Law Bytes

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

Latest Episodes

January 31, 2022 00:25:14
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Episode 115: Reuven Avi-Yonah on the Past, Present and Future of Digital Services Taxes

There has been mounting concern over the past few years over whether some of the world’s largest companies – primarily big tech – pay their fair share of taxes. This issue has arisen in countries around the world leading to new digital services taxes that primarily target the U.S. tech giants and which in turn often leads to the U.S. threatening to retaliate in response. Canada now finds itself embroiled in these battles as Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has proposed a retroactive digital services tax to take effect in 2024 if by that time a newly reached OECD agreement has not taken effect. Professor Reuven Avi-Yonah is a law professor at the University of Michigan and director of the school’s international tax LLM program.  He joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss digital services taxes, the OECD deal, and what might happen if the international agreement falls apart. 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: CNBC International, What is a Digital Tax? ...

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January 24, 2022 00:35:09
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Episode 114: The Citizen Lab's Ron Deibert on Protecting Society from Surveillance Software

The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, led by Professor Ron Deibert, has a well-earned reputation for uncovering surveillance technologies and security vulnerabilities with research and reports that attract immediate attention worldwide. Professor Deibert has won an incredible array of awards and accolades for his remarkable work, including the Order of Ontario and the EFF’s Pioneer Award. In 2020, he delivered the Massey Lectures, based on his book for the lectures, Reset:  Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society. Professor Deibert joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the lab, his work, and the threat of what he calls “despotism as a service”, where spyware is used to target journalists, activists, and civil society groups. 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: Issues in Science and Technology, Protecting Society From Surveillance Spyware Credits: DW News, Hacking Backdoor? Security Flaws in China’s Mandatory Olympics App ...

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December 13, 2021 00:41:18
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Episode 112: Aaron Perzanowski on the Right to Repair

The right to repair, whether consumer electronics, farm machinery or even health and medical equipment, is an issue that affects everyone. Given the implications for consumer and property rights, the sustainability of the agricultural sector, and protecting the environment, ensuring a right to repair would seem like an obvious political winner. Yet the issue has lagged, not the least of which because of restrictive copyright laws that can limit the ability to repair personal property. Aaron Perzanowski is a law professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio and the Associate Director of the Spangenberg Center for Law, Technology & the Arts. Professor Perzanowski is the author of the forthcoming book, The Right to Repair, to be published by Cambridge University Press early next year. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to explain why the right to repair matters, how copyright fits into this, and what reforms are needed to address the issue. 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: Aaron Perzanowski, The Right to Repair: Reclaiming the Things We Own (Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming 2022) Credits: Tomorrow Unlocked, No Right to Repair: Farmers are Forced to Hack Their Own Tractors ...

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December 06, 2021 00:26:29
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Episode 111: The Story Behind JusTech - How Three University of Ottawa Law Students Created a Technology Compliance Solution for Privacy Breach Rules

Privacy breaches have become increasingly commonplace as businesses of all sizes grapple with how to  keep customer information secure and what to do when things go wrong. The issue is particularly challenging for small and medium sized business, who are forced to navigate a regulatory framework that isn’t easy and can be extremely expensive. Enter JusTech, a project launched by Ritesh Kotak, Ayushi Dave, and Ryan Mosoff, three University of Ottawa law students who leveraged legal innovation hackathons to create a free online service that walks small businesses through the regulations and makes compliance manageable. I’ve been proud to serve as an advisor to JusTech, which provides some notable lessons on legal innovation and privacy law. Ritesh, Ayusha, and Ryan join the Law Bytes podcast to discuss. 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: CBC News, How to Keep Your Information Secure Amid Data Breaches ...

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November 29, 2021 00:41:02
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Episode 110: Waiting to Connect - Karen Barnes and Catherine Middleton on the CCA's Report on Internet Access in Canadian Rural, Remote and Indigenous Communities

Canada’s strategy to ensure that everyone from coast to coast to coast has access to affordable high speed Internet services is widely viewed as a failure and the source of ongoing frustration for many, particularly those in rural, remote and indigenous communities. Those communities often face the prospect of no broadband access or at best expensive, unreliable services. The Council of Canadian Academies recently convened an expert panel on High-Throughput Networks for Rural and Remote Communities in Canada. The panel’s report is a must read for anyone concerned with equitable and affordable Internet access and the consequences of leaving many communities – particularly indigenous communities – behind. The panel was chaired by Karen Barnes, the former president of Yukon University and included Professor Catherine Middleton, the Director of the Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management at Ryerson University. They join the Law Bytes podcast this week  to discuss the panel, the report, and the recommendations for policy action. 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 CCA Report, Waiting to Connect: The Expert Panel on High-Throughput Networks for Rural and Remote Communities in Canada Credits: CBC News, Digital Divide May Impact the Future of Indigenous Youth ...

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November 22, 2021 00:32:37
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Episode 109: Striking the Balance on Misinformation and Freedom of Expression - My Examination of Canadian Policy Solutions

The Canadian Parliament is set to resume this week and it’s a safe bet that Internet regulation will be part of the legislative agenda in the coming months. One of the toughest policy issues involve misinformation, which can be difficult to define and potentially to regulate. The Canadian Commission on Democratic Expression was established in spring 2020 with a three-year mandate to better understand, anticipate, and respond to the effects of new digital technologies on public life and Canadian democracy. As part of its work, it created a Citizens’ Assembly comprised of Canadians from across the country who recently gathered for several days to debate disinformation online. Last week, I was honoured to deliver a dinner speech to the group followed by a facilitated discussion. This week’s podcast features a recording of that lecture with the slides posted here. 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 PPT presentation to the Citizens’ Assembly Credits: CityNews Edmonton, Nearly All Canadians Saw COVID-19 Misinformation Online, Study Says ...

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