate users...
 
As any SysAdmin knows firewalls are a waste of time against those inside the system that are desperate to move data. Even those not smart enough to break through will just use sneakernet and unless you want to lock down every pc in the country this isn't going to be stopped.
 
Some one should do some thing about outright wastes of money like this even above the out cries that 1984 is here.

Um, come again? (4, Interesting)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970900)

many Canadians would undoubtedly find the blocking of any content distasteful. Yet to do nothing is to leave in place an equally unpalatable outcome that silences those would speak out against unlawful hate speech for fear of personal harm

No, to do nothing is to allow free speech on both sides. Blacklists, or lack thereof aren't going to help OR stop people from speaking out against hate speech. All they'll do is prevent speech of some sort.

This Canadian doesn't follow the logic here at all.

Re:Um, come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16970958)


No, to do nothing is to allow free speech on both sides. Blacklists, or lack thereof aren't going to help OR stop people from speaking out against hate speech. All they'll do is prevent speech of some sort.

This Canadian doesn't follow the logic here at all.


To the American psyche, this may not make much sense; but keep in mind that hate speech is in fact unlawful in Canada. Given that there exists such a thing as unlawful speech, you'd be hardpressed to find objections to blocking it (over and beyond the common objection from Americans that it's not right to place any limits on free speech, yada yada).

What Geist is trying to say, no doubt, is that offering this avenue will allow people to have illegal speech blocked in a way that is more likely to protect them against personal retaliation by the promoters of hate speech. If, say, the KKK launched a Canadian-based website that was promoting killing [insert minority group here], and you were a member of that group, would you be terribly willing to go to court to sue them to have it taken down? Probably not.

Re:Um, come again? (5, Informative)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971010)

What many people (usually americans, I find, although that in no way implies you are one) mistake about Canada is that hate speech is illegal. It is not. Hate speech inciting violence or hate speech advocating genocide is illegal.
There is a substantial difference. You are perfectly free to walk around street-corners yelling about how much you hate the jews; but when you start yelling "SOMEONE SHOULD KILL THE JEWS" and their speech...
...incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace...

That's when they can be punished. Even when Canada did not have a written constitution or bill of rights, this speech was still protected extensively.

Hate speech is in fact legal. it is inciting violence which is not legal, and, to my knowledge, is not legal in the US either.

Expression should never be limited. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971280)

Hate speech inciting violence or hate speech advocating genocide is illegal.

See, the problem with "hate speech" is that in itself, it is completely harmless. If somebody commits a violent act against others based solely on what you wrote or said, you shouldn't be held responsible. The person who committed the violent act is the only one who was in the wrong.

We must also consider why "hate speech" from Canadian politicians and media figures is considered acceptable. Take the war in Afghanistan, for instance. Many Canadian politicians from various political parties have openly shown a high level of support for it. Initially, it was state-sponsored violence targeted towards an identifiable group: the Taliban. It sounds like it fits the definition of a "hate crime" quite well. Why is it not considered a "hate crime" to advocate the killing of Taliban? Shouldn't news outfits like CBC and the National Post be held responsible for advocating violence against identifiable groups when they print statements from Canadian military commanders who speak in support of the killing that Canadian troops are involved with over there?

Re:Expression should never be limited. (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971314)

Arguably because it does not fit the legal definition of 'breaking the peace.' The point of the Canadian codes against hate speech are not so much to prevent speech as they are to prevent violence.

Re:Expression should never be limited. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971360)

You're so full of BS that its not funny.

"If the speech promoted hatred against an identifiable group, but was not likely to incite a listener to violence, then a person could still be convicted."

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_hat6.htm [religioustolerance.org]

(I'm not addressing the grandparent's post in particular, just your continued mis characterizations of Canadian law)

Re:Expression should never be limited. (0)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971384)

You have no idea what you're talking about. Read Zundel's trial, for example. You are not allowed to incite violence. Period. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

Moreover, the section you are referencing is a rehash of a law that was struck down (In Zundel's trial, ironically enough), by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. It won't stand up to a constitutional challenge the next time, either.

Re:Um, come again? (1)

renehollan (138013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971302)

*cough* Ernst Zundel *cough* was jailed for denying the Holocaust.
 

Re:Um, come again? (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971346)

His trial was for what was essentially slander;
...did publish a statement or tale, namely, "Did Six Million Really Die?" that he knows is false and that is likely to cause mischief to the public interest...
...and he was acquitted on those grounds because the Supreme Court ruled that was a violation of his right to free speech. He was only held in prison, to my knowledge, during the time between when a lower court ruled him guilty and the supreme court ruled the law unconstitutional.

Re:Um, come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971304)

Why do people say totally false things all the time about Canada's hate speech laws? Are you actually Canadian, or do you just pretend to be and correct people with erroneous information online?

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_hat6.htm [religioustolerance.org]

"Sexual orientation has now joined four other groups protected against hate speech on the basis of their "color, race, religion or ethnic origin." "

"In particular, citizens are not allowed to incite or promote hatred, advocate genocide or actually commit genocide against certain specified groups."

I can also cite the numerous people who have been persecuted for there mere opinions of other racial and ethnic groups, also.

Re:Um, come again? (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971368)

Do so. Ernest Zundel, as I pointed out above, was acquitted on the grounds of freedom of speech, and he did quite a bit more than 'his mere opinion of other racial and ethnic groups'.

