Don't Let Bell Censor Our Internet

Don’t Let Bell Censor Our Internet

Bell Canada has come up with unprecedented proposals to introduce a mandatory website blocking system with no judicial oversight and radical new copyright rules in NAFTA.1,2

These proposals will put Canada on a slippery slope towards online censorship and resemble the activities seen in authoritative regimes, not healthy democracies. But if enough of us speak up, we can get the federal government to reject Bell’s outrageous proposals and stop them dead in their tracks.

Tell Minister Chrystia Freeland to reject Bell's underhanded attempt to exploit NAFTA to impose Internet censorship. Canada's copyright rules should be shaped democratically by Canadians.

Read the full petition here

Dear Minister Chrystia Freeland,

I would like to express my concern about Bell Canada’s proposals to introduce a mandatory website blocking system with no judicial oversight and radical new copyright rules in NAFTA. These recommendations are reckless and extreme, and would result in sweeping Internet censorship and risk criminalizing normal online activities that Canadians engage in everyday.

Being both an Internet service provider and a media company, Bell already controls a huge part of Canada's Internet ecosystem. Now, we can’t let them convince the government to set up a copyright policing agency. Canadians want to see a balanced approach to copyright that respects creators, prioritize free expression, and embraces democratic processes.

NAFTA is not the place to decide Canadian copyright law. Our laws should be shaped democratically by Canadians, not decided in closed-door international trade talks. I therefore ask you to formally reject Bell’s copyright proposals and stop them from being introduced in the renegotiated NAFTA agreement.

Thank you

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The case against Bell’s draconian copyright proposals:

  • Bell’s reckless proposal is a disproportionate and unnecessary attack on users' rights that will result in widespread chilling of expression online.

  • This is a blatant attempt by Bell to prop up its outdated media business at the expense of free expression and our democratic rights.

  • Bell’s proposal goes far beyond what even U.S. copyright  lobbyists are advocating for, which is typically the most extreme.3

  • Putting a third-party agency in charge of what people can and cannot see online inherently gives preferential treatment to some online content over others.

  • A mandatory website blocking system with no court oversight is especially alarming when you are considering criminal liability.

  • This is the kind of activities that we see in authoritarian regimes, which seriously compromises and erodes our free expression and democratic rights.

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Footnotes:

[1] Bell Calls for CRTC-Backed Website Blocking System and Complete Criminalization of Copyright in NAFTA: Michael Geist

[2] An Industry Divided: How Bell Broke With the Telecom Sector on Copyright: Michael Geist

[3] Canada Pushes Back Against U.S. Copyright Demands in NAFTA: EFF

 

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Press: Katy Anderson | Phone: +1 (888) 441-2640 ext. 1 | Office: +1 (844) 891-5136 | katy@openmedia.org