Law Bytes

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

Latest Episodes

October 19, 2021 00:32:48
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Episode 91: "This is No Way to Regulate" - Former CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein Speaks Out on the CRTC and Bill C-10

Communications issues have been in the political spotlight in recent weeks with the controversial CRTC decision to reverse a pricing decision on wholesale broadband that swiftly led to calls for the resignation of Commission Chair Ian Scott as well as the ongoing battle over Bill C-10, which envisions granting extensive new powers to the CRTC. Konrad von Finckenstein is a former chair of the CRTC, having led the Commission during a similarly contentious time during debates over net neutrality. He has since been outspoken on communications policy issues, including arguing that Bill C-10 should be scrapped and re-written. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the CRTC, the recent decisions, and what he thinks a better approach to Internet and broadcast regulation would look like. 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: Question Period, House of Commons, June 4, 2021 ...

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October 19, 2021 00:46:05
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Episode 92: A Conversation with Senator Paula Simons on Copyright, the Internet and the Future of Media in Canada

Earlier this year, Senator Claude Carignan introduced Bill S-225, a bill that purports to address concerns about the viability of the Canadian media sector by amending the Copyright Act. The Senate has been studying the bill in recent weeks with Senator Paula Simons serving as the bill critic and one of the leads on the issue. Senator Simons was a longtime journalist before being appointed to the Senate and while an ardent supporter of local journalism, she has been critical of the proposed legislation. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the state of journalism in Canada, why she doesn’t think the social media companies “stole” stories from the media, and what Canada should be doing to encourage innovation in the media sector. 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 S-225 Senator Simons Speech on Bill S-225, May 25, 2021 Geist, The Copyright Bill That Does Nothing: Senate Bill Proposes Copyright Reform to Support Media Organizations Credits: TRCM: Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan appears at committee for Bill S-225, June 2, 2021 ...

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October 19, 2021 00:35:32
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Episode 93: Lex Gill on the RCMP, Clearview AI and Canada's History of Surveillance

Earlier this month, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released a scathing report on the RCMP’s use of facial recognition technology, particularly its work with Clearview AI. The report was particularly damaging as the Commissioner found that the RCMP wasn’t truthful when it said it didn’t work with Clearview AI and then gave inaccurate information on the number of uses when it was revealed that it did. In fact, even after these findings, the RCMP still rejected the Privacy Commissioner’s findings that it violated the Privacy Act. Lex Gill is a Montreal-based lawyer where she is an affiliate at the Citizen Lab and teaches at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. She has also worked at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. Lex joins the podcast to discuss the Commissioner’s findings and to explain why this is best viewed as part of a long cycle of surveillance that has often targeted social movements or vulnerable populations. 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: OPC, Special report to Parliament on the OPC’s investigation into the RCMP’s use of Clearview AI and draft joint guidance for law enforcement agencies considering the use of facial recognition technology Credits: CityNews, RCMP Violated Privacy Act by Using Facial Recognition: Privacy Commissioner ...

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October 19, 2021 00:39:38
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Episode 94: Former CRTC Vice Chair Peter Menzies Reflects on the Battle over Bill C-10

The Liberal government strategy to push through Bill C-10 bore fruit last week as the controversial Broadcasting Act reform bill, received House of Commons approval at 1:30 am on Tuesday morning. Bill C-10 proceeded to receive first reading in the Senate later that same day and after a series of Senate maneuvers, received second reading from Senator Dennis Dawson the following day. That sparked Senate debate in which everyone seemed to agree that the bill requires significant study and should not be rubber-stamped. Speeches are likely to continue on this week after which the bill will be sent to committee. Given that the committee does not meet in the summer, an election call in the fall would kill Bill C-10. Peter Menzies is a former Vice-Chair of the CRTC and one of the most outspoken experts on Bill C-10. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to reflect on the last two months of the Bill C-10 debate, discuss the limits of CRTC regulation, and explore what comes next. 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: Peter Menzies, Bill C-10: Control-Freak Ottawa Confronts the Future. And the Future is Losing Credits: House of Commons, June 21, 2021 ...

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October 19, 2021 00:35:25
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Episode 95: Mark Phillips on the Federal Court of Canada's Right to be Forgotten Ruling

Several years ago, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada filed a reference with the federal court in a case that was billed as settling the “right to be forgotten” privacy issue. That may have overstated matters, but the case did address a far more basic question on whether the privacy law applies to Google’s search engine service when it indexes webpages and presents search results in response to searches of an individual’s name. Earlier this month, the federal court released its decision, concluding that it does. Mark Phillips is a Montreal-based lawyer practicing primarily in the areas of privacy, access to information, civil litigation, and administrative law in both Quebec and Ontario. His client – whose identity remains confidential under order of the court – filed the complaint that ultimately led to federal court decision. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the case, where the right to be forgotten stands under Canadian law, and what might come next. 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: Federal Court of Canada Reference decision Credits: Your Morning, Canadians Could Soon Have the Right to be Forgotten ...

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October 19, 2021 00:21:13
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Episode 96: More Harm Than Good - My Appearance Before the Senate Transport Committee on a Copyright Bill to Support Media Organizations

Bill S-225, Senator Claude Carignan’s copyright bill, would create a new compensation scheme for media organizations by establishing a new collective rights system for the use of news articles on digital platforms. It may not become law, but it has sparked considerable discussion within the Senate on the issue of media and Internet platforms. In fact, while the digital policy world was focused on Bill C-10, last month the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications held hearings on the bill with a wide range of witnesses that included News Media Canada, Facebook and Google. I was invited to appear in their last hearing of the session alongside Jamie Irving from News Media Canada and Kevin Chan from Facebook. This week’s Law Bytes podcast episode goes inside the virtual committee hearing room with my opening statement and exchanges with several Senators. 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 S-225 (An Act to amend the Copyright Act (remuneration for journalistic works) Credits: MP Joyce Murray, Web Giants: Are They Too Big to Regulate? With Minister Steven Guilbeault ...

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