The criminal code says that inciting violence is illegal, as it is anywhere else.

Re:Um, come again? (1)

FractalZone (950570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971370)

According to my understanding of the law in the U.S. (IANAL...yet) you are correct. It is the inciting of (criminal) action that can get one in trouble here.

I can say "Fuck(1) the [whatever oh-so-PC group]!", and not incure the wrath of Big Brother, but if I say "Exterminate [the aforementioned group]!" I will be in major legal trouble if what I say catches the attention of law enforcement.

So it goes...

(1): Presuming that I am not accused of inciting a rape...

Re:Um, come again? (2, Insightful)

mks113 (208282) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970982)

I find it pretty hard to get worked up about. It doesn't sound like it is one person in a basement deciding what Canadians can and can't look at, but rather an attempt to keep world-wide recognized child exploitation off the net.

The submitters reaction sounds very American. We Canadians don't tend to get so worked up about individual freedoms when the common good is at stake.

I run a filter at the school I work at. I can understand the need to block content for the kids who are our responsibility. Legal issues fall under the government. Why not allow them to block obviously illegal material?

Because it is sometimes necessary to break the law (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971042)

Cases in point: drug laws and copyright laws.

Re:Um, come again? (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971180)

I run a filter at the school I work at.

My school did that at one point, rather nice of them. Meant the librarians didn't pay as much attention as we all surfed to "not-allowed" websites than they would have otherwise (since of course what we were doing wasn't "possible."). I think they started paying attention when every computer was running Quake 2 and half the kids were skipping classes to play.

Then again we were all creative kids. The master linux password file got stolen constantly, half of it got cracked after a while (including the principal's account which someone had fun with) The master student database got jacked a few times, not sure if anyone bothered to really decipher the format (fun to know everyone's classes). One student got suspended for trying to hack into the grade system but he was an idiot for not understanding the security measures (he also for some reason had school blueprints in his locker which got stolen from his, he was also an idiot for using luggage locks on his locker). Hardware security devices got disabled. Fake class lists were made so students could make security guards think they did not have a class at the time. I mean it got bad once the vandalism started although it was funny when after 4 months the school realized one of their systems no longer had a cpu in it (the head network admin wrote such a nice letter calling for help in tracking the culprit, complete with blanked out cursing at the end).

I sometimes I wonder if the admins even knew exactly how much of their security had been ripped apart. They only caught people who did blatantly stupid or obvious things (cracking *nux password file on the school server under their own account), and none seemed to be really punished.

I guess my advice is: If you ever get the chance to work at a magnet or other similar school don't accept it, smart but overworked and unstable teenagers are not nice to those in authority.

Re:Um, come again? (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971216)

We Canadians don't tend to get so worked up about individual freedoms when the common good is at stake.
Without intending to debate the point directly, the "American" point of view is that the highest calling of government is to protect individual freedoms, and as a government by the people, for the people, that is the common good. Those who would claim to use the common good as an argument to curtail freedom need to be scrutinized very carefully.

That said, it is an immature interpretation of that idea to collapse that to "Those who would claim to use tho common good as an argument to curtail freedom are always automatically wrong". Clearly, there are many things that have passed this examination; in some sense every law on the books must pass that test.

Personally, I find it difficult to get too worked up over the stated goals of this program. However, humans and all their institutions have a proven track record of abuse of this sort of power; other comments bring up some historical instances, such as a telecom company blocking their union's website. Jumpy people help keep the system in check. Being nervous about this sort of thing is perfectly rational, and given a bell curve of reactions, that means some people will be frothing at the mouth. They are not necessarily representative, though.

(Part of the reason I don't spend too much time worrying about the impending tyranny over the United States is the number of people that are still free to scream about impending tyranny. I'll know that we're actually in trouble when you can only find people saying everything's just great, yay!)

Caveat: I wasn't talking about "hate speech" (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971268)

Caveat: When I referred to the "stated goals", I mean with regard to blocking "child porn".

Hate speech is another topic entirely and one I find too scarily fuzzy and subjective for a government to be enforcing. Hate speech in many places is damn near "speech I disagree with".

True incitement to violence I can see continuing to enforce, but expanding that to "hate speech" is just asking for censorship. I try to read a wide range of sources on both the "left" and the "right", and I've seen on both sides the accusation of "hate speech" freely tossed about for things that really weren't. The problem with hate speech is that you get into the logic of "I like X because I love children. If you don't like X, you clearly hate children. Therefore, advocating against X is 'hate speech' against children." I've seen that argument used both for and against legal abortion. In neither case is it hate speech; in both cases the arguer genuinely believes they are advocating for children.

Re:Um, come again? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971310)

I run a filter at the school I work at. I can understand the need to block content for the kids who are our responsibility. Legal issues fall under the government. Why not allow them to block obviously illegal material?

1) Schools, companies, etc, blocking for their users is fine

2) Govt, or monoploy ISPs, blocking for EVERYONE is not. Becasue they'll err on the side of blocking anything that might offend anyone. 3) Trying to "block" objectionable sites from knowledgeable users is impossible, even if you go to the lengths China does. For instance, the hate sites supposedly advocating violence that are the subject of this could easily use an email list, create a forum in any country in the world, use P2P, use a neglected newsgroup, etc, etc. If what they're doing is "obviously illegal", SUE THEM. Lock them up. Don't try to sanitise the entire Internet, it's just impossible. These people are in the USA, not Outer Mongolia. Get the Mounties to call the FBI. Don't dick around with block lists that will just keep school kids busy for a few hours to circumvent.

