Law Bytes

In recent years the intersection between law, technology, and policy has exploded as digital policy ... more

Latest Episodes

March 14, 2022 00:40:30
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Episode 121: The Law Is No Longer Fit For Purpose - My Appearance Before the ETHI Committee on Canadian Privacy and Mobility Data

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics spent much of February conducting a study on the collection and use of mobility data by the Government of Canada. The study stems from reports that the Public Health Agency of Canada worked with Telus and BlueDot, an AI firm, to identify COVID-19 trends based on mobility data with questions about whether there was appropriate disclosures, transparency and consent from the millions of Canadians whose data may have been collected. I appeared before the committee toward the end of the study, emphasizing that while the activities were arguably legal, something still does not sit right with many Canadians. This week’s Law Bytes podcast goes inside the hearing room for my appearance, where I made the case that Canada’s outdated privacy laws are no longer fit for purpose. The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Credits: Global News, Privacy Watchdog Investigates PHAC’s Use of Canadians’ Cellphone Location Data ...

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March 07, 2022 00:43:30
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Episode 120: Vass Bednar, Ana Qarri and Robin Shaban on Fixing Canada's Competition Law Problem

The proposed Rogers – Shaw merger has placed Canada’s competition law and policy back into the spotlight as consumers frustrated by high wireless prices and a market that many believe already suffers from insufficient competition face the prospect of even less competition should the deal be approved. Last week, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology agreed, issuing a recommendation that “the Committee believes the merger should not proceed” and identifying the need for conditions in the event that it does. Vass Bednar, Ana Qarri, and Robin Shaban recently conducted an extensive study for the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Industry on competition in data driven markets in Canada. Vass, the Executive Director of McMaster University’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) in Digital Society Program, Ana, a recent graduate of McGill University Faculty of Law, and Robin, co-founder and senior economist at Vivic Research, join me on this week’s Law Bytes podcast to discuss their study, the intersection between competition and digital and telecom policy, and their proposed reforms to reshape Canadian competition law. The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Show Notes: Bednar, Qarri and Shaban, Study of Competition Issues in Data-Driven Markets in Canada Credits: Global News, What a $26 B deal between telecom giants means for 5G in Canada ...

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February 28, 2022
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Episode 119: Canada's Zombie Policy Proposal - Christopher Parsons on the Never-Ending Debate Over Lawful Access

The political and policy battles over lawful access have been going on for decades, cutting across multiple governments both Liberal and Conservative. The so-called zombie policy proposal resurfaced again last summer as then Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault included elements of lawful access within his online harms consultation. Dr. Christopher Parsons is a Senior Research Associate at the Munk School’s Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, where his research focuses on third-party access to telecommunications data, data privacy, data security, and national security. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the history of the lawful access debate, the implications of warrantless access to subscriber data, and the recent revival of the issue. ...

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February 21, 2022 00:36:40
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Episode 118: Leah West on the Canadian Government's Invocation of the Emergencies Act

After several weeks of protests, occupation, and border crossing blocking, the Canadian government took the unprecedented step last week of invoking the Emergencies Act. The situation is rapidly evolving and still being debated in the House of Commons. Dr. Leah West is an Assistant Professor of International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and one of Canada’s leading experts on national security law. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss rules surrounding the Emergencies Act and the implications of the government’s recent move to invoke it. The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Show Notes: Leah West, Public Order Emergency: A Guide to Thinking Through the Legal Thresholds and Its Justification Jessica Davis, Insight Intelligence CCLA Files Judicial Review Credits: Guardian News, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Invokes Emergencies Act over Protests ...

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February 14, 2022 00:31:05
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Episode 117: Fight for the Future's Sarah Roth-Gaudette on Web 3 Regulation and Alternatives to Big Tech

The interest in regulation and Web 3.0, the umbrella term for all matters crypto, continues to grow in countries around the world. In Canada, a new private member’s bill encourages the government to establish a regulatory framework to support innovation even as concerns mount over the use of cryptocurrency to by-pass conventional payments regulations. In the United States, there have been multiple Congressional hearings and proposals for legislative action. Fight for the Future was one of many leading digital civil liberties groups that included Access now, Article 19, EFF, and Global Voices, that recently came together to issue a public letter in support of alternatives to big tech and to approach legislation related to Web 3 technologies carefully. Sarah Roth-Gaudette, the Executive Director of Fight for the Future, joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about Web 3, the regulatory initiatives, and the issues that are at stake. The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Show Notes: In Support of Alternatives to Big Tech Credits: Yahoo Finance, Key Takeaways From the Capitol Hill Hearing with Crypto CEOs ...

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February 07, 2022 00:36:12
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Episode 116: Is This Podcast a Program Subject to CRTC Regulation Under Bill C-11?

The government’s Internet regulation plans were back on the agenda last week as a “what we heard report” was released on online harms and Bill C-11 – the sequel to last year’s controversial Bill C-10 – was introduced by Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez. The Law Bytes podcast will devote several episodes to the bill in the coming months. For this week, however, rather than inviting a guest to discuss a bill that people are still assessing, I appear solo and walk through the bill’s provisions involving user generated content. The podcast also highlights several ongoing concerns involving the near-unlimited jurisdictional scope of the bill, the considerable uncertainty for all stakeholders, the misplaced trust in the CRTC, and the weak evidentiary case for the bill. The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Show Notes: Bill C-11, The Online Streaming Act Credits: Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez Discusses Government’s Online Streaming Bill, February 2, 2022 ...

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