Keith Fountain (Ottawa Centre, Conservative Party of Canada)

Mr. McOrmond,

Thank you for your very in depth letter concerning technology law. While I cannot claim to be an expert in this domain, I will do my best to answer the questionairre.

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1. Copyright Law and Technical Protection Measures
Do you agree that we need legislation to protect Canadians from harmful technologies like the Sony-BMG rootkit DRM?

Answer:

Industries should be forced to label all products which use DRM (or related technologies) in an obvious manner so that consumers are aware what will be install their system if they purchace the product. This would enhance consumer knowledge, which is important. Furthermore, it should not be legal for a content distributer to install software on consumers' hardware without asking for their consent (through an informative dialog).

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2. Copyright Revision and Innovation
Do you support Canadian innovators' rights to reverse engineer or otherwise deal with a work for the purposes of security or interoperability research?

Answer:
Canada's current laws with regards to copyright and technology are outdated and must certainly be modified. The fair use laws that are employed in the United States seem like a good starting point, however they should be examined in detail to ensure that they are a good fit for both Canadian innovators and Canadian owners.

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3. Spyware
Do you agree that we need stronger laws and enforcement mechanisms to protect Canadians from unwanted behaviours associated with spyware?

Answer:
Yes. Spyware and malware constitute unlawful intrusions into an individual's personal posessions and compromise their right to privacy. In addition to strengthening our laws to protect consumers from spyware and malware, I believe that educating the public is an important tool at our disposal as well.

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4. Spam
What would your government, if elected, do to stop the flood of spam that continues to plague Internet users?

Answer:
Spam is an international problem. I personally receive spam from all corners of the globe. Although my party has no official policy on spam, if election I would propose that we attempt to initiate some form of international dialog on the issue. As with the previous question, public education is also a good tool - if people stop following the links in the spam (or learn how to better block it out), it will become an unprofitable business.

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5. Lawful Access
Do you agree with civil liberties groups that:

i. There should be no increase in state surveillance without full justification, including clear evidence of the need for such new capacities and powers and of their likely effectiveness?
ii. Searches and surveillance should require judicial authorization on a "reasonable and probable cause to believe" standard; and that exceptions to this rule must be narrowly limited, subject to strict conditions and safeguards, and should not be expanded to include subscriber data?
iii. All state search and surveillance activity should be subject to rigorous oversight by an independent body to guard against police abuse of these intrusive powers?

Answer:
i. Yes.
ii. Yes.
iii. Yes.

I cannot overstate how important civil liberties are to me. While security is extremely important, we must not unduly sacrifice the rights of Canadians in the process.

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6. i. How would you reform Canadian privacy laws in order to provide meaningful privacy protection in the Internet era?

ii. Do you support amendments to PIPEDA that would allow for class actions and penalties, so that companies are held accountable for privacy breaches affecting large numbers of Canadians?

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7. Do you support a Canadian law requiring companies to notify individuals of security breaches that expose the individuals to identity theft?

Answer:
Yes

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8.
i. Do you support continued government and regulatory intervention in telecommunications so as to ensure that Canadians of all income levels and in all regions of the country, including those with disabilities, have access to good quality, reliable, and functional telecommunications services at affordable and reasonable prices?
ii. Do you agree that the following policy objectives currently set out in the Telecommunications Act are fundamentally important and should remain the guiding principles of Canadian telecommunications policy:

s.7(a) "to facilitate the orderly development throughout Canada of a telecommunications system that serves to safeguard, enrich and strengthen the social and economic fabric of Canada and its regions";

s.7(b) "to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada"?

iii. Do you agree that any reforms to the Telecommunications Act should be subject to a full public review five years after they have been enacted?

Answer:
i. Yes
ii. Yes
iii. Yes, especially in light of the fast pace of technological innovation.

Thank you for writing such a detailed letter and providing so much quality material. I have bookmarked much of it for future use.

Keith Fountain

Conservative Party of Canada - Ottawa Centre
Keith Fountain Campaign
755 Bank St (between 1st Ave. and 2nd Ave.)
Ottawa ON K1S 3V3

Phone 613-237-1532
Fax 613-237-5658

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 38153
1430 Prince of Wales Drive
Ottawa ON K2C 3Y7