Re:Um, come again? (1)

geobeck (924637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971272)

This Canadian doesn't follow the logic here at all.

The logic is that the ISPs are Doing Something(TM). It looks good in their press releases, and probably ups their stock value a bit. Aside from that, there's nothing to see here.

Hold on there, Cowboy (5, Insightful)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970902)

The idea of having a national blacklist sends shivers down my spine. I'm a pessimist, I believe that any form of censorship will eventually be abused despite it's good intentions.


I'm sure the outrage has you foaming at the mouth, and is palpably dripping from your chin as we speak. But hold your horses.

We are not talking about silencing political speech here. Canada is not China, period. We have had laws against hate crimes and child porn for quite awhile now, and there are specific exceptions allowed in our constitution such that there can be no hiding behind the banner of free speech for these things. They are, unequivocably, criminal acts.

If any sites of note are wrongly blocked, you will hear about it very quickly. Again, we are not China, and news travels fast. The potential for abuse here is small.

Re:Hold on there, Cowboy (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970934)

unfortunately for you, it is only a matter of time before they start blocking other "distastful" sites, such as competing companys or politicals. internet blocking simply does not work, especially not against pedo's who are well known to be tech savvy and organised, the telco's know this, so why are they really doing it?

Re:Hold on there, Cowboy (1)

ForumTroll (900233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971034)

unfortunately for you, it is only a matter of time before they start blocking other "distastful" sites
Do you have any evidence to support that assertion? Without any evidence that is nothing more than a slippery slope argument.

Re:Hold on there, Cowboy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971148)

hardly a trusted source, I realize, but check out: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/08/04/12 19223 [slashdot.org]
and
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/25/10 48247 [slashdot.org]

Re:Hold on there, Cowboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971266)

your articles support his case not yours. ie that if a site is wrongfully blocked the voices will be loud and clear and it will quickly be undone as was the case in the articles you pointed to.

Re:Hold on there, Cowboy (4, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971178)

Well, this whole issue got started because of a one guy's campaign against white supremacist groups and "hate speech," so I don't think it's much of a stretch to assume that these sorts of laws are going to be used against more than pornography pretty quickly.

When Richard Warman asked the CRTC to order Canadian ISPs to block certain U.S. sites that allegedly threatened him, one of the reasons they refused was because of the "unprecedented nature of the relief sought in the Application."

If such blocking was more common, as it would if it was used daily against other sites, then the 'unprecedented action' defense wouldn't exist. Judges are unlikely to create new blocking systems where none exist already, but adding a site to an already extant one is a far lower standard.

It's naive in the extreme to simply assume that systems like this, regardless of the reasons for their creation initially, won't be extended to other ends. When you give someone a hammer, don't be surprised if they start looking for something to pound with it.

Re:Hold on there, Cowboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971320)

Canada isn't the USA. There is a VERY strong separation between the church and government. Nobody here will start makings laws as they recently have in the USA - the kind of laws that forbids credit card companies to process payments for porn sites with 'distasteful' content (and whatever that is is totally up to them). It only happens in the USA because of all the overly religious-oriented government. I cannot see it happen here, ever. Besides, the day an ISP blocks my porn [normal stuff, that is] - or warez - is the day I dump 'em.

But to say the whole measure is very useful... Not so sure. It'll stop some people, but with networks like freenet, tor, proxies and what not, my guess is it'll still be easy for sickos to find illegal and immoral stuff. But I see no reasons not to block the bad stuff, so why not?

Re:Hold on there, Cowboy (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970996)

I hear this new fangled thing...this...Google...can be used to find child porn. Whaddya say, allow pedos to jerk it to children or block the whole site? Eh eh?

Re:Hold on there, Cowboy (5, Funny)

blincoln (592401) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971350)

Eh eh?

Watch out, if you make fun of the Canadians they might come burn down Washington, DC again.

Re:Hold on there, Cowboy (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971378)

Shhh. You're breaking out of the groupthink that censorship in any form is an absolute evil. This is slashdot, and there's no need for nuanced comments like yours. Keep your ethical thinking black and white, please. We don't understand the concept of "the lesser of two evils".

Fact: if fingerprint identification were invented tomorrow, 90% of slashdotters would be against it as an infringement of civil liberties.

Hmmm... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16970906)

"despite it's good intentions."

Are they already blacklisting grammar sites?

Re:Hmmm... (1)

ampmouse (761827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971194)

From Englishchick.com [englishchick.com] , A questionable grammar [englishchick.com] website:
I am a feminist bisexual Jewish pagan techno-geek with delusions of grandeur.

Of course it's blocked. You don't want a pervert like that teaching your children grammar. Think of the children!

</sarcasm>

Questionable grammar. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971228)

>> I am a feminist bisexual Jewish pagan techno-geek with delusions of grandeur.
> You don't want a pervert like that teaching your children grammar. Think of the children!

Yeah, with a teacher like that, they'll grow up never knowing the joys of the comma.

Slippery slope (5, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970912)

I remember when the Telus (which is both an ISP and a telco) strike was on, a big issue was raised because they blocked the webpages of their workers' union from those using their internet services. I'm not sure if Canada has the same common-carrier laws as the US, but it seems to me that with or without them, these steps towards having a third party able to decide what is "acceptable" speech or not is a dangerous one.

Apparent age of females, intent of speech or hatred therein, and many other things are open to wide interpretation. So who gets to decide what is standard vs hate speech, what is pornographic, what girls/boys appear underage? The same companies that block a disagreeable union webpage... that isn't a good sign to me.

Re:Slippery slope (3, Insightful)

gatesvp (957062) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971312)

Fortunately, Telus doesn't maintain the list, we do, these guys are federally funded [childfind.mb.ca] .

If problems come up we (the public) file complaints and the issue gets handled. Sure, we can insert comments about poor response times, red tape, etc. But that's neither here or nor there.

Point is, this is a government-sponsored list from a group with a good track record. If you don't like it, write to your local government reps and tell them about it.

Re:Slippery slope (1)

geobeck (924637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971348)

...who gets to decide what is standard vs hate speech, what is pornographic, what girls/boys appear underage? The same companies that block a disagreeable union webpage[?]

...a blacklist...provided by Cybertip.ca, the Canadian tip-line against child exploitation.

So, no, it won't be Telus. Or Shaw, or Rogers, etc. Cybertip.ca has a pretty well-focused mission, so they're only likely to block sites that (maybe) can't produce standard model release forms (including proof of age) that all legitimate adult-oriented content providers have to have (ever since the Traci Lords scandal years ago). And if these sites are outside of a jurisdiction that requires model release forms, I'm sure the Canadian "tubes" can benefit from having some bandwidth freed up from the lack of some sleazy sites.

This is just speculation, of course. I don't know how Cybertip.ca decides who to blacklist, but lack of model releases would be a good place to start.

Doesn't seem that bad (4, Interesting)

thedarknite (1031380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970914)

From the description of what the ISPs have opted into, I don't see too many problems with it. However, there should be some way of being able to review who is on the blacklist and why, so there is some recourse for sites that are listed without actually violating any laws.

Re:Doesn't seem that bad (5, Insightful)

Sinbios (852437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971118)

How are you going to review the list if you can't VIEW the sites ON the list? If it's just government officials/telco assigned people doing the reviewing, what good is it?

You doubt our patriotism? (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971200)

Trust us, comrade! There is nothing to see on any of the blocked sites. You don't want to go around asking questions like that; someone might think you're a pedophile or something, and we wouldn't want that, now would we?

Go back and have yourself a nice Molson and watch some hockey. You'll feel better...

So how do they identify child porn? (4, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970916)

How does a process tell the difference between two images, nonetheless two nude people, one 16 and the other 18?

Re:So how do they identify child porn? (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971126)

I believe they would build a robot to do that job. Just give them time.

Re:So how do they identify child porn? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971190)

How does a process tell the difference between two images, nonetheless two nude people, one 16 and the other 18?

there is a reason why they call it kiddie porn.

we are not talking about mature teens. we are not talking about artistic nude photographs. we are not talking about the age of consent.

we are talking about the rape of a child for the sexual entertainment of an adult. we are talking about infants and toddlers. we are talking about boys and girls age twelve and younger.

Re:So how do they identify child porn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971316)

Actually, your personal interpretation aside, that's exactly what we're talking about, sexually explicit pictures of anyone under the age of 18, with or without consent, with or without 'maturity'. Artistic photos are the exception.

So yes, they will need to know the difference between a girl that is 16 and one that is 18.

And to answer the grandparents question, I'm assuming they have some kind of documention identify the models in pornography, or something like that. What I'm afraid of is the telcos block all 'suspicious' porn sites (could be anything distasteful to the censor), leaving lose blocked to go through an unnecessary appeals process. Even that is a misuse of their power.

Great Firewall (0, Redundant)

brasspen (899025) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970918)

I'm Canadian. I'm for it. We believe in authority up here more than in America it seems. It's unlikely to be abused, especially if there is some transparency. It's very American to automatically respond to this kind of thing as though it was a threat. Stop acting like a teenager.

Re:Great Firewall (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970972)

Then obviously you've completely forgotten what just happened with the liberals. As a Canadian I'm opposed to any kind of censorship, period. Its more preferable to take down the sites than block them.

Re:Great Firewall (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971022)

What magical distinction do you make between taking down a site and blocking access to it?
Presumably the only difference should be that the site isn't hosted in your country.

Re:Great Firewall (1)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971208)

I think there is a big distinction. Taking legal action to disable someone's site is definitely different than just blocking access. A legal process must be navigated to remove a site versus blocking access because some entity believes their content MAY be illegal. Legal ruling versus opinion. Of course, I can block anything I want on PC's I control as long as I take responsibility. Getting a site taken down is a horse of a different color...

Re:Great Firewall (-1, Flamebait)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970988)

WTF? "It's unlikely to be abused, especially if there is some transparency." The Canadian government doesn't ever use its laws to abuse and/or restrict its citizens? I'll take that with grain of salt.

"It's very American to automatically respond to this kind of thing as though it was a threat." Great, let's bash the Americans because they are obviously the most paranoid nation on the planet?

Here's a suggestion for you...go drink a Molsen or twelve and fuck a moose.

Re:Great Firewall (2)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970990)

maybe your just a navie idiot, ever considered that? "It's unlikely to be abused" my if i could have a $ for everytime some conservative put forward an opressive law and made that claim, then had it broke, i'd be a rich man.

Re:Great Firewall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971050)

I'm Canadian. I'm for it. We believe in authority up here more than in America it seems. It's unlikely to be abused, especially if there is some transparency. It's very American to automatically respond to this kind of thing as though it was a threat. Stop acting like a teenager.


So you believe that you, a lone subject^H^H^H^H citizen, are unfit to rule yourself? Do you need someone smarter and stronger than you to control you, and make you do as you're told? Is that your point?

Stop acting like an irresponsible young adult that won't move out of his parents' house and get his own life.

Just keep on saying that. (2)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971054)

Did you ever stop and think for a moment, that maybe -- just maybe -- it was attitudes like that, which got us into the mess we're in down here right now? Where a whole lot of people just blithely trusted the government, and a few years later it's like the place is in a handbasket, going southwards.

Your attitude reeks of "it can't happen here" arrogance, but history seems to indicate that if there is one single truth in government, it's that it can happen here, regardless of where "here" is.

Re:Great Firewall (5, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971230)

We believe in authority up here more than in America it seems.

That is rather frightening really or naïve, believing that others somehow want what is best for you by the simple fact that they managed to cheat and lie their way to the top. Then again humans seem to love to give criminals big guns and then wonder why they got shot in the head.

It's unlikely to be abused, especially if there is some transparency.

Of course it will get abused sooner or later, everything is once someone with a potential gain finds a way to do it.

It's very American to automatically respond to this kind of thing as though it was a threat.

No, it's the safe way of doing things. See unlike say Great Britain we feel that losing all our freedoms gradually by "small but increasing steps" is not a good things.

Stop acting like a teenager.

No, unlike you we understand human nature and the nature of those in power. Only the naïve and stupid think that things will not be abused or that those in power should be blindly trusted at all.

Re:Great Firewall (0, Troll)

adaminnj (712407) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971244)

I'm an American in Canada and I think your comment is just the type of America bashing that abot 50% of the population dose just to be against America. I read the child's book that calls America a spoiled teenager too.

Look you self richeous Snowball if it was not for us Teenage Americans covering your ass all thees years you would not have your F'ed up medical system (you would actually have to have a defense system and pay for it) and have been able to have discussions in English or French (you would all be speaking Russian) comrade.

as for you all being so flipen peaceful and PC up here I see 300K immigrents holding up your economy of American company's and paying huge Taxes for urban sprawl and over inflated housing prices. to add insult to injury there is no infrastructure here I mean 4 lane Roads intersecting with stop signs and over passes falling on cars killing familys WTF is that aboat eh.

with the amount of immigration that is going on here it's funny how the "White Canadians" do not involve them self with the immigrents and the immigrants all cluster together Chinese cluster with Chinese, Indians cluster with Indians, and so on and so forth. Canada is setting up for an all out race war in the next 10-15 years

with the 300K that immigrate here every year (and you guys would not have let this happen if you dident have NAFTA given to you by Uncle Sam) less than 10% of them will ever be able to vote or become citizens in Canada.
Talk about human rites violations what Canada is doing is close to TAX slavery.

if you are going to talk smack about how Americans Love there free speech you had better learn about your own country first.

you are never going to stop some one from braking a law they want to brake by removing one avenue they will find another way.

I mean you guys are even infighting, Alberta won't let oil revenue out of Alberta, Quebec wants to be it's own nation and Harper is considering letting them be a nation inside of Canada the nation (now that is a bit redundant) the French had a tantrum and left Louisiana to run up here now they are having another tantrum if. America is the Teen then Canada is the coward infant who ran up here to hide while the U.S and by the way America is the contanet not the country my country is the United States. fought for freedom while Canada kind of got it's freedom by proxie from the U.S.

as a mater of fact next time you see an American you kiss them right on the ass and say thank you for my life as an uppity but free Canadian idiot.

Re:Great Firewall (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971352)

>It's very American to automatically respond to this kind
>of thing as though it was a threat. Stop acting like a
>teenager. /. is not remotely representative of average American values. Neither are any media US reports you might hear.

          Brett

Re:Great Firewall (1)

GoatPigSheep (525460) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971392)

As a Canadian who actually believes in free speech, I am against any kind of censorship or filtering on the internet.

"Hate speech" is a broad term that could apply to many things. I could be deemed a distributor of "hate speech" for saying I am an atheist who thinks all religions are wrong (since I'd offend the followers of some major religions with that statement).

Protecting us from "thought crime" is not democratic.

australia (5, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970922)

"several democracies - most notably Australia - have established limited blocking rules" completely untrue. the family first party of australia, a right wing christian fundamentalist group who unfortunately got a senator into our government was pushing a proposal, but nothing has been put into law or implemented to my knowledge.

Re:australia (2, Informative)

thedarknite (1031380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970948)

It hasn't only been Family First. Blocking legislation has been pushed by various politians from all the parties.

Re:australia (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970966)

i think labour latched onto it as well at some point but let it drop. to my knowledge non of howards ministers have put it forward, although they did take the rediculous move of outlawing online gambling in australia. it wouldn't suprise me that they have all talked favourably about internet censorship at some point to suit thier own agenda's.

Re:australia (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971036)

Australia has always had provisions for blocking specific servers from access across the international
links.
Apparently the things that are blocked are bad enough that noone has complained

Re:australia (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971066)

Brian Harradine got such proposals passed and implemented in the late 1990s.

Re:australia (1)

deek (22697) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971092)

Agree with you here.

I _work_ for a mid-sized ISP in Australia, and we have our own international link. We have no blocking at all. There is no law that I know of, which requires us to block access to anything. I guess it's just one of those slashdot urban legends that catches the imagination of slashdotters everywhere.

Lots of issues but... (2, Interesting)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970930)

Here's the obvious problem first. What about sites that are blacklisted where it may not be justified? As an example how about a site that describes and depicts physical differences in human anatomy for educational purposes. I've seen pictures in medical texts that could be considered child pornography just because they showed full frontal nudity of subjects at different ages to compare physical development as humans age.

The other issue I see is that an ISP can block whatever they want. It is their choice as business. If the customer is not happy with their policies or practices then they can choose not to be a customer any longer.

Here in the US the government does censor at times despite the first amendment to the Constitution. But, I think the Supreme Court has historically done a decent job of ruling in favor of free speech.

Re:Lots of issues but... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970952)

"The other issue I see is that an ISP can block whatever they want" no, they can't, or they can't hold a common carriers license. this notion that "i'm a business i can do what i want" is just CRAP.

Re:Lots of issues but... (1)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971014)

Respectfully, where does it say that you can't have "common carriers (sic) license and restrict content? TV, radio, and ISP's all restrict content to a certain extent.

Re:Lots of issues but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971004)

I've never heard of a case where a medical textbook has been banned as childporn. As long as there is transparency, it should not be a problem, and if it is related to the Federal Government, any information can be accessed under FOIPA. The only other issue is that people trying to view the page, (willfully or inadvertently), get a page that tells them that is it blocked, why, and how to contact that agency responsibly.

Re:Lots of issues but... (1)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971038)

I'm positing a POSSIBILITY of the erroneous restriction of information.

Obligitory (2, Funny)

LackThereof (916566) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970940)

In Canada, milk comes in bags.

Re:Obligitory (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971000)

Except it doesn't really anymore.

Re:Obligitory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971064)

Actually, it still does.

Re:Obligitory (1)

The Hobo (783784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971204)

Sure it does

I was going to go take pictures of it myself (I drink one of those pouches a day, almost), but it's easier to find it on the internets

This [archive.org] is exactly what it looks like, I have 2 of those bags downstairs (and a few empty ones I haven't taken out of the fridge yet)

The little thing on the bag is to cut open the milk, most pitchers have little holes specially made to fit the little clip on top

I also found this [img73.exs.cx] image. Tee hee. (Again, that's exactly as you find it in stores today). I think this is what others refer to as 'full cream' milk (not skim/1|2%/low fat)

There's a bit of a tribute site here [cogeco.ca] but it's pretty old (based on what the bag of milk looks like).. The person also really sucks at cutting the hole, it usually comes out much nicer if you do it right

P.S. I believe British Columbia may use the jugs, Ontario uses the bags (which is why I was bothered by California's milk, which comes in jugs, I'm used to the bags)

P.P.S. In Australia, the norm is 'full cream' milk, and 2% (which is the norm here in Ontario) is not too normal there, another difference in milk I've experienced in the world

Re:Obligitory (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971144)

(I'm canadian) I know its just meant to be funny, but the most ironic thing of this , is that the only place I've seen milk in bags in the last 20 years is during my countless trip to New York City!

Re:Obligitory (1)

sndtech (738958) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971186)

Nova Scotia still has it in bags in every Sobey's and SaveEasy, Wal-Mart too. you can get it in the 4 litre jugs if you really want/need that much milk. Oh, and we have sunday shopping now!

Re:Obligitory (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971236)

What, you mean there's more to Canada than Quebec, Ontario and BC? And Quebec doesn't count, so Ontario and BC?

(i'm from quebec, before some sensitive moron flips)

Re:Obligitory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971188)

WTF? I'm sorry to sound stupid and ignorant and waaaaaaaay the F off topic, but what are you guys talking about? Does milk really come in bags? What kind of bag? How is the milk removed from the bag? Have I just stepped into some trap by asking these question? I really do want to know as I have never heard of milk coming in bags. Sorry for the detour...

Re:Obligitory (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971322)

No no. In some places, you can get milk in bags (I think its cheaper). Its a plastic bag, and you dump the bag in a kind of "holder", then cut off one of the corners, by which the milk flows.

http://dylanb.wordpress.com/files/2006/06/milk.JPG [wordpress.com]

like that

Re:Obligitory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971354)

...and in China milk also comes in bags. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Meanwhile in Denmark... (4, Informative)

nickos (91443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970942)

A Danish court recently ruled against a Danish ISP and ordered it to block all access to the site Allofmp3.com. According to the ruling, the ISP is willingly infringing copyright if it's customers use AllofMP3 to download music.

The verdict could have very strong implications for the future. It clearly states that an ISP can be held liable for temporarily (milliseconds) storing infringing data on their routers. This means that ISPs can be forced to block websites, if the court decides that these sites are mainly used to spread "illegal" content.

Read more here [torrentfreak.com] and here [slyck.com] ...

Personal Freedom? (2, Interesting)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16970960)

What happened to personal freedom? There's nanny-bots for people who want it, do we really need the ISPs/Governments deciding what's best for everyone? The really bad stuff will find ways around it and all that will be truly blocked is that which probably shouldn't be.

Hate Speech? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16970984)

What the hell is this "Hate Speech" thing? In a free country, you should be allowed to say whatever the hell you wish besides inciting a riot or yelling fire in a crowded theater, or something like "I will murder so-and-so." Even for the last example, they should not be prosecuted for "Illegal Speech", but for planning a murder.

It is ridiculous, immature and naïve to think that someone could actually be HARMED by ideas or words. Has no one else ever been taught that Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me ?

Face it, outlawing "Hate Speech" is pretty much enacting Thought-Crime legislation. If you disagree with someone's obviously wrong ideas, such as something as senseless as racism, combat it with logic, common sense and better ideas. Don't make thinking or saying certain things illegal.

And even if it was possible to come up with a defense of anti-Hate Speech laws, the boundaries between what is and isn't hateful is arbitrary and would inevitably be abused.

Re:Hate Speech? (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971056)

Hate Speech is generally what you just said, things such as inciting riot.
To encourage people to persecute/harm a specific group would be considered hate speech.

Re:Hate Speech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971264)

Not true.

If you say:

"I think Jewish people are responsible for cultural decadence in society" (a common thing said by many anti-semitic people), you can be prosecuted in many countries in Europe, and I think Canada too.

Or:

"There is clear proof that the Holocaust did not happen", you can get in lots of trouble for that too.

Or:

"Not all races are created equal, according to IQ tests, blacks are less intelligent than Whites and Asians" can even get you into hot water. There is a professor in Canada who does research on race and biology and has been investigated (but not prosecuted) for publishing that sort of research.

Re:Hate Speech? (1)

LordEd (840443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971184)

What about slander? I believe that you can be sued for that in the states.

It's not going to stop with child porn. (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971002)

Just in case anyone thought that this issue would remain just one of child pornography, it's worth reading the second linked article, which reveals that much of the current rulemaking was sparked by Ottawa's Richard Warman [wikipedia.org] , a sort of Canadian answer to Jack Thompson, whose pro-censorship stance is centered mostly around "hate speech." His original petition to the CHRC was for censorship of U.S.-based sites that apparently threatened him, under the argument that by threatening someone in Canada, they came under the jurisdiction of the Canadian courts (think about that for a moment, particularly about how the U.S. could use it to grab 'jurisdiction,' and tell me that it's not a really dangerous idea).

The excuse for national censorship systems is undoubtedly going to be child porn, but it's absolutely naive to think that it won't be extended to other things. It's going to go from child porn, to "hate speech," to gambling and financial transactions ('when you gamble, you're financing terrorism!'), to downloading and copyright infringement. When you look at the motives of the people driving these programs, they are not going to be satisfied simply with ineffectually blocking some porn.

"Hate speech" shouldn't be banned (2, Insightful)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971052)

I don't think it's such a big deal if sites with child porn are censored. I don't think that it is a big deal if the sites are nearly child porn. Ok, you can't masturbate to the images of adult women who are dressed up to look like children. Big loss.

I am much more concerned about who gets to decide what "hate speech" is. This is pre-emptive screening, before you get to a court battle. Who gets to decide what sites are hateful? Are activist groups able to get their people into the committees? What about sites that are critical of illegal immigration? Websites that claim to cure homosexuality? What about those critical of Islamic extremism? Israel? Scientology? What about a site that condemns the Catholic Church for being soft on priest pedophiles?

The evolution of society depends on ideas that are initially unpopular. Freedom is the ability to act without the permission of others. A society needs to show that your activities harm others before they should ban it. Oppression comes from the banning of political free speech, not from allowing it.

If a hateful person harms an innocent person, that criminal should be charged with a criminal offence regardless of their political ideology. If you are attempting to sow fear throughout a community, you should be charged with a terrorism offence. If a member of the Klu Klux Klan burns a cross on a black family's lawn, it's the same thing as someone calling in a bomb threat. I believe in the death penalty and I have no problem with the execution of neo-Nazis for killing blacks, Jews, etc.. I just don't believe they should be punished for what they believe.

No "big loss" to whom? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971134)

I completely agree with your comments on so-called "hate speech," but I think you're writing off the pornography argument too quickly.

I don't think that it is a big deal if the sites are nearly child porn. Ok, you can't masturbate to the images of adult women who are dressed up to look like children. Big loss.
Look at this issue from the other side; if you restrict "apparent porn," then you are saying that some women are criminals, just by putting on a particular set of clothes. Or perhaps not even that. What are you going to do about a woman who's well past the age of majority, but still has a particularly youthful appearance? You could easily deprive her of her right to work through anti-'simulated pornography' laws, just because some people think she "looks" too young. And it could easily become racial; Asian women in particularly are often perceived by Westerners as being younger than they actually are, and would probably be unfairly impacted. I could easily see the banning of "apparent child porn" as turning into a "human rights" issue on the part of people who are prevented from working in a legitimate occupation -- because nude modeling, regardless of what you personally think of it, is a legitimate occupation for those above the age of consent.

If you start to go down that road, you'd quicky end up with a situation where you've created a class of legal adult people who, by virtue of their appearance, can't take their clothes off without risking a "child" pornography charge.

But why block "hate speech" at all? (2, Insightful)

e9th (652576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971068)

If society at large, not just the govt. or a powerful few, finds someone's speech to be hateful, it shouldn't be necessary to block it. Society will take care of it without "official" help.

Just ask Mel Gibson or Michael Richards.

Re:But why block "hate speech" at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971374)

The "outrage" against Mel Gibson and Michael Richards was about as manufactured as it gets. Such incidents were basically nothing but media hype. Of course the media was going to make a big deal out of it. They get notable figures to raise a ruckus. The media companies do it to try to get people temporarily enraged, so as to get more viewers and readers, and thus to make more from selling advertising space.

Most people don't give a fuck what Mel Gibson or Michael Richards might have said. Many other people think it's perfectly acceptable for them to make such comments, as that's just how things work in a nation that truly supports freedom. Others may directly support what those celebrities said. Regardless, the actual "outrage" is limited to a very, very, very small portion of the population. It's just magnified over and over and over and over again by the mass media, to the point where you end up thinking it's actually significant.

Dr. Michael Geist (1)

I Like Pudding (323363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971096)

What's with that name? Is he a super hero?

avoiding it doesn't stop it (3, Insightful)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971132)

When will they understand that just because you blacklist a website doesn't mean it fixes the problem. It's still there! Viewable by millions of other people. And what do they mean by hate speech? Isn't this fucking land where I'm allowed to say fuck you politicians and know that I won't have two men dressed in black with an ear-piece asking me to follow them?

Maybe I should build a giant reinforced concrete fence/wall because my neighbor 2 blocks away engages in gay butt sex and that may offend the squirrels in my backyard.

The slippery slope will happen, Murphy's Law will strike.

Re:avoiding it doesn't stop it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971282)

And what do they mean by hate speech? Isn't this fucking land where I'm allowed to say fuck you politicians and know that I won't have two men dressed in black with an ear-piece asking me to follow them?


Hate speach is saying that Jews should be rounded up and killed in giant microwave-ovens, niggers should be hung and burnt, spicks should have their heads bashed in with a shovel, and nippers should be drowned -- it's not just telling someone to fuck-off.

Pennsylvania (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971138)

Pennsylvania's laws mandate that all ISPs that operate in the state must blacklist child pornography sites. As the blacklist comes from the state, from second hand accounts of the system I've heard over the years, it is laughably ineffective.

Nevertheless, the whole concept of a web-site blacklist seems atavistic and quaint in an age of bot-nets, p2p networks, darknets, rapidshare and other potential contraband distribution mechanisms that, by their very nature, render any bureaucratic solutions laughably ineffective.

How and why? (1, Interesting)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971142)

How do they plan on blocking any particular content? How can anyone who doesn't have an account on my machine know what is hosted and perhaps available to thousands of other people (who do have accounts) over ssh? How can anyone tell the origin of a IP packet sent over tor? How can an ISP block offending anonymous remailers or freenet sites? THEY CAN'T. Censoring the Internet is not possible without destroying the Internet.

Perhaps they want to censor the web, but most of the Internet would still be free. The dissidents will still get their message out and the porn lovers will still download whatever kink they desire. Attempts to censor the web will just make it hard for corporations to make money because the web is the user-friendly commercial face of the Internet and people will start using other services if they can't find the content that they want over http.

On a different note, what is so wrong about sharing "child" porn? People sexually mature several years before the legal age of consent, and during that "gap" they tend to have sex. Often they take pictures of these activities. Why should we throw innocent teenagers in jail just because they want to practice free love and share images of themselves doing thing that they enjoy? What if they want to share some of these images with a legal adult, what is wrong with that?

Certainly raping a young person is wrong, just as raping any person is wrong. But owning a picture of rape should not be illegal, just as owning a picture of any other crime (even murder or genocide) should not be illegal. If pictures were taken under conditions of coercion, it is the coercion that is wrong and illegal, not the pictures! If pictures of underage humans were taken under consensual conditions, no crime was even committed in the act of taking them. Why should these images be illegal?

A slippery cliff (3, Insightful)

JymmyZ (655273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971150)

"Won't somebody think of the children!?!" It's of course a noble goal, but as a Canadian I've always taken a little pride in the fairly open and uncensored access to the world we seem to get(of course I don't know if this is the case since I don't know how much more or less the rest of the world gets) and to see any sort of infringement on this irks me. There's also the issue of what counts as child-porn; I understand we've categorized http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolicon [wikipedia.org] Lolicon as being under this category. I didn't even know about the existence of Lolicon until last week but they could throw all sorts of silly things under that blanket. And of course they can use this as precedent to blacklist other objectionable subjects to those in power, a very slippery cliff indeed.

Error in article and summary (3, Informative)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971176)

while British Telecom, the UK's largest ISP, voluntarily blocks child pornography as part of its CleanFeed program

Actually, NTL/Telewest is the UK's largest ISP.

from a recent BBC article http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6039740.stm [bbc.co.uk] :
"The UK's largest residential internet provider is currently NTL, which has 2.9 million home customers, followed by BT on 2.2 million."

Why firewall? (1)

Genocaust (1031046) | more than 7 years ago | (#16971332)

If the blocking is in effort to help transparently "remove" content like child porn from online, what good does it truly do out on the open web? Perhaps Canada will block out a handful of sickos from accessing their favorite sites, but the majority of things probably opperate on VPNs and anonymous networks like Freenet [freenetproject.org] that are de-centralized and encrypted.

Good thing... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16971382)

I use cogeco.